Kiteboarding: do you know how to crash properly? | Photo: Van der Heide/Red Bull

Wipeouts are part of a kiteboarder's life, but learning how to control crashing follows basic safety procedures. Learn how to be safe when things don't go as planned.

Kiteboarding is not as safe as badminton, but it is not as dangerous as wingsuit flying.

As with any other sport, you've got to know what to do when the equipment fails or when you do something you shouldn't.

When you move from a beginner's level to intermediate and advanced stages, you tend to start pushing your limits.

However, in kiteboarding, progression may result in serious injuries, including sprains, cuts, fractures, and bruises.

The most frequent wipeouts occur when kiteboarders hit the skies and are confronted with Isaac Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation.

In other words, what goes up will inevitably come down. The early kite tricks often result in failure, like big airs.

So, is there a magic formula for crashing safely? Should we learn how to hit the water without major wounds?

Wiping Out in Kiteboarding 101

Yes, let's do it properly. When you're still up high in the air...

  1. Let go of the bar if you feel your trick is not going well or if you feel uncontrolled;
  2. Try to keep your orientation in the air;
  3. Estimate the time-to-impact;
  4. Be aware of the horizon;
  5. Protect your body by using your arms to defend your ribs;
  6. If necessary, get rid of the board in the air or get free of any lines;
  7. Try to hit the water at a flat angle;

When you feel the impact in the water:

  1. Let the air out of your lungs;
  2. Tuck up;
  3. Cross your arms over your chest;
  4. Press your chin onto your chest;
  5. Bend your knees to smooth the impact;

When you recover your composure:

  1. Get clear of any kite lines;
  2. Reestablish your orientation;
  3. Retrieve your kite bar and your board;
  4. Do you want to resume riding or get back to shore? Make your own decisions;
  5. Get your gear ready and relaunch;

Wearing a helmet and an impact vest/PFD, riding over deep waters, staying away from rocks, buildings, and other obstacles, and enjoying the session with a couple of friends are additional recommendations.

Take a look at the classic kiteboarding rules and safety sailing procedures, and discover how clouds might impact your riding.

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