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RE: [ksurf] NEW GUIDELINES

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  • dave@dcss.org
    ... You may call me preachy, but Stefano, some of your friends *are* giving up kitesurfing. They are dying from it. ... You are *never* safer hooked in than
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 2, 2004
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      >=== Sure dave but the way some of your rules are "set in stone" I might as
      >well give up kitesurfing !

      You may call me "preachy," but Stefano, some of your friends *are*
      giving up kitesurfing. They are dying from it.

      >Never launch or land hooked in. Period. No, not just this once, and no, not
      >when you're "experienced." Never. If you're not ready to sail, don't launch.
      >
      >=== On most launches - its safer if I am hooked in because I have more
      >control of the kite. If I am not hooked in there are good chances that it
      >will be more difficult to control the kite. Sure I can let go but is that
      >what we want ? Jerks like me letting go of the kite because of lack of
      >control ? (I will take notice that LEI kites are better in this respect but
      >arcs need significant AOA control when launching, they are safer launched
      >that way as you can stall them easily)

      You are *never* safer hooked in than not. All the "control" in the
      world will not stop your crashing into those
      pilings/buildings/trees/parking lot when you get lofted on
      launch--and more importantly when you come in, tired and dull. If I
      told you I'd stand there with a shotgun and shoot you if you launched
      hooked in, I'll bet you could find a suitable substitution--with good
      control. Further, I bet it would be a better solution than launching
      hooked in. Go and find it; the "shotguns" are getting closer and more
      powerful.

      >
      >Never launch or land with anything big and hard 3 line-lengths or closer to
      >leeward. Imagine you need to jump over it. Sooner or later you will.
      >
      >=== Side on winds mostly around here. That means I need a beach that is 100
      >meters wide ! I don't think ive ever been at a beach that big.

      No, if it's side on, you only need 70 meters. ;-) Look, parachutists
      cannot just play at their sport anywhere there's an open space.
      Neither can flyers. Sometimes they must drive long distances in order
      to find safe places to play. Know that if you play in dangerous
      places, you are likely to get hurt. It's just common sense.

      Then again, if you've got 20 meters of beach, backed by 80 meters of
      scrub brush, and you don't mind a few bruises/scrapes--then you have
      a launch zone. If you have 20 meters of beach, then a rock wall or a
      highway, well, you have a really pretty place to get killed.

      Look at the accident statistics. They *all* share these common
      threads. Hooked in, no room to leeward, exhausted sailors, poor
      choice of jumping targets. These deaths are *preventable.*

      My friend, you don't actually have to be hit by a truck to believe
      that highways are dangerous. Believe that dangerous kitesurfing can
      kill.

      Dave
    • flkitesurfer
      Thanks for the input guys. I have tried to simplify and shorten these guidelines over the years. Unfortunately the abundance and diversity of accidents keeps
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 3, 2004
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        Thanks for the input guys. I have tried to simplify and shorten
        these guidelines over the years. Unfortunately the abundance and
        diversity of accidents keeps increasing the length.

        To a degree, the Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines represent an idealized
        set of conditions or movement in that direction at any rate. If you
        ignore or diminish some of the factors, in theory you are increasing
        the odds of an accident. Some modifications have a higher risk than
        others of course. Still, forewarned is forearmed. If you are aware
        of the hazards, take reasonable precautions to minimize them as best
        you can, and critically ACCEPT that you are placing yourself at
        greater risk for your decision, so be it. That is as long as others
        aren't put at risk by your choices. Some guys have little choice as
        to launch areas while others merely need to drive a bit further for
        a safer launch.

        Nothing is all that easy anymore. Then again, who ever said it
        was?! At least when the wind is on, the sport is GREAT!

        FKA, Inc.

