All posts by Herman

The Self Rescue

Failing to learn proper safety procedures can result in injury and could cost you your equipment!Get professional instruction. It will be better for you, your gear, others, and the sport in general.

Don’t Expect to Go Upwind.

This maneuver is not intended to drag you upwind.  Because the kite causes so much resistance in the water, you will drift slightly downwind as you head for shore.  This means that you should be riding in either onshore, side-onshore, or side shore winds.  Side offshore winds will also work, provided that you have a long beach.  To see a photo explanation, click here.

How is it Done?

If the kite isn’t already in the water, release the chicken loop to safely de-power it.  The objective is to hold both tips of the kite in your hands so you can use it like a sail, but first you need to deal with the bar and lines.  Once the kite is in the water:

1.Swim to your control bar.  Wind the line that the safety leash is attached to until all other lines have no tension.  When this happens, wrap them around the bar also.  The only line you want to have tension is the safety leash line. This way the kite will not re-power as you wind the lines.  But…Don’t spend too much time worrying with the lines; the point of the self rescue is to save yourself!

2.Once the lines are wrapped, secure them so they don’t unwind.

3.Swim to the closest wingtip of the kite.  Take the wingtip and hold it between your knees.

4.Crawl towards / pull the other wingtip to you.

5.Once you have both wingtips, grab them by the bridles (the front lines that attach to the kite) or by the self rescue handles (some kites have them sewn on wingtips).

6.Use the kite like a sail and drag yourself home!

Note:  If you find that you and your kite are pointing in the wrong direction, repeat steps 3-6, but start with the opposite wingtip.  For this to work, the kite-sail needs to be pointing towards the shore (i.e. the kite needs to be between you and the shore).

What if the Wind Dies?

If you are out riding and the wind suddenly stops, the steps above won’t do you any good.  In this case:

  1.     Wrap up your lines and secure them.
  2.     Grab the kite by a wingtip, hold your board in the other hand and kick your way to shore.

OR…Lie on top of the kite (on top of the middle strut) and paddle back.  It is easy to keep track of your board if you lie on top of it (but keep it outside the kite – the fins can damage the fabric)
——————————————————————————————————————–Please Note – You cannot learn to kiteboard exclusively from this website. This site is not intended to replace the personalized teachings (and corrections) that a professional instructor provides during lessons.

Self Launching Gone Bad…

What Can We Learn?

Education! That’s where it all begins. If you are not sure how to do something, and really want to learn, then you should research it for hours until you find a proper way to do it. And then try it in a safe and controlled environment (this is above and beyond your lessons – always take lessons!).

There are two safer methods to self launch a kite: the sandbagging method and the bow kite self launch method. If you don’t know how to do either, look them up on the internet – there are several great guides out there.

Just by looking at the method in this video, you can tell its wrong by noticing that:

  1. He is not attached to his chicken loop or safety leash before the kite starts to catch the wind. Never launch until you are fully hooked in and can depower the kite in emergency.
  2. The kite is left in ‘limbo’ for 5 or 10 seconds as he is moving back to the bar. Any kite that is unsecured and uncontrolled in the wind is dangerous – the slightest gust can blow it away so don’t do it!

In the end, the scariest part of this video is that it looks like a joke, but you never know. I have come across equally scary situations on kite beaches. Some of the things I have seen are much more subtle than the video above, and real bystanders were at risk.

I’ve seen people try to launch kites with crossed lines – one guy even tried to self launch with three 20 m lines and one 24 m line! The worst is, any stupid accident by an uneducated kiter could cause us all to lose access to the beach, and that’s not right. Take your lessons!

This is correct to self launch pls noted.