Posted on Leave a comment

Kitesurfing Rules of the Road – Part 2

So you’re kitesurfing away from the shore, out of the white water and riding on the open ocean. From here on things start to get a little bit more complicated as there are several laws which overlap and it’s up to you, in each given situation, to work out which one to apply.

The most important law and the one which normally takes precedence over the others in kitesurfing is the law of the starboard rider. If you don’t know your port and your starboard, port is left and starboard right. This can be easily remembered with the saying “there’s no port left in the bottle.” Hence the starboard rider is the one with his right foot forward or who is looking over his right shoulder. This applies when you’re riding heel side so if you riding heel side you right foot is forward and you’re looking over your right shoulder you’re riding on starboard tack and so have right of way. Simply reverse this if riding toe side, so you’ll be kitesurfing with your left foot foot forward looking over your left shoulder.

You’ll often hear, especially sailor types, screaming starboard at you as they pass you. Up till now I imagine you’ve blithely smiled back and maybe waved, totally ignorant of what they’re talking about. By screaming starboard they’re indicating that they are on a starboard tack and thus have right-of-way. Roughly translated as get out my way before I wrap my lines around your head!

As I said, this is a rule that will apply when you’re riding in the open ocean, but it’s not the only rule. We will cover these other rules in more detail in a later post. For the moment however if you have any comments or questions please leave them in the comments box below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Posted on Leave a comment

Kitesurfing – Rules of the Road Part 1

Kitesurfing - Rules of the Road
Kitesurfing - Rules of the Road

Kicking off a new series of posts on kitesurfing rules of the road, today we’re going to look at who has right of way when leaving the beach.

I was out kitesurfing the other day and after being cut up several times, having one guy ride up right behind me and basically force me onto the beach and then some other chump simply turn into me I thought I’d better do a few refreshers on basic kitesurfing etiquette and rules of the road as it seems very few people actually get it, or are ever taught it. Rules of the road are vital especially as spots get more crowded due to the increased popularity of kitesurfing. They help prevent collisions but also prevent too much stress appearing on the water, I really don’t want to see the day when kitesurfing becomes like surfing and there’s so much anger out there that people are literally fighting on the beach.

So this ones easy it simply states that the the kitesurfer leaving the beach has right of way over the kitesurfer coming into the beach. This rule is true as long as the rider leaving the beach it trying to get through the white water. As soon as they are ‘out back’ into the green un-breaking waves other rules will apply. But if your heading out from the beach and struggling with white water you have right of way.

The logic behind this rule is fairly obvious the rider trying to get over the white water is having a much harder time of it than any rider coming over the back of the waves and so should be given plenty of room to get themselves out of the impact zone in into the big blue.