ISO 21853: the new standard for kite bar quick-release systems

April 9, 2020 | Kiteboarding
Kite bars: quick-release systems must now be ISO 21853 compliant | Photo: GKA

The Global Kitesports Association (GKA) announced that a new international standard, ISO 21853, for quick-release systems has come into force.

The professional circuit which runs the wave kitesurfing and freestyle kiteboarding disciplines revealed that the safety standardization of all kite control bar quick-release systems is effective and valid since February 14, 2020.

The GKA worked with a team of engineers and experts alongside the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to set a new, internationally valid classification for this critical kite gear item.

"It's a milestone in kiteboarding safety. We want the kiteboarding industry to develop equipment that follows state-of-the-art safety requirements," GKA states.

"Simultaneously, we're making sure consumers know that the products that are available in the market fulfill all safety standards."

Pre-market testing and certification will be made at independent facilities.

The official ISO 21853 standard designation and label will then be added to all quick-release systems manufactured in the upcoming production cycles.

The New Kite Bar Quick Release Safety Standards

The ISO 21853 compliant kite bar quick-release system standards will:

  1. Apply to all countries worldwide;
  2. Overrule all national standards, including the French standard AFNOR;
  3. Set a new maximum release force standard of 170N or less;
  4. Set a new opening time equal to or less than 2 seconds in dry and clean conditions, dry sand, water with sand, non-salted water, and cold and wet conditions;
  5. Include a safety leash release system;
  6. Set the international standard on how to test release forces through standardized testing units and standardized testing procedures;
  7. Set the standard on other important safety parts of quick-release systems like percentage of signal color and strength of the material;
  8. Be tested at two independent, certified testing facilities: Fraunhofer Society, in Rostock, Germany, and Camosun College in Victoria, Canada. Only these institutions can issue an official conformity certificate;

The new ISO 21853 must be embossed on the quick-release system.

All products that have already been manufactured and marketed in 2020 may not add or adopt the safety standard, even if the equipment fulfills all technical ISO requirements.