        transcribed by:
        Rick Iossi

        --- In kitesurf@yahoogroups.com, "Rick Iossi" <flkitesurfer@h...>
        wrote:
        > The latest draft update of the Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines in a
        LONG series
        > of updates over the years appears below. As always, constructive
        input is
        > welcome.
        >
        > Thanks!
        >
        > FKA, Inc.
        > transcribed by:
        > Rick Iossi
        >
        > SAFE KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES – February 2, 2004
        >
        > The following ideas are presented to try to improve kiteboarder
        and
        > bystander safety, to reduce complaints and attempt to preserve our
        access to
        > ride. These ideas have been taken from the analysis of over 100
        accidents
        > that have happened worldwide over several years. Many of these
        accidents
        > might have been avoided if a bit more knowledge and care were
        used.
        > Kiteboarding can be hazardous to the rider and to bystanders,
        particularly
        > if practiced without adequate training, safety gear, knowledge and
        caution.
        > NOTE: Riders must accept that even if these guidelines are
        followed, that
        > accidents, injury and even death may occur in the "extreme sport"
        of
        > kiteboarding. Kites can exert very substantial force with little
        to no
        > warning with sudden gusts, improper line attachment, mishandling,
        etc.,
        > resulting in dragging and/or lofting, possibly with no time to
        effectively
        > react. And, NO "you can't always just let go or kill the power of
        the
        > kite," as many accidents have established. Your ability to safely
        depower
        > your kite in an emergency will weigh heavily on your technique,
        preparation
        > and reliability of your gear.
        >
        > Kiteboarders should consider these ideas, area specific guidelines
        if
        > applicable along with other prudent and safe practices appropriate
        for local
        > conditions. Cutting corners or picking and choosing safe
        kiteboarding
        > practices can seriously reduce the rider's factor of safety and
        increase the
        > odds of an accident. Seek local, competent knowledge regarding
        safe local
        > practices as special precautions may be indicated beyond those
        discussed
        > here. Safety automatically increases to some degree once the rider
        becomes
        > both aware of and takes potential hazards seriously. By contrast,
        ignorance
        > and indifference raise the hazard level substantially and have
        frequently
        > been a factor in avoidable accidents. These guidelines have been
        updated
        > frequently over the years, so please check the FKA website for the
        latest
        > version. Don't use old versions of these guidelines as important
        changes
        > occur with new knowledge gained over time.
        >
        > GENERAL SAFETY GUIDELINES
        >
        > 1. JUMP TO HELP KITEBOARDERS. Readily help other riders with
        launching and
        > landing using reliable agreed upon visual and audible
        communications.
        > Whether you are starting out or are almost a pro, your help may
        avoid a
        > serious incident/accident and possible restrictions. NEVER grab
        the lines of
        > a flying or powered kite. Get involved with your local
        association or club
        > and with area riders to try to preserve access to kiteboard.
        Riders are
        > solely responsible for their safety and that of effected
        bystanders. If you
        > are new to an area or visiting, seek out local kiteboarders, shops
        and/or
        > associations for local guidelines and tips BEFORE riding. Don't
        ruin things
        > for the local riders.
        >
        > 2. GET ADEQUATE PRO KITEBOARDING TRAINING. Kiteboarders,
        particularly
        > beginners should seek adequate, quality professional instruction.
        Beginners
        > must avoid crowded areas particularly as kite control is still
        being
        > developed. Beginners should body drag out at least 300 ft. (60m)
        from shore
        > prior to water starting and should always stay out of guarded or
        restricted
        > beach areas. Be careful in your launch area selection and be
        willing to
        > drive and walk a bit further to have more ideal conditions. Build
        your skill
        > and experience carefully, you will advance faster for your
        effort. Riders
        > have been injured for choosing poor launches when far safer
        conditions were
        > relatively close by. Be particularly careful in new conditions and
        at the
        > START and END of the riding season. Many accidents occur in these
        times
        > even among experienced riders. In kiteboarding, "DISTANCE IS YOUR
        FRIEND,"
        > so use it!
        >
        > 3. KITEBOARD WITHIN YOUR LIMITS. Know your equipment's
        limitations as well
        > as your own. If you aren't 100% healthy OR IN DOUBT, DON'T FLY!
        You should
        > be comfortable with conditions and your gear otherwise, don't
        launch and
        > "live to fly another day." Always maintain an energy reserve
        while out
        > kiteboarding. Hydrate regularly and wear adequate exposure
        clothing
        > (wetsuit/dry suit), to deal with unexpected time in the water.
        Cold water
