Kiteboarding: use the hand signals for communicating with others | Photo: Bradley/Red Bull

When a kiteboarder is in distress and verbal communication is not possible, hand signals can be used to communicate with rescuers and other people.

Accidents happen all the time, and kiteboarders should be open to asking for help if anything goes wrong with their equipment and they're injured and incapable of returning to shore.

So, if you're trying to communicate with someone who is too far away, use the internationally standardized hand signals for kiteboarding defined by World Sailing.

There are ten different safety hand gestures that you can use to inform others of your current status or what you plan to do.

You can also use these visual signals while on the beach, for instance, when launching the kite with the help of a partner or learning to kite with a certified instructor.

1. Thumbs Up

"Everything is OK," or "I am ready to launch the kite."

2. Tap The Head With The Palm Of The Hand

"I want to land my kite."

3. Point Both Arms To The Left Or Right

"Travel in that direction."

4. Flat Palm Of The Hand Facing The Person

"Wait" or "Stop."

5. Point Hands Straight Up To The Sky

"Move your kite into the zenith/12 o'clock position."

6. Push Both Hands From The Waist Outwards And Repeatedly

"Release the safety system."

7. Wave Both Arms Repeatedly Above Your Head

"I am in distress and need help."

8. Lift Your Arm And Circle Your Finger

"I want to change my riding direction."

9. Wave Your Forearm Horizontally In Front Of Your Chest

"Abort the launching of the kite."

10. Put A Flat Hand In Front Of Your Forehead

"I have lost my equipment."

Additionally, make sure you know the right-of-way rules in kiteboarding and that you follow the basic safety sailing procedures.

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