PostHeaderIcon Kitesurfing Rules of the Road

Kite High Rule

The kiter who is closest to the wind or (upwind) must keep their kite high to avoid their lines crossing the downwind kiters. The reverse applies for the downwind kiter, they must keep their kites low to avoid their lines crossing upwind kites. This rule applies on the same, or opposing courses for kiters.

Clearance Rule

The kitesurfer 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, refer to the Kite High rule.

Kiterboarding is Considered Sailing

The rules of the road apply as in standard sailing such as:

Starboard Rule (Sailing Rule 12)

When vessels (e.g. kitersurfers) 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 kitersurfer 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 kitesurfer.

In sailing terms, a sailor or kitersurfer with right of way is entitled to "insist" on exercising that right (warning opposing kiters) by shouting "starboard" very clearly and in good time. But remember any vessel accident on the water whether you have the right-a-way or not both parties are considered at fault. Standard boating rules such as no-go or no-boat zones, distance from shore and swimmers also apply.

How to Kitesurf the Waves

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