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PRO-TIP: BEWARE OF WAVES

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To avoid accidents, you should Always Beware of Waves. Even a small wave can be very powerful and can turn you upside down, This can lead to serious injury and drowning. Get a lesson before entering the waves, Waves are far different from flat water. Never drop your kite in the breaking waves, and if you do be prepared to let it go. Waves will easily destroy a kite and could hurt you, so invest in a “ride-in-the-waves 101” lesson from an experienced, qualified,  IKO Certified Kiteboarding Instructor.

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Pro-Tip: IF IN DOUBT, DON’T GO OUT

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If in doubt, don't go out.

To avoid accidents on the Beach and on the Water, you should Not go out if you are in Doubt. If you are unsure of the conditions, or unsure of your abilities, or unsure of your equipment, then do not go out. You should only launch if you have confidence that you can manage the conditions and remain safe during the activity, If you are unsure of the conditions ask an instructor to assist you or advise you. Self Doubt is usually a sign that the conditions are not right or that you should get some more training. And/or buy the correct kite size. If you did go out anyway, you may get yourself into a bad situation, and then put other people in danger too.

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pro kite tips

Pro-Tip: PORT GIVES WAY TO STARBOARD

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To avoid accidents on the water there are situations when rules help guide the actions of the riders.

When two kiters are going in opposite directions, there is a chance they will crash into each other, so we have a rule of who moves where. The rider on Port tack, gives way to the rider on “Starboard” tack.

In sailing “Port” means the Left side, and Starboard means the right side. The rider on Port Tack is defined by having his kite on the left side of his wind-window (between 12 and 9 o’clock). The Rider on Starboard is defined by having his kite on the right side of his wind-window (between 12 and 3 o’clock).

Actions: The Rider on “Starboard” should continue on the same course, and the rider on Port “gives way” by turning downwind, or slowing down, or even stopping to let the Starboard rider pass safely. It is the responsibility of the Port tack rider to get out of the way and to maneuver, as much as needed to avoid any accidents.

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Pro-Tip: UPWIND KITER KEEPS KITE HIGH

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To avoid accidents on the water there are situations when rules help guide the actions of the riders. When two kiters are going in the same OR opposite direction, there is a chance their kites will hit each other, So we steer the kites apart to increase separation. The upwind kiter steers his kite upward (toward the zenith), and the downwind kiter steers his kite downward (closer to the water). The downwind kiter is more restricted in maneuverability (and is not obligated to alter course) and they may not be able to steer their kites very much. So the upwind kiter (who is the “giveway” vessel anyway) must take responsibility to move their kite upward, enough to avoid an incident.

pro kite tips

Pro-Tip: UPWIND KITER GIVES WAY

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To avoid crashes on the water there are situations when rules help guide the actions of the riders. When two kiters are going in the same direction (on the same tack), and they getting closer together (converging) and will crash if they do not alter course, then something has to change. If they do not react properly they will have an accident. In this situation, the rule says the “upwind kiter” (closest to the wind) “gives way” to the downwind kiter. Gives way means allows the other kiter to proceed on course. To do this the upwind kiter stays out of the way, slows down if necessary, goes behind, or alters course.

pro kite tips

Pro-Tip: DO NOT TAILGATE

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To be a safe out there we need room to maneuver. Never ride close behind other riders, this is called “Tailgating”. When you ride too close behind other riders you restrict their ability to move. This is not only bad manners, it is also very unsafe. When the person ahead needs to jump or turn or move their kite, they are restricted, You might also be riding in their blind spot and they will not see you until too late. Give people ahead of you enough room to maneuver, do not get into their comfort zone. If you need to overtake you must give them enough room on all sides at all times. Good riders anticipate the needs of others, Good riders can read the traffic and anticipate when another kiter needs more room to move, examples to turn or to jump. Example; you are following someone toward the beach, of course, they are are going to turn, so back off and turn first.  Stay separated; A good rule of thumb is to spread out and separate riders by 2 kite line lengths when riding.

pro kite tips

Pro-Tip: KNOW YOUR LIMITS

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To be a safe kiter you must know your limits. The first step is knowing everyone has limits, and that bad things happen when you push too far beyond them. This means that you should not try to learn totally new tricks way above your skill level (especially in strong gusty wind). Instead know what tricks/skills you have fully mastered, then try the very next small step up if you want to avoid risk and injury, and learn in light wind first. It is almost cliche to say “don’t push your luck in strong wind”. When you know your limits you can expand and improve on them in a controlled manner. When you disrespect your own limits you put yourself at risk, and maybe other people too, because you will be having more severe crashes more often, and you are basically rolling the dice every time you do that. The best way to raise your limits is to get a lesson from a real instructor, who can provide a systematic approach, that is risk managed, then you acquire new knowledge and skills without unnecessary risk.

Community News

Kitesurfing as a family pastime

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kitesurfing family www.kitesafe.orgHow Kitesurfing became a family pastime,
For years kitesurfing has had the reputation as being an extreme sport. This reputation was largely perpetuated by the pioneers themselves that experimented and discovered the limitations of their equipment through a series of adventures and misadventures that were quaintly referred to as “kitemares”. Continue reading

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Kiteboarding’s 10 Worst Habits

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10 Worst www.kitesafe.orgKiteboarding’s Ten Worst Habits
Here is a list of Kiteboarding’s 10 Worst Habits. This Top Ten is some of the worst things we see daily on kite beaches that make us cringe or shake our heads. Why do people do it, when there is clearly a better way or at least a better looking way to do it? These bad habits were submitted from our pro-team members as some of the worst examples of sloppy or just plain ugly kite technique. There are many more bad habits not on this list to be sure. Here we have listed ten of the worst in no particular order. Continue reading

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