Risk Assessments for Kitesurfers During Phase One Return
COVID-19 MAKING KITESURFING SAFER DURING COVID 19
Kitesurfing and possible effect on NHS and RNLI.
This guidance has been prepared on the basis of the information released by both Gov.uk,
Please ensure you are fully conversant with this document and you can adhere to the contents.
Safer Kitesurfing Procedures – minimising risk
From Wednesday 13th of May 2020 the government has eased restrictions regarding exercise, this allows the possibility of kitesurfing if done safely.
The kitesurfing community still needs to protect the emergency services, RNLI and the community during the coronavirus-COVID 19 pandemic to minimise the risk of spreading the infection- based on the Government’s recommendations on social distancing. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do
Kitesurfing for many is an extremely important tool for managing mental wellbeing and maintaining health.
This guidance lays out an organised approach to enable kitesurfing to be safely practised as a form of exercise while minimising the risk of onward transmission of the Covid 19 virus. Kitesurfing is by default a naturally ‘Socially distanced sport’.
The main risks are injury through poor judgement-leading to unnecessary use of emergency services, kiting in excessive wind, equipment failure and contact with persons on the beach and during the rare need for a rescue.
A donation to the NHS could be made for each session as a way of giving back to the community.
Persons covered by this procedure
For the purposes of this document, the following listed occupations are encompassed:
Other beach users (walking, running, daily exercise etc)
Rescue person (s)
Rescue team-to negate need for the RNLI
- As per pre-existing guidance recommends each surfer should ‘team up’ with another kiter of a good standard. As ‘kite buddies’ you should both be fully aware that you are both responsible for each other’s wellbeing and you should agree a course of action to try to self rescue each other if unable to self rescue on your own. Take an extra leash in the event of a required rescue. Every effort should be avoided to call upon the RNLI, this includes limiting wind speeds to sensible levels- no need to go out in excessive wind and no need to engage in Woo competitions.
- If at a local club spot and ‘if possible’ The rescue person (s) will be on site with suitable method of rescue to provide assistance if required, the rescue team will have a sealed PPE pack to avoid possible transmission in the unlikely event of a required rescue.
Avoid overcrowding / carefully select conditions for kitesurfing.
- Where possible avoid overcrowding at the spot ‘on and off the water’.
- Kitesurfing should only be carried out when tide state/Depth and wind direction are safest (local knowledge).
- Wind speed must be at a safe level suggested 12 Knots to 30 Knots (less than 20% gusts forecast)
Rider level of experience.
- The kitesurfer must be proficient and approved by the club and hold relevant insurance.
- Now is not the time for learning the sport, especially as there are currently no instructors giving tuition.
- Make sure you are competent at self rescue- if not don’t go out.
- Never kite in offshore winds or direct onshore (especially in high winds)
- Cross shore and cross on shore is the safest.
Set up launching landing and riding.
When arriving at beach choose an area (as normal) away from anyone else adhering to the social distancing guidelines, Follow BKSA / IKO guidance for safe set up.
Avoid chatting on the beach after in groups, there is always a camera wielding Facebook warrior nearby ready to publicly criticise.
Do not share pumps or equipment with other riders, launch person to use gloves when launching kite.
Signal to rescue team (provided by local club) launch and kite for 1 hr, stay 2 kite lines length away from other riders, stay kite line length away from beach when riding and a swimmable distance from the beach at all times.
- Stick to what you know and are good at
- No king of the air attempts
- Avoid Kiteloops and high-risk manoeuvres
- Woo not recommended
- Enjoy the session and keep it safe
Equipment maintenance and inspection
Ensure your equipment is safe for use, inspect before leaving home (not when at beach).
- If you or anyone is ill or has been ill, follow the isolation guidelines- do not come to the beach.