        > kiteboarding requires additional critically important precautions
        as
        > compared to warmer conditions and are beyond the scope of these
        guidelines.
        > Don't kiteboard alone or further from shore than you are readily
        able to
        > swim in from.
        >
        > 4. USE A KITE LEASH, QUICK RELEASE, HELMET, IMPACT VEST and other
        reasonable
        > safety gear. Make sure you have proper safety equipment, such as
        a tested,
        > well maintained kite depowering leash securely attached to your
        body, a good
        > well fitting helmet, impact vest, gloves, whistle and hook knife.
        Most
        > kiteboarding fatalities involve head injury. A good helmet for
        kiteboarding,
        > MAY aid in reducing injury and improve the chance of survival in
        many but
        > not necessarily all impacts. A helmet is NO excuse to kiteboard
        carelessly.
        > Regularly test and maintain a reliable chicken loop or kite
        depowering
        > release. Relying upon manual unhooking alone to release your bar
        is
        > UNRELIABLE based upon the accident experience. The rider needs to
        understand
        > and accept that in an emergency, this quick release MAY NOT be
        accessible or
        > function correctly in the critical seconds of the emergency. It is
        up to the
        > rider to avoid the emergency in the first place and to aid proper
        function
        > of the release through practice and maintenance.
        >
        > 5. LAUNCH, RIDE AND LAND WELL AWAY FROM BYSTANDERS. Give way to
        the public
        > on the beach and in the water at ALL TIMES. Be courteous and
        polite to
        > bystanders. Complaints have frequently led to bans and
        restrictions on
        > kiteboarding in some areas and continue to do so on a regular
        basis. NEVER
        > launch, ride or land upwind of nearby bystanders. Work to keep a
        minimum
        > 300 ft. (100 m) buffer zone from bystanders.
        >
        > 6. BE AWARE OF THE WEATHER. Is the forecast and current weather
        > acceptable, free of pending storm clouds and excessive gusty
        winds? Color
        > radar can sometimes give a clue as to violent storm/gust
        potential. Are
        > seas and wind condition within your experience, ability and
        appropriate for
        > your gear? New kiters should practice in lighter, side or side
        onshore
        > winds. Onshore winds have a much higher injury rate even among
        experienced
        > riders and should be avoided. Offshore winds should be avoided in
        the
        > absence of a chase boat. If storm clouds are moving in, land and
        thoroughly
        > disable your kite well in advance of any change in wind or
        temperature, if
        > necessary depower your kite while still away from shore. Lightning
        can
        > strike many miles ahead of storm clouds. Learn about unstable
        weather in
        > your area and work to avoid squalls and storms through TV, radio
        and
        > Internet information. Consider organizing an alert air horn and
        flag signal
        > for your launch as a warning to riders of pending unstable weather.
        >
        > PREFLIGHT CHECKLIST
        >
        > 1. USE GOOD LAUNCH AREAS. Make sure your launch is open, FREE
        OF DOWNWIND
        > BYSTANDERS, hard objects, nearby power lines, buildings and walls,
        etc.
        > within at least 300 ft. (100 m), and preferably more particularly
        in higher
        > wind. Too many riders have slammed into walls, parked cars, trees
        with
        > better launches not so far away at all. Some riders have needed
        in excess
        > of 600 ft. (200 m), to regain control in violent dragging or
        loftings in
        > higher winds. Avoid kiteboarding near airports and in low flight
        path areas,
        > complaints have led to restricted access in some areas. Never fly
        your kite
        > in the path of low aircraft in flight, moving your kite low to the
        water at
        > the first indication of inbound aircraft.
        >
        > 2. WHAT SIZE KITE ARE OTHER RIDERS USING? Check to see what size
        kite other
        > kiteboarders are rigging and get their input on conditions. Try to
        select a
        > kite size for the lower to middle part of the wind range. Do not
        rig too
        > large a kite for conditions and carefully consider advice of more
        > experienced riders. Failure to act on prudent advice has cost
        some riders
        > severe injury and even death. If you don't have a small enough
        kite to
        > safely launch, DON'T!
        >
        > 3. CHECK & REPAIR YOUR GEAR BEFORE YOU FLY. Check your kite for
        tears or
        > leaky bladders. If you have leaky bladders or tears in your kite,
        repair
        > them before flying. Check ALL kite, harness, and control bar
        lines, webbing,
        > pigtails, bridles, the chicken loop and leaders for knots, cuts,
        wear or
        > abrasion. If the line sheathing shows any breaks or knots, replace
        them. The
        > pigtails should be replaced no less frequently than every 6 months
        on
        > inflatable kites. Inspect and test your quick release.
        Frequently, mentally
        > and physically rehearse pulling your quick release in an imagined
        emergency
        > situation. Make sure your flying lines are equal as they will
        stretch
        > unevenly with use. If they have knots that can't be easily untied,
