members voted in these Safety Guidelines after considering inputs
from experienced riders and area lifeguards. They
are made possible by the mistakes of riders that went before
purpose is to promote safe and responsible kiteboarding, which
promote continued access. They
are written for ALL areas and with different types of kites and
boards in mind. They
must be augmented with local-specific guidelines due to unique
conditions at each site.
If you don't agree
with any of these, or feel some are not warranted for a given
situation, please DO NOT disregard them.
This sets a bad example for others.
We urge you become a SCKA member, come to the meetings, and
help us change anything that's not right.
Always exercise good judgment and common sense while using
these guidelines. Fly
Any beginning rider or kiter should have professional
instruction or as a minimum, direct supervision from an
A safety release
and leash must be attached to your body, prior to launching any
water-launchable kite. If you're capable of landing
multiple-spin jumps, click
here for information on a hands-free spinning leash system.
Maintain a clear downwind area, allowing extra space when kite
control might be compromised, such as when launching, landing,
jumping, or maneuvering. If
someone else crashes a kite on or near land, offer assistance in
grounding that kite without reservation.
Yield to any pedestrian or swimmer, and to any watercraft that
has the right-of-way. Do
so immediately and with enough margin to avoid any possible
contact with the kite or lines.
Grounded kites must be sufficiently weighted (sand, if
available) to offset strong gusts and if unattended, disabled by
disconnecting all lines from one side.
Land kites with assistance whenever possible and offer
assistance without reservation whenever possible, especially in
populated or cluttered areas.
If forced to self-recover, downing kites in shallow water
is often safer than on land. In either case, ensure the entire
downwind arc is clear.
Riders must yield to everyone when jumping, maneuvering, or
riding on port tack (left hand
Incoming riders give way to those launching.
Avoid obstructing the way of others or cluttering any area with
grounded kites, lines or boards.
After consideration has been given to the above, normal sailing
Right hand forward while riding is Starboard Tack (and generally
Left hand forward is Port Tack.
two kiteboarders converge in a way that may lead to a collision,
the kiteboarder on port tack must give way to the kiteboarder on
starboard tack. Starboard
tack has right of way in this situation.
two kiteboarders converge, and they are on the same tack, the
kiteboarder most upwind must give way to the kiteboarder most
leeward kiteboarder has right of way in this situation.
two kiteboarders converge in a way that may lead to the kites
colliding, the upwind kiteboarder must fly their kite as high as
possible, and the downwind kiteboarder must fly their kite as
low as possible.
kiteboarder must give way to anyone they are overtaking.
The kiteboarder being overtaken has the right of way, and
is responsible for maintaining course while being overtaken.
give right of way to anyone who enters the 200' safety zone
downwind of you.
kite leash, which will de-power a released kite (see Safety
board leash. Click
here for info on a retractable leash.
PFD (lifejacket) or Impact vest, and helmet
knife (preferably a hook knife) to cut tangled lines
whistle (to signal boats when you, or your lines, are down in the
to others when you want to land / ground your kite.
kiteboard as far from shore as you are able to swim.
and practice self rescues.
riding solo, and always let someone know your plan (return time).
using brightly colored lines, kites, and other gear.
your equipment carefully before launching (esp. your kite
to stay well hydrated, and to wear sunscreen.
be courteous to all other water users and spectators.
RESPECT THE LIFEGUARDS, HARBOR POLICE, COAST GUARD, etc.
If they request that you stop kiteboarding, please
comply, find out the reasons (without arguing), and then contact
the SoCal Kiteboarding Association.
NEVER KITEBOARD WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS!
have to work together to keep kiteboarding safe and access open.
Always keep an eye on what's going on around you.
Don't hesitate to ask questions or ask for help.
Accept help that's offered in the name of safety.
you are experienced, you have a position of responsibility.
Offer help in a friendly and RESPECTFUL manner
Treat anyone's potential kitemare as an event that's
personally detrimental to you and ALL other riders.
is a TEAM SPORT! An
alienated rider is out of reach and will likely disregard any and
all guidelines. Do
all you can to keep rider relations respectful and friendly.
Have fun, be safe,
and we'll see you on the water!