Kitesurfing is more and more popular and when you arrive to some spot you most likely meet other kiters. In order to enjoy your session to fullest and staying safe you should know basic kitesurfing rules.
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1.A kiter on a starboard tack(A) (right hand and shoulder forwards) has right of way. A kiter on a port tack(B) (left hand and shoulder forwards) must yield right of way (get out the way, pass downwind).

2. While passing in opposite directions: the upwind kiteboarder(A) must fly their kite high, the kiteboarder downwind(B) must fly their kite low.

3. THE UPWIND RIDER(A) GIVES WAY TO THE DOWNWIND RIDER(B).

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4.The rider going faster(A) than another in the same direction must give way to sloweR rider(B). The one going faster is the one who has a global vision of the situation since he arrives from behind.

5.GIVE WAY TO RIDERS WHO DO NOT HAVE CONTROL OF THEIR EQUIPMENT(B).

6.The outgoing rider(B) has right of way over the incoming rider(A). As the wind is sometimes gusty on land, the rider who is on the beach is the one more at risk, so he has the priority.
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7.Kiter riding on a wave(B) haS right of way over other riders, except for outgoing riders. Kiters leaving the shore (outgoing) have right of way over incoming riders.  Riders close to shore or negotiating broken water are more at risk, so they have the right of way.

8.Right of way must be given to all other beach users ! Regular ocean and beach users may not understand the behaviour and dangers of kiteboarding.

SAFETY TIPS

Don’t ever assume you have right of way or insist on taking it – the other kitesurfer or vessel may not know the right of way rule, or they may not be looking!

If two kites collide and the lines get tangled. If both kites are still flying, bring them to the window edge. You may be able to fly the kites out of the tangle if you communicate with the other rider. If either kite is uncontrollable, both kites need to be released.

Originally published in Kitesurfer Magazine 04/2015. Author: Ivo Sedlák