        replace
        > your flight lines. Do not casually make changes to manufactured
        equipment.
        > What ever you do must work reliably in what conditions may come.
        >
        > 4. AVOID SOLO LAUNCHING. Solo launching and landing are NOT
        recommended and
        > should be avoided particularly in stronger winds. Launch with a
        trained
        > assistant, using reliable audible and visual signals. If solo
        launching
        > make sure your kite is properly anchored with a substantial
        quantity of sand
        > to avoid premature launch. Never use untrained bystanders to help
        you launch
        > or land. Riders have been severely injured by making this easy
        mistake. Rig
        > your kite for solo launch at the last minute and launch without
        delay AFTER
        > CAREFUL PREFLIGHTING as serious accidents have happened in only
        minutes
        > during this stage. If you leave the kite unattended, wrap up your
        lines,
        > deflate the kite's leading edge and roll it up. It is best to
        place the kite
        > in a bag to avoid UV and wind damage.
        >
        > 5. CROSSED KITE LINES CAN WRECK YOUR DAY. Launching with crossed
        or snagged
        > lines has maimed quite a few kiteboarders as the kite tends to fly
        up at
        > very high speed, dragging or lofting the rider into a nearby hard
        objects
        > faster than they can react. Walk down your lines and examine them
        > carefully. Pick your bar up and carefully look down the lines for
        twists,
        > tangles or snags that could cause the kite to be dangerously
        uncontrollable.
        > While you are holding your bar up look down the lines, shake your
        bar to
        > make sure the center lines are connected to the leading edge of
        the kite. Be
        > particularly careful, slow and methodical in high winds. Multiple,
        careful
        > preflighting in higher winds is strongly advised. Rigging "Kook
        Proof"
        > connectors on our kite and lines is easily done with most kites
        and should
        > be rigged on all your kites and bars.
        >
        > LAUNCHING AND GETTING UNDERWAY
        >
        > 1. LAUNCH & LAND UNHOOKED WITH A GOOD BUFFER ZONE. Avoid hooking
        in or
        > connecting with your quick release, while onshore or near hard
        objects.
        > Practice LAUNCHING AND LANDING "UNHOOKED" or not connected to your
        chicken
        > loop. Pull in your trim strap or rope entirely or to a point that
        will allow
        > stable kite flight with existing wind conditions, to properly
        depower the
        > kite before launching and so that you can readily hold the bar and
        release
        > it if necessary. Always maintain minimum clear downwind buffer
        zones,
        > particularly while flying unhooked. Physically and mentally
        rehearse
        > managing emergency situations including just "letting go" of your
        bar.
        > Connect to your quick release once you are well offshore.
        >
        > 2. KEEP IT LOW & GO! … to try to avoid lofting or involuntary
        lifting. DO
        > NOT bring your kite much above 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 m) from the
        ground and
        > NEVER to the vertical, within 300 ft. (100 m) of shore or any hard
        object.
        > Never launch, fly or land upwind and close to the shore or hard
        objects or
        > stand on the beach for extended with your kite in the air. This
        careless
        > practice has killed and maimed riders. This practice MAY reduce
        the chance
        > of lofting but may also promote dragging and serious injury in
        gusty/strong
        > wind conditions. So, if you are dragged be ready to depower
        instantly and
        > ideally before the dragging starts in the first place. HAZARD
        AVOIDANCE IS
        > THE KEY along with rapid preemptive, rehearsed actions. Do not
        fly your
        > kite near vertical or sloped surfaces that can cause uplift and
        sudden
        > dragging/lofting (walls, buildings, hills, tree lines, etc,).
        Avoid thermal
        > generating areas as sudden thermal lofting can occur. Launch in
        the
        > appropriate part of the wind window to avoid "hot" or over-powered
        downwind
        > launches. Make sure that there are no bystanders within your
        downwind
        > buffer zone or close by in general.
        >
        > 3. GET OFFSHORE AND STAY THERE. Go offshore at least 300 ft. (100
        M)
        > WITHOUT DELAY after launch. Stay beyond 300 ft. until time to come
        in. If
        > there are substantial waves where you need to put on your board
        consider
        > body dragging outside the breaker zone first. The fun is
        offshore, danger
        > to the rider & bystanders is near shore where most of the hard
        stuff is
        > located.
        >
        > 4. YIELD THE RIGHT OF WAY. Yield the right of way to all others
        in the
        > water. Riders must yield to others when jumping, to anyone on your
        right
        > hand side and to launching riders. When in doubt, STOP.
        Kiteboarders
        > should not jump within a buffer zone of at least two hundred feet
        (60 m) of
        > others and objects that are downwind. Always be aware of the
        position of
        > your lines relative to others, line cuts can be severe and tangled
        lines
        > with another kite, deadly.
        >
