A violent crash between a windsurfer and a kitesurfer

October 18, 2019 | Windsurfing
Windsurfing and kitesurfing: common sense rules help avoid accidents | Photo: Shutterstock

No one wants to get injured, especially when having fun in the water.

However, sometimes, accidents happen. And this time, in a dramatic collision between a windsurfer and a kitesurfer, the outcome could've been fatal.

In sailing, the first common sense rule tells us to "avoid collisions at all cost, even when you have the right of way."

However, in this particular case, the variables are not easy to interpret.

The kitesurfer seems to be a beginner, and the windsurfer apparently could've changed his course.

The basic safety kiteboarding rules also indicate that "the upwind kitesurfer should fly his kite higher than 45 degrees vertically, and the downwind kitesurfer should ride the kite lower than 45 degrees vertically."

Simultaneously, a kiteboarder should keep a minimum clearing distance of 7.5 meters from other watercraft.

It is also important to underline that windsurfers have priority over kiteboarders.

However, the kite slightly changed his direction - probably water starting - toward the windsurfer right before the crash.

Common Sense Should Prevail

Let us not forget that rules are directives and should not prevail over common sense.

The kiteboarder saw the windsurfer coming toward him fast, so he should've waited for him to pass by.

On the other side, the windsurfer should've slowed down and turned.

From a technical perspective, the kiteboarder was on starboard tack and had priority over the windsurfer.

But the overall analysis is not exactly clear, so you can't make a fair judgment in this case.

Ideally, kitesurfers should ride downwind of windsurfers and windsurfers upwind of kiteboarders.

As a conclusion, this was nothing but an accident. Everything happened too fast, and both riders had not enough time to make the best decisions.

Finally, don't forget that windsurfers should keep a distance of three masts from swimmers, surfers, and bodyboarders.

Take a look at windsurfing's right of way rules.