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Code of Conduct

The codes of conduct are split into two sections:

1. Kite flying

2. Membership behaviour

Kite Flying

All forms of power kiting (including landboarding, buggying, kitesurfing/kiteboarding , kite boating and snowkiting) are extreme sports and are therefore potentially dangerous to both the participant and others. British Kitesports encourages responsible and considerate behaviour by all Members and participants.

Although flying and riding locations differ and local considerations will apply, the guidelines below will be relevant and appropriate in most situations.

British Kitesports recommends that you hold third party insurance and have received thorough training from a qualified instructor, or, that you are competent to British Kitesports level 2 if a qualification exists for that sport. British Kitesports strongly discourages participants from attempting to teach themselves. By seeking qualified instruction you will: learn faster and with greater safety for yourself and those around; become competent and progress to a higher level more quickly; you will have more fun.

All Power Kitesports

  • Be sure that you can handle the prevailing weather conditions and know the forecast.
  • Select the correct kite size for the conditions and forecast. If you don’t have an appropriately sized kite, don’t take a risk with the wrong size.
  • Kite with a buddy or, if that is not possible, tell someone where you are and when you will be back.
  • Select a safe launch site. Find out about and observe local rules and restrictions. Treat other stakeholders in the places we fly with respect.
  • If at all possible, avoid asking a non-kiter to assist with launching and landing. If you must ask for help, make sure they are carefully briefed and understand the risks of getting involved.
  • Take extra care at busy locations. On occasions, it might be too busy to launch safely unless a specific launch area is in operation.
  • Prevent kites from re-launching by weighting them with sand or other ballast; use a ballast bag to avoid damage to your kite.
  • Keep your lines away from people, animals and craft on land or water. Wind up your lines if leaving your kite. Do not leave your equipment unattended on the beach for an extended period.
  • It is recommend that a helmet or quality head protector that fits correctly is worn at all times while using kites
  • Use of a protective helmet may reduce the risk of death or injury. Consider carefully the extra risk you may be taking if you decide not to wear one.
 – All children under the age of 8 years old must be supervised by a responsible adult

Specific guidelines for Powerkiting, Kite landboarding, Kite Buggying and Snowkiting

  • Take extra care when selecting where and when to jump or perform tricks on land.
  • Take care of other users of your kiting location; give them respect and respect their rights of way.
  • Always give way to pedestrians or other users of your kiting location
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  • Make sure the activity is allowed at the location used
  • Take time to engage with other users of your kiting location; win friends for kitesports, not enemies!

Kitesurfing and Kite Boating specific guidelines

  • British Kitesports recommend you are a competent swimmer. Never ride so far away from the shore that you cannot swim back in an emergency.
  • Understand the tides/currents where you are about to sail.
  • Observe beach and water zoning, navigation channels and similar.
  • Unless dedicated rescue cover is available do not sail in offshore winds. If in doubt don’t go out.
  • All riders should be familiar with rescue signals and participants should regularly practice deep water pack downs and self-rescue. These techniques are taught by all qualified British Kitesports instructors and schools.

Rights of way

  • Starboard tack (right hand forward) has right of way
  • The rider on the port (left hand forward) tack gives way to the rider on starboard tack.
  • The upwind rider gives way to the downwind rider.
  • The overtaking rider keeps clear and should pass up-wind of the rider being passed. The upwind rider should fly their kite higher and clearly signal to the other rider that they intend to pass. The downwind rider should lower their kite where it is possible to do so safely.
  • The rider leaving the beach has right of way over a rider returning to the beach from the water
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  • Before jumping check behind and downwind of you and always maintain a safe distance from other riders or obstacles. If in doubt, don’t jump!

Equipment

  • Equipment manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines must be read and followed. Understand the limitations of the equipment and practice use of all safety mechanisms until you are familiar with them.
  • Equipment must be regularly checked for wear and tear and repaired or replaced before use if required. If in doubt seek advice from an authorised dealer, approved British Kitesports instructor or a more experienced local rider.
  • Always use an effective kite leash and safety system so you can depower your kite instantly in the event of an emergency.

General Safety Guidelines

  • Pay attention to your surroundings, your equipment and your fellow kiters. Think about what you are doing and take your time; your brain is your most important piece of safety equipment, so use it!
  • If you lose your kite or board whilst on the water or land, always report you are safe to the rescue services so they do not waste time and money looking for you.
  • It is recommended that you write your name, address and contact number on all your equipment. If you are concerned about permanently marking your equipment, use spinnaker repair tape to write on and fix this to any equipment.
  • If new or careless kiters show up at your flying site, talk to them with your friends about what´s at risk. Take the time to explain how to safely get into the sport and where to obtain qualified professional instruction.

All Kitesport participants are responsible for their own safety and that of bystanders. Just because we´ve taken the care to publish this Code of Conduct we cannot be held liable for your actions. This Code of Conduct will be updated regularly as a result of continued developments in safety and kitesports equipment, consultation with local focus groups and other interested parties. This is by no means a final and definitive list of safety guidelines.

Member and participant behaviour

No Member, and no person wishing to become a Member, shall:

(a) Cause damage, harm, distress or serious inconvenience to any other users of locations where power kiting is carried on, or

(b) Seek to exclude, limit or commercialise use of or access to any beach, offshore area or other location used for flying kites, or right of way to any such place or impose additional car parking or other charges for British Kitesports members unless the Member has disclosed the proposal to British Kitesports and to members of the relevant local Affiliated Club and has demonstrated that he/she either has the support of the majority of regular users of the location in question or the proposal has been approved by British Kitesports and the local British Kitesports Affiliated Club.

Email: info@britishkitesports.org
We welcome all members of British Kitesports to feedback safety guidelines to the association.