        > 5. BOARD LEASHES ARE DANGEROUS. All kiteboarders are encouraged
        to master
        > body dragging for board recovery. Use of a board leash is
        dangerous and is
        > generally discouraged due to the hazards of board rebound or wave
        driven
        > impact. Injuries have happened with both fixed length and reel
        leashes.
        > Wearing a helmet and impact vest is always advised but may not
        provide
        > adequate projection against board impact as the boards can and
        have
        > violently hit any part of the rider and have penetrated helmets.
        If there
        > is risk of your loose board hitting bathers, find another launch.
        >
        > 6. DON'T GET LOFTED! Lofting or involuntarily lifting isone of
        the
        > greatest hazards of kiteboarding. Avoiding unstable weather,
        keeping your
        > kite low and getting offshore without delay are only a few of the
        measures
        > necessary to avoid this threat. If despite all precautions you
        are dragged
        > or lofted a short distance AND have time to react, depower your
        kite as soon
        > as you start to pause. You will likely be dulled by shock so
        mentally
        > rehearse depowering immediately under such circumstances.
        Depowering
        > ideally should occur before you are lofted, still offshore and
        away from
        > hard objects. Multiple gusts can hit over a short period and you
        may be
        > lofted a second or third time, so ACT to depower your kite as soon
        as you
        > can. DO NOT ASSUME that you will have a lull between loftings,
        sometimes you
        > do and sometimes you don't. If you are air born over land, it is
        uncertain
        > how and if you will come out of things. Focus on controlling your
        kite with
        > small control inputs to avoid stalling the kite. Some have
        advised keeping
        > the kite overhead AFTER you are lofted and to try to gently steer
        towards
        > the least hazardous are to impact. Other riders have said that
        reversing
        > direction or transitioning after lofting has helped to reduce
        forward speed.
        > It would be wise to accept and plan for the fact that YOU CAN BE
        LOFTED AT
        > ANYTIME you have a kite in the air.
        >
        > LANDING
        >
        > 1. USE ASSISTED LANDINGS BUT … SOLO DEPOWER IMMEDITELY IF
        NECESSARY!
        > Approach the shore slowly with caution. Keep your kite low
        (ideally within
        > 10 to 20 ft. of the surface), to try avoid lofting. Take care to
        avoid
        > causing an accidental jump in well powered conditions while
        approaching the
        > shore. Arrange for assisted landings at least 300 ft. (100 m)
        from
        > bystanders, power lines, vertical surfaces, etc.. NEVER not use
        > non-kiteboarders for assisted launches or landings, as use of
        bystanders has
        > resulted in severe rider injuries. Use mutually understood hand
        and voice
        > signals to improve launch and landing safety. Riders have been
        killed
        > standing around looking for an assisted landing when gusts have
        hit. IF IN
        > ANY DOUBT, DEPOWER YOUR KITE even if you are still offshore. ALL
        riders
        > should be comfortable with depowering their kite immediately even
        in deep
        > water and swimming in to avoid being lofted or dragged in sudden
        gusting
        > winds.
        >
        > 2. STOW YOUR GEAR. Properly anchor (or ideally deflate your
        leading edge
        > and roll up your kite), disconnect and wind up your kite lines. Do
        not allow
        > your kite to be accidentally launched. Kites should be placed in
        a safe
        > area well out of bystander and vehicular traffic.
        >
        > © FKA, Inc. 2002,2003,2004
        >
        > LOCAL KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES FOR ______________________________
        > (e.g. necessary area specific precautions and restrictions )
        > 1.
        > 2.
        > 3.
        >
        > An example follows:
        > LOCAL KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES FOR BOCA RATON, FL
        > The following guidelines have been prepared to aid kiteboarding
        safety and
        > access privileges at the City of Boca Raton Beach in the vicinity
        of Spanish
        > River Blvd. These practices and other appropriate procedures
        should be
        > followed while kiteboarding off this beach.
        >
        > 1. New kitesurfers must seek adequate, proper instruction BEFORE
        or while
        > kiteboarding here.
        >
        > 2. Launch and land north of lifeguard stand #20 located due east
        of Spanish
        > River Blvd. No launching or landing is permitted at guarded
        beaches.
        >
        > _________________________________________________________________
        > What are the 5 hot job markets for 2004? Click here to find out.
        >
        http://msn.careerbuilder.com/Custom/MSN/CareerAdvice/WPI_WhereWillWeF
        indJobsIn2004.htm?siteid=CBMSN3006&sc_extcmp=JS_wi08_dec03_hotmail1
      • gheilig
        Thank you to Rick Iossi and the FKA for posting these essential safety guidelines. I am new to kitesurfing and definitely appreciate this information. I have
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 3, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          Thank you to Rick Iossi and the FKA for posting these essential
          safety guidelines.

