upsidedownkiter
Image credit: Christopher.

Kitesurfing, in most situations, is a safe sport. Having said that, its not possible to predict the weather and calm situations can become dangerous very quickly. And if your not careful, yes it can kill you. But so can snowboarding, diving, whitewater kayaking and other extreme sports. Extreme sports are named as such because of that inherent danger. And that inherent danger part of the reason why its so much fun :) .

By following a few rules you can make kitesurfing (kiteboarding) as safe as windsurfing in my opinion.

Some of the rules that I think beginners should follow:

1. Check the weather forecast beforehand and at the beach to get an idea of how windy its going to be during your whole session. If its blowing 22 or more then do NOT GO OUT. Literally, do not go out on to the water if your feeling even a little scared. Wait till you get better at the sport. And if its below 13 then dont go out because all you will do is drop the kite in the water and then have to self rescue as relaunching a kite in light wind is very difficult to do.

2. Check your chicken-loop’s safety release everytime before you go out. And always wear a leash so that your kite is always attached to you even after you pull your chicken loop’s quick release.

3. Always kite with a friend.

4. Write your name and address and phone number on your kite and board so that if you ditch your kite and board then rescue personell can try to contact you before they launch a rescue.

5. DO NOT use a board leash. Google for “board leash injuries to understand why”.

6. Wear a helmet and a PFD/impact vest.

7. Get in shape. Being in shape will give you the stamina and strength to get out of messy situations while kiteboarding. Most injuries happen when you get tired on the water. Workout so you can minimize this happening to you.

Happy Winds,
Vivek