Hello everyone, we hope you can find a moment to read this little reminder about our wonderful sport and how to ensure you continue to enjoy it safely.
2019 has been a fantastic season for all types of kiting, from lessons and basic progression through to lots of fun, stronger wind days for the experts, especially throughout August. Foiling’s low wind performance has continued to open up a vast amount of session possibilities and what a joy it’s been to see so many riders taking it up in the summer sunshine.
Although the very start of this season was fairly slow, kite schools have been busier than ever since then, with some quoting that they’ve delivered over 20 consecutive days of lessons through July and into August.
Perhaps all this wind isn’t so good in the eyes of the rest of the country, but recent weeks have been the stuff dreams are made of for many.
Kitesurfing is a fun and exhilarating sport and can now be practiced very safely, but no matter how good you get, it’s always important to remember that you need to keep safety in mind. As long as you get professional guidance from a qualified BKSA instructor then this is a suitable sport for anyone, regardless of age, sex or size and of course we’re now also seeing more opportunities develop for disabled participants, too.
Sadly however, there have been three kitesurfing fatalities in the UK this year – a stark reminder that while we kitesurf we are engaging with powerful natural elements. So with respect to those three individuals who lost their lives while kitesurfing, let’s ensure that we all remember to take a fresh approach to our own safety and not lose perspective on the environment we’re in.
Here are some top tips to ensure you remain as safe as possible when heading out on the water.
If you remain unsure about any of the below, give your local school or club a shout and they will be able to help with safety refreshers, intermediate lessons and local beach guidance.
TOP TIPS FOR SAFE, FUN KITING
· Always check your safety system, lines, kite and board
· Know and practice activating your chicken-loop and leash releases
· Rig your lines downwind
· Pre flight check your lines and bar before getting into your launch position
· Ensure that you are 50 metres / two kite lengths from any fixed hazards, rocks, sea walls etc.
· Make sure your kite and lines are tensioned correctly (and remember kites launch forwards, not backwards)
· Get two thumbs up before launching – one from you as well as your kite launcher
· Ask your launcher to check your kite’s bridles are free and positioned correctly before letting go
· Activate your safety without a second thought if your kite misbehaves in any way
· Ride within your limits and be honest with yourself about what they are
· Use the appropriate size and type of kite for the conditions
· Don’t jump too close to the shore or any fixed hazards
· Know how to self-rescue in the conditions you’re riding in
· Don’t kite further from shore than you can swim back from
· Wear a helmet and impact jacket