          I am new to kitesurfing and definitely appreciate this information. I
          have received instruction and am at the point of flying my kite
          reasonably comfortably on the beach (away from people and
          obstacles!). I have not yet hit the water yet.

          I feel that the kitesurfing industry should require certification for
          use of its equipment much like the scuba industry does for its
          equipment.

          I love my instructor and the shop that recommended him, but they did
          not even come close in giving the information included below.

          Can anyone recommend a kite camp that provides the same level of
          safety information provided in your previous message? I need a
          kitecamp because I need to "immerse" myself in this sport to get
          comfortable doing it. I have many years of scuba, surfing,
          skateboarding, and snowboarding experience behind me so I am no
          stranger to boarding or ocean "extreme" sports.

          Sincerely,
          Greg Heilig




          --- In kitesurf@yahoogroups.com, "Rick Iossi" <flkitesurfer@h...>
          wrote:
          > The latest draft update of the Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines in a
          LONG series
          > of updates over the years appears below. As always, constructive
          input is
          > welcome.
          >
          > Thanks!
          >
          > FKA, Inc.
          > transcribed by:
          > Rick Iossi
          >
          > SAFE KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES – February 2, 2004
          >
          > The following ideas are presented to try to improve kiteboarder and
          > bystander safety, to reduce complaints and attempt to preserve our
          access to
          > ride. These ideas have been taken from the analysis of over 100
          accidents
          > that have happened worldwide over several years. Many of these
          accidents
          > might have been avoided if a bit more knowledge and care were
          used.
          > Kiteboarding can be hazardous to the rider and to bystanders,
          particularly
          > if practiced without adequate training, safety gear, knowledge and
          caution.
          > NOTE: Riders must accept that even if these guidelines are
          followed, that
          > accidents, injury and even death may occur in the "extreme sport"
          of
          > kiteboarding. Kites can exert very substantial force with little to
          no
          > warning with sudden gusts, improper line attachment, mishandling,
          etc.,
          > resulting in dragging and/or lofting, possibly with no time to
          effectively
          > react. And, NO "you can't always just let go or kill the
          power of
          the
          > kite," as many accidents have established. Your ability to
          safely
          depower
          > your kite in an emergency will weigh heavily on your technique,
          preparation
          > and reliability of your gear.
          >
          > Kiteboarders should consider these ideas, area specific guidelines
          if
          > applicable along with other prudent and safe practices appropriate
          for local
          > conditions. Cutting corners or picking and choosing safe
          kiteboarding
          > practices can seriously reduce the rider's factor of safety and
          increase the
          > odds of an accident. Seek local, competent knowledge regarding
          safe local
          > practices as special precautions may be indicated beyond those
          discussed
          > here. Safety automatically increases to some degree once the rider
          becomes
          > both aware of and takes potential hazards seriously. By contrast,
          ignorance
          > and indifference raise the hazard level substantially and have
          frequently
          > been a factor in avoidable accidents. These guidelines have been
          updated
          > frequently over the years, so please check the FKA website for the
          latest
          > version. Don't use old versions of these guidelines as
          important
          changes
          > occur with new knowledge gained over time.
          >
          > GENERAL SAFETY GUIDELINES
          >
          > 1. JUMP TO HELP KITEBOARDERS. Readily help other riders with
          launching and
          > landing using reliable agreed upon visual and audible
          communications.
          > Whether you are starting out or are almost a pro, your help may
          avoid a
          > serious incident/accident and possible restrictions. NEVER grab the
          lines of
          > a flying or powered kite. Get involved with your local association
          or club
          > and with area riders to try to preserve access to kiteboard. Riders
          are
          > solely responsible for their safety and that of effected
          bystanders. If you
          > are new to an area or visiting, seek out local kiteboarders, shops
          and/or
