British Kitesports Association Background Image

Safety Information

Be Safe – wear a helmet

Kite surfing is an extreme sport and is therefore potentially dangerous to both the Kite Surfer and others. The BKSA encourages responsible members. We do not want to put anybody off or sound too officious, but, many people are completely new to kite surfing and so we have laid out a complete set of safety guidelines. The BKSA recommend that Kite Surfing should not be attempted without appropriate instruction. Kite Surfings minimum competence of skills are considered to be:

Level 1: Kite Flying Skills

  • Understand all aspects of safe handling of kites on land & water.
  • Able to launch and land (unaided) on a specified spot on land.

Level 2: Basic Water Skills

  • Body Surfing with kite along and back to shore.
  • Water launching onto board

Level 3: Basic Kite Surfing Skills

  • Getting on a board and travelling a distance under kite power.
  • Emergency stop on water – getting off the board quickly and stopping with kite aloft.
  • Returning to base on land either by kitesurfing, paddling or body-surfing home.

General Safety Guidelines:

  • Stay clear of power lines and overhead obstructions.
  • Never fly a kite in a lightning storm.
  • Always inform the Beach warden, Life Guard or Coast Guard of where and when you will be kitesurfing. (Kites crashing look like planes crashing to naïve spectators).
  • Britain’s beaches, airspace and ocean environment belong to everyone.
  • Keep our beaches safe, clean and free.

Flying Skills

  • If you can not walk backwards when the kite is flying directly overhead the kite is too big and/or the wind is too strong.
  • Never tether yourself to the kite with a closed system.
  • Only use open quick-release harness systems, if at all.
  • Never kite surf if you do not have good Kite flying experience.

Land Skills

  • Do not lay kite lines across any ones path.
  • Do not launch or land in crowded areas.
  • Always announce you are launching a kite.
  • Select a safe launching site.
  • Prevent kites from re-launching with sand (or other ballast) to weight it down.
  • Disable unattended kites.

Water

  • Never kite surf in congested areas with swimmers, boats or other craft or obstacles.
  • Never go out on the water without telling another person where you are going.
  • Always maintain a downwind safety buffer zone.
  • A Kite surfer must know the rules of the sea including navigation laws and abide by them at all times.
  • Instruction must be taken from an experienced kite surfer before surfing for the first time.
  • A Kite surfer must know the rules of the sea including navigation laws and abide by them at all times.
  • A kite surfer must be fit and healthy and over 18 years of age (under 18’s should have parental permission and supervision).
  • Never Kite surf without telling another person where you are going.
  • If going offshore, kitesurf in pairs or with a rescue boat in attendance.
  • Never Kite surf in conditions which are too extreme for either you or your equipment.

Equipment

All manufacturers instructions and safety guidelines must be read and followed, in particular the limitations of the product. Equipment must be regularly checked for wear and tear and repaired accordingly before going out onto the water. Always Kite surf with adequate safety equipment. This is by no means a final and definitive list of safety guidelines. We welcome all members of the BKSA to feedback safety guidelines to the association.