As kitesurf instructors it is common to hear from new students the fear of getting hurt, thanks to the misinformation about the sport. It is now confirmed that kitesurfing is a safe sport, just as safe as skiing, for example. As long as the basic rules of safety, prudence and common sense are followed.
Choose a serious school
If you are about to enter for the first time in the world of kitesurfing is key to select a kitesurfing school that guarantees your safety, and that is for its part assumes the responsibility to explain the safety rules in kitesurfing, so that you can successfully control the kite both at sea and out of it, under the supervision of a professional expert.
It is strongly discouraged that a friend is the one who teaches you how to practice the sport, even if he says he knows what he is doing, for the following reasons: equipment and material, liability and accident insurance, emergency plans and safety devices and weather conditions forecast.
In Tarifa we have the best professionals in kitesurfing with more than 10 years of experience, no doubt with us you will be safe, go to our website to learn more about the places where we teach and meet our highly qualified instructors.
Safety factors in kitesurfing
Accidents can happen, as in any sport, although this is preventable as long as the safety factors are taken into account. Here are some of them:
- Weather conditions: It is important to check some page or application that warns you about any change in the weather, such as, rains, gusts, tide changes, etc. The best site we can recommend is Windguru. If you want, we explain how to understand Windguru.
- Good condition of the equipment: It is very important the state of our equipment are in optimal conditions, to prevent possible accidents.
- Navigation rules: The rules exist for a reason, it is important to respect and comply with them, it is not advisable under any circumstances to sail too far from the coast, because of the risk of equipment breakage.
- Do not sail in thunderstorms: It seems obvious, but many athletes have ignored this rule and suffered the consequences. It is well known that the kite is a perfect lightning rod, and with a certain distance you can see how electricity is generated in the bar.
- Do not wait for the wind on the shore: Being on the shore is important when landing the kite, since accidents mostly occur due to an error on land.
- Never lift the kite in danger zones: It is a serious mistake to focus the kite in the direction of the sea, since it is most likely to take us dragged.
- Emergency plans: Every kite school has its emergency plans in order to minimize possible risks, the instructor must be trained with boats and evacuation services ready to be used in case of any unforeseen event.
The perfect wind for kitesurfing is the on-shore wind, also known as on-shore, this is because in case of any eventuality, it will be the wind itself who will take us back to shore.
The wind that is not recommended for sailing is the off-shore wind, that is, the wind that blows towards the sea. If you decide to sail in the presence of this wind, it is advisable to have a means of rescue at hand, such as a support boat. For this reason it is important to always check a reliable site that indicates the weather conditions,
Nowadays there are hundreds of kitesurfing spots all over the world. However, before embarking on a new trip it is important to know in which spot we want to practice according to our needs, for this it is important that we look at the following:
- Find a place free of obstacles: In Los Lances beach you will find the perfect conditions, since it is located in a space free of buildings or trees that affect the wind conditions.
- Respect the bathers’ area: Kiteboarding is not allowed in the bathers’ area, both areas are separated by law.
- Sandy beach: The sand conditions also affect this sport, it is preferable to be on a beach free of rocks or other obstacles, due to the risk of injuries related to impact.
- Common sense: If you find a place with many kites and you see another one where there is no one sailing, there will be some reason, so do not risk sailing where there is no one who can help you.
The kite equipment is constantly evolving both in its presentation and safety, for this reason it is important to keep updated and renew the equipment whenever necessary. It is dangerous kitesurfing if we implement materials that are more than 4 years old. So it is important to pay attention to these details and perform the corresponding maintenance. We recommend that you always check the following.
- The state of the bar lines and trimming.
- That the kite does not lose air due to possible deterioration.
- The condition of the vest, helmet and booties.
Kitesurfing in company
Practicing a sport with friends or family will always make the situation more fun and above all safer. In case of emergency your friends may be able to help you. If you decide to kitesurf alone, it is also advisable to notify someone where you will be and at what time you plan to return. No matter how experienced you are, remember that all sports have a risk and kitesurfing is no exception. The idea of having someone else around you watching is because in case of any eventuality capable of incapacitating you, the other person will be able to notify you and help assist you.
Minimum safety distance in kitesurfing
The minimum safety distance in kitesurfing is 60 m. The reason there is a minimum distance is because of the risk of losing control of the equipment and kite falling or impacting another kiteboarder. This distance must be maintained to the general public and to other kiteboarders without exception. Remember to always comply with this safety rule, especially when you are going to perform a jump or maneuver, so never forget to be aware of your surroundings.
Master body dragging
Once you have mastered the basics and have control of the equipment, you can move on to the next step, which is how to body drag. It is important to know that we can never go against the wind, so we must be feeling and learning how it works and where it goes to be able to flow with it.
Do not kitesurf when you are tired
It is not recommended under any circumstances to practice in a state of exhaustion, it is not a safety rule in kitesurfing established by law, but it is also inadvisable, because when sailing we make many muscles work, highlighting the biceps, triceps, dorsals, lumbar, etc.. So if you are already exhausted and you still dare to practice you could end up tearing a muscle or even worse the same fatigue does not let you coordinate properly, you lose control of the equipment and you generate an injury because of the fall.
I’m Sergio Turégano and I’ve been practicing kite for 10 years. Since I was little I was passionate about the sea and I started to jump into the water with boards since I can remember, I’ve tried body, surf and windsurf but kitesurfing is my passion. I was champion of the Kitesurf TT:R Open World Championship in 2017 and I have been runner-up of Spain in the Junior category. Now I dedicate my life to enjoy kitesurfing as much as I can and teach others how to practice this amazing sport in Tarifa. I love to write about it and share all my tricks, tips and secrets about the kite world.