Kitesurfing becomes more and more popular and so it gets busier on the beach. This also increases bad habits and behaviour on the beach / water. Learn how to become a better kitesurfer by following some basic rules of conduct. Nice for everyone, right? And let’s not forget the right of way rules, because it still appears that they are not known to everyone. Or are we too selfish?
Typical kitesurfing behavior
Nowadays we have to deal with more and more kitesurfers where norms and values can sometimes be hard to find… Think for example of kiters who were there from the beginning and therefore think that they are allowed to do everything, or kiters who kite for two years and have now become so reckless that they think they can kite in all conditions. But you probably also recognize the kamikaze pilots who are so focused on the landing of a trick that they do not realize they are in the way of others, or the show-off kiter who really want to do their trick close to the beach because they think they can and of course everyone should be able to see it.
Bad habits and no gos
No matter what sport you practice, there are always people who can spoil the fun for everyone. It is often the little things that they do that make us nervous. Sometimes you wonder where some people have lost their manners. It doesn’t matter if you are on the beach or on a mountain, have respect for each other. An “I don’t care attitude” is a no go!
Rules of conduct & right of way rules for kitesurfers
On the beach / spot
- For the first time on a spot? Ask what the rules are on the spot. For example, where are you allowed to ride or not? What are the dangers?
- Before you go on the water, check whether your safety works.
- Is your kite lying on the beach and you are not going out for a while? Roll your lines neatly so that others have space.
- Want to launch your kite? Always check what happens around you.
- Don’t stand endlessly with your kite in the air at 12 in the launch area. Launch your kite and go.
- Don’t do crazy tricks on the beach between all the kites but somewhere on the water where you don’t bother anyone.
- Help other kiters if you see that they want to land their kite and don’t act like you don’t see it.
- Are you landing someone’s kite? Don’t just throw the kite on the beach and walk away but wait until the kiter is there so that he / she can put something on it.
Rules of conduct on the water
- Keep a sufficient distance from the coast (especially with an onshore wind) so that you don’t accidentally land on the beach. You also give space to kiters who want to go in the water.
- Don’t kite in the marked swimming areas.
- Don’t jump over surfers or swimmers (even though it can be fun). Keep your distance.
- Give space to instructors and their students. We all didn’t like it if someone came close behind you all the time during the lesson, right?
- Don’t enter the water uninsured. Make sure that your insurance covers “kitesurfing” (= extreme sport).
Rright of way rules for kitesurfers
- Kiters who want to get on the water have priority over kiters who are already on the water.
- A kitesurfer who rides waves has priority.
- The kiter with the right hand front has priority. The kiter riding to the left must give priority. At most bars the left side of the bar is red, so if that is your front hand when you are riding you have no priority.
- The kiter who passes by in front keeps his kite low. The kitesurfer (upwind) keeps his kite high.
- The slow kiter has priority.
Are you coming from behind and riding in the same direction? Then you must give priority to the kitesurfer in front of you because you have a better overview.
- Give priority to other water and / or beach users.
Unfortunately, as kitesurfers, we are at the very bottom of the list when it comes to priority. Because of our long lines, we are unpredictable for others.
- Look around you if you want to turn. Don’t just throw your kite in its direction.
It doesn’t matter if you have been kiting for 10 years or if you are a pro. These rules apply to everyone!
So for you too …
Ok, enough wise lessons handed out. Wind on and go!