Kiteboarding Safety Info & Articles- KTB

Rule 1 – Responsibility
1.1.  All hazards and special circumstances shall be taken into account when applying these Rules, which may mean a departure from them if deemed necessary in order to avoid a collision.
1.2. Every rider shall be aware of kitesurfing dangers to him/her and others in his/her vicinity. The rider is liable for all damage caused by him/her and his/her equipment.
1.3. Every rider shall obey the local rules which may override these Rules.
1.4. Kiteboarders sometimes depend on each other on the water, and it is the duty of every rider to give all possible assistance to anyone in danger. Kiters have been known to perform many heroic rescues, however, if you are not experienced enough for an effective rescue, you may find yourself in danger as well.

Rule 2 - Definitions
2.1. Port tack - the wind blows from the left side in relation to the sailing direction, and the left hand is the front one, so-called "port".
2.2. Starboard tack - the wind blows from the right in relation to the sailing direction, and the right hand is the front one, so-called "starboard".
2.3. Windward rider – a rider sailing closer to the "source" of wind; sailing "above" in relation to another rider during the meeting, so-called "upwind rider".
2.4. Leeward rider – a rider sailing further from the "source" of wind; sailing "below" in relation to another rider during the meeting, so-called "downwind rider".
2.5. Give-way maneuver – an alternation of course or speed carried out to avoid a collision by a give-way rider.
2.6. Give-way rider - a rider obliged to give way during the meeting.
2.7. Stand-on rider – a rider who has right of way and is obliged to maintain his/her course during the meeting.
2.8. Maneuver - a jump, a trick, or a change of course or speed.
2.9. Meeting – a situation on the water when riders meet each other and one of them must give way in order to avoid a dangerous situation or collision.
2.10. Dangerous situation - a situation which endangers both users in the water and on the shore. A development of a dangerous situation leads to a collision.
2.11. Collision - a situation when riders, or their equipment, collide or they collide with other users on water or ashore.
2.12. Safe distance - a distance that shall be maintained in order to avoid a dangerous situation.
2.13. Kitesurfing on waves – surfing on breaking waves usually in a shore-break zone, so-called „wave".

2.14. Good Kitesurfing Practice (GKP) - a set of generally accepted principles of safety, based on many years in kitesurfing community.
3.3. A rider who is in the water, holding a kite at zenith(12:00), swimming to a lost board, or re-launching a kite from the water has the right of way.

Rule 4-  On The Water
4.1. Head-on situation (opposite tacks) - a port tack rider gives way to a starboard tack rider.
4.2. Similar courses (same tacks) - a windward rider gives way to a leeward rider.
4.3. Overtaking - anyone overtaking (faster) keeps out of way of anyone being overtaken (slower).
4.4. Position of kites during the meeting – a windward rider raises his/her kite above 45 degrees and a leeward rider lowers his/her kite below 30 degrees.

Rule 5 – Multiperson meeting (Rule 4 is not applicable)
5.1. The most upwind rider raises his/her kite to the highest point and the most downwind rider lowers his/her kite to the lowest point. Other riders passing between the riders at the extremes set their kites in intermediate positions in order to avoid kite tangling.
5.2. It is recommended that meetings involving more than two riders be avoided whenever possible.

Rule 6 - Jumping
6.1. Before performing any maneuver, ensure that such an action will not endanger anyone.
6.2. The downwind area for a landing place shall be checked before commencing a jump.
6.3. In particular it is recommended to double check the area "behind” before performing a manoeuvre.

Rule 7 – Surfing on waves - Wave (Rules 4 & 5 are not applicable)
7.1. A rider surfing on waves has right of way irrespective of tack.
7.2. If there are two or more riders on the same wave, right of way has a rider surfing closer to the breaking part of the wave or a rider who got first on the wave.

Rule 8 - Action by a give-way rider
8.1. A safe distance shall be maintained during a give-way manoeuvre.
8.2. Any action taken to avoid a collision shall be positive, readily visible to others and made in ample time and with due regard to the rules applicable on the water.

Rule 9 – Action by a stand-on rider
9.1. A stand-on rider shall maintain his/her course until collision is unavoidable without his/her own manoeuvre.
9.2. The same rider shall fly his/her kite in a position specified by Rule 4.4.
9.3. This Rule does not relieve a give-way rider of his/her obligation of giving way.

Rule 10 - Meeting with other water users (not being kitesurfers or windsurfers)
Every kitesurfer gives way to all other water users except the power-driven crafts under 7 metres. It is recommended that passing and overtaking of such water users should take place on their leeside and at a safe distance.


The author of these rules ,Marek Rowinski, hopes that the work presented above will be widely accepted and will improve safety in kitesurfing.

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