Evolution of Kiteboarding

Jumping and being airborne at inappropriate places (such as shallow water or near fixed or floating objects) can be hazardous.

A surfer can get farther from shore than an easy swim, which is the primary reason kite surfing in directly offshore winds is discouraged. Marine hazards include sharks, jellyfish, sea otters, dolphins, and even crocodiles, depending on the location.Collisions with wind surfers, other kite boarders or water craft are hazards, particularly at busy locations.

A safety knife is useful if lines become tangled and dangerous.

Some kite designs from late 2005 and onwards have included immediate and almost full depower integrated with the control bar and improved quick release mechanisms, both of which are making the sport much safer. Lack of sufficient practice of emergency depowering the kite and going out in excessively strong or unstable weather has reduced the logical benefit of these newer high depower kites.

Weather planning and awareness are key to safe kiteboarding. A number of riders have been killed in kiteboarding-related accidents since 2000 (Kitesurfing injury statistics 2000- 2003), according to a safety adviser for one of the sport’s governing bodies. More information about kiteboarding fatalities, relative risk compared to other activities, trends and ideas for improved safety in a 2006 article (Kiteboarding Fatality Analysis, 2000 to July 2006)

Paying attention to the weather and staying within the limits of the riders ability will provide the safest experience.[25]

Some countries have laws[26] about flying kites and being safe while flying, this also applies to kitesurfing.

Kitesurfing safety rules

Kite High Rule – A kiter who is upwind (closest to the wind) must keep their kite high to avoid their lines crossing those of downwind kiters. Similarly, the downwind kiter must keep their kite low to avoid their lines crossing upwind kites. This applies regardless of whether kiters are on the same, or opposing courses.

Clearance Rule – A kiter must have a clear safety zone of at least 50m downwind because they move downwind during a jump. A rider must also have a clear safety zone of 30m upwind to jump as his lines could touch the kite or the lines of another rider kiteboarding close by (see Kite High rule).

Kiters are also considered as sailing vessels – so some standard sailing rules apply such as:

Starboard Rule When kiters approach from opposite directions the kiter who has the wind on the starboard (right side, right leg/arm leads in direction of travel) has right of way. The kiter who has the wind on the port side (left side, left leg/arm are leads in direction of travel) shall keep out of the way of the other. In simple terms, this means “keep right” with the kiter coming in the opposite direction passing on the left.

In sailing terms, a sailor or kiter with right of way is entitled to “insist” on exercising that right (warning opposing kiters) by shouting “starboard” very clearly and in good time.

Other boating rules such as no-go zones, distance from shore and swimmers also apply.[27]


  1. ^ SBC Kiteboard Magazine 2006 industry survey www.sbckiteboard.com
  2. ^ [1] www.kiteboardingevolution.com
  3. ^ Jakob Jelling History of kitesurfing Kitesurfingnow
  4. ^ a b c Peter Lynn A brief history of kitesurfing, Aquilandia.com, 2006
  5. ^ Samuel Franklin Cody and his man-lifting kite, www.design-technology.org, 2005
  6. ^ Mark Harris Sea kayaking and kites, July 2002
  7. ^ www.skywing.de
  8. ^ Patent DE2933050
  9. ^ http://www.sail-world.com/Australia/Fifty-knots-broken-again—New-Speed-Record/49448

10.  ^ http://www.luderitz-speed.com/ContentPages/Results/Results.aspx?Filter=Overall&Session=3&Run=9/19/2008

11.  ^ http://www.luderitz-speed.com/ContentPages/Results/Results.aspx?Filter=Overall&Session=11&Run=10/8/2008

12.  ^ http://www.hydroptere.com/_en/actu_detail.php?id_actu=57#centre

13.  ^ http://www.sailspeedrecords.com/500-metre-records.html

14.  ^ Terry Tomalin, Tampa Bay area kiteboarders take aim at distance record, St. Petersburg Times, February 27, 2009

15.  ^ Kirsty Jones Kiteboards from Lanzarote to Morocco, Outdoornewswire.com, May 15, 2006

16.  ^ m8kite.com – Long Distance record

17.  ^ [2]

1 2 3 4 5 6 7