Kitesurfing Safety Tips
Kitesurfing is a dangerous sport. A strong gust of wind can force the surfer to be lofted, carried off, dashed against the building, terrain, and water, resulting to injuries. Most fatalities are the result of being dragged out of control or being airborne and land or hit hard surfaces including sand.
To avoid any injuries and maximize safety, here are some things you should remember:
Gear up! You never know when accidents will happen. And when they do, make sure that you are fully protected while kitesurfing. Wear a helmet and impact vest. While these gears will not assure you that you can walk away (or swim away) from accidents unharmed, they will definitely reduce the risk of fatality and severe injuries.
Do not remove or disable factory-installed safety harnesses in your equipment. Helmets and vests have straps and quick-release systems to ensure that these gears will be fastened securely and will be used safely and properly all the time.
Ride with side-shore winds. Onshore winds and offshore winds can be dangerous as both push you either toward the sand or toward deep waters.
Do not ride in crowded areas. Collision on water can be as fatal as collision on land, more so at a considerable speed. Never attempt to kitesurf on places near boats, swimmers, surfers, or buildings, trees, rocks, or areas with permanent obstructions. In general, a minimum of 100 meters of safe distance from all obstructions should be observed.
Use appropriate kite for your experience level. As a rule, ride within your skill level. Overpowered riding is very dangerous. Do not ride on strong winds with too large kite. Also, use the kite on wind conditions and speed that are specified by the manufacturer.
Check the weather forecast. This goes to anyone regardless of the skill level. Knowing the wind speed and direction is critical to determine whether it is safe to kitesurf or not.
Pay attention to the changing weather condition. Aside from taking note of the weather forecast, be aware of the changing weather while you surf. Wind speed and direction should be monitored carefully. Watch out for the sudden gust of strong winds as it can throw you off balance and carry you off to places you don’t plan to go.
Launch and land the kite with care. Most accidents happen on shore or when the rider is about to enter or leave the water. If the kite is on air, do not spend time on the shore. Once the kite is in the air, leave the beach right away. When coming in, land as fast as possible. Keep the kite low when on shore.
Never hit the water without a safety knife. Tangles often happen when the kite is hit by a wave or a sudden gust of wind. This is very dangerous since the rider cannot control the direction of the kite. Also, tangled lines can cause serious injuries and deep lacerations to the body, fingers, toes, and limbs.
Under no circumstance should the rider allow himself or any part of his body to be encircled by the lines. Cut immediately using the safety knife to escape being caught by the lines.
Finally, fatigue can cause danger to the kitesurfer. When you feel that you are getting tired riding, go back to the shore and take a rest.
Do not take chances. Kitesurfing should be fun but it should also be done safely. Seriously, never attempt to do anything stupid.