Kiteboarding: learn the sailing rules and respect the safety procedures

Learn the fundamental rules of kiteboarding. Avoid collisions, and stay safe in the water.

Pay attention to the general rules of thumb and respect the priorities.


1. General Common Sense Rules on the Water

Avoid collision at all cost, even when you have the right of way;
Keep clear of less maneuverable watercrafts: all recreational watercrafts shall keep clear of large commercial ships; more maneuverable motorized watercrafts shall keep clear of all sailing watercrafts;
When it seems that an inexperienced boater is having problem controlling the boat properly, the experienced boaters should keep clear off the inexperienced boater even when the experienced boaters have the right of way (a boat with an inexperienced "captain" is considered as a less maneuverable watercraft);

2. Traditional Sailing Rules

Opposite tack rule: A boat on port tack with the wind on the port side shall keep clear of a boat on starboard tack;
Same tack rule: A boat to windward (upwind) shall keep clear of a boat to leeward (downwind);
Overtaking rule: An overtaking boat shall keep clear of the boat being overtaken;

3. Wave Sailing Rules

Opposite tack rule: A wave sailor coming in (surfing the wave in) shall keep clear of a wave sailor heading out (jumping the wave);
Same tack rule (on the wave): All wave sailors shall keep clear of a wave sailor in front of or nearest to the peak of the wave (the breaking part of the wave);
All kitesurfers shall keep clear of all surfers (surfers are less maneuverable than kitesurfers);

4. Minimum clearing distance for most watercrafts

WATER CRAFT

HIGHEST POINTS

MINIMUM CLEARING DISTANCE

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

Surfers

2.5 m

7.5 m

Kitesurfers have to keep clear of surfers all the times.

Personal Watercrafts

2 - 3 m

9 m

PWCs have to keep clear of the kitesurfer all the times.

Small to Medium Motorized Boats

5 m

15 m

Motorized boats have to keep clear of the kitesurfer all the times.

Windsurfers and Small Sailboats

5 m

15 m

Traditional and wave sailing rules should be applied.

Kitesurfers

2.5 m (upwind kite is high and downwind kite is low)

7.5 m

Traditional and wave sailing rule should be applied. Furthermore, the upwind kitesurfer should fly the kite higher than 45 degrees vertically and the downwind kitesurfer should fly the kite lower than 45 degree vertically.

Large Motorized Boats

10 - 15 m

30 - 45 m

Motorized boats have to keep clear of the kitesurfer all the time. If the large motorized boat is in narrow, restricted water for its size, the kitesurfer has to keep clear.

Medium Sailboats

10 - 15 m

30 - 45 m

Traditional sailing rules should be applied.

Large Sailboats

Very high

Line length

Traditional sailing rules should be applied. If the large sailboat is in narrow, restricted water for its size, the kitesurfer has to keep clear.

Commercial Ships

Very high

Line length

Kitesurfer has to keep clear of commercial ships all the times.


5. Learn the Modern Beaufort Wind Force Scale

The Beaufort Wind Force Scale is very important for amateur kiteboarders, but should also be taken into consideration by all experienced sailors. If you're riding in extreme wind conditions, the probabilities of damaging your sail are very high. Discover the information given by the Modern Beaufort Wind Force Scale.

Frances Osorio Rivera is just another kiteboarder. The only noticeable difference is that she rides the winds of her favorite spots with one only one leg.

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