          > associations for local guidelines and tips BEFORE riding. Don't
          ruin things
          > for the local riders.
          >
          > 2. GET ADEQUATE PRO KITEBOARDING TRAINING. Kiteboarders,
          particularly
          > beginners should seek adequate, quality professional instruction.
          Beginners
          > must avoid crowded areas particularly as kite control is still
          being
          > developed. Beginners should body drag out at least 300 ft. (60m)
          from shore
          > prior to water starting and should always stay out of guarded or
          restricted
          > beach areas. Be careful in your launch area selection and be
          willing to
          > drive and walk a bit further to have more ideal conditions. Build
          your skill
          > and experience carefully, you will advance faster for your effort.
          Riders
          > have been injured for choosing poor launches when far safer
          conditions were
          > relatively close by. Be particularly careful in new conditions and
          at the
          > START and END of the riding season. Many accidents occur in these
          times
          > even among experienced riders. In kiteboarding, "DISTANCE IS
          YOUR
          FRIEND,"
          > so use it!
          >
          > 3. KITEBOARD WITHIN YOUR LIMITS. Know your equipment's
          limitations
          as well
          > as your own. If you aren't 100% healthy OR IN DOUBT, DON'T FLY!
          You
          should
          > be comfortable with conditions and your gear otherwise, don't
          launch and
          > "live to fly another day." Always maintain an energy
          reserve while
          out
          > kiteboarding. Hydrate regularly and wear adequate exposure clothing
          > (wetsuit/dry suit), to deal with unexpected time in the water. Cold
          water
          > kiteboarding requires additional critically important precautions
          as
          > compared to warmer conditions and are beyond the scope of these
          guidelines.
          > Don't kiteboard alone or further from shore than you are
          readily
          able to
          > swim in from.
          >
          > 4. USE A KITE LEASH, QUICK RELEASE, HELMET, IMPACT VEST and other
          reasonable
          > safety gear. Make sure you have proper safety equipment, such as a
          tested,
          > well maintained kite depowering leash securely attached to your
          body, a good
          > well fitting helmet, impact vest, gloves, whistle and hook knife.
          Most
          > kiteboarding fatalities involve head injury. A good helmet for
          kiteboarding,
          > MAY aid in reducing injury and improve the chance of survival in
          many but
          > not necessarily all impacts. A helmet is NO excuse to kiteboard
          carelessly.
          > Regularly test and maintain a reliable chicken loop or kite
          depowering
          > release. Relying upon manual unhooking alone to release your bar is
          > UNRELIABLE based upon the accident experience. The rider needs to
          understand
          > and accept that in an emergency, this quick release MAY NOT be
          accessible or
          > function correctly in the critical seconds of the emergency. It is
          up to the
          > rider to avoid the emergency in the first place and to aid proper
          function
          > of the release through practice and maintenance.
          >
          > 5. LAUNCH, RIDE AND LAND WELL AWAY FROM BYSTANDERS. Give way to
          the public
          > on the beach and in the water at ALL TIMES. Be courteous and polite
          to
          > bystanders. Complaints have frequently led to bans and restrictions
          on
          > kiteboarding in some areas and continue to do so on a regular
          basis. NEVER
          > launch, ride or land upwind of nearby bystanders. Work to keep a
          minimum
          > 300 ft. (100 m) buffer zone from bystanders.
          >
          > 6. BE AWARE OF THE WEATHER. Is the forecast and current weather
          > acceptable, free of pending storm clouds and excessive gusty winds?
          Color
          > radar can sometimes give a clue as to violent storm/gust
          potential. Are
          > seas and wind condition within your experience, ability and
          appropriate for
          > your gear? New kiters should practice in lighter, side or side
          onshore
          > winds. Onshore winds have a much higher injury rate even among
          experienced
          > riders and should be avoided. Offshore winds should be avoided in
          the
          > absence of a chase boat. If storm clouds are moving in, land and
          thoroughly
          > disable your kite well in advance of any change in wind or
          temperature, if
          > necessary depower your kite while still away from shore. Lightning
          can
          > strike many miles ahead of storm clouds. Learn about unstable
          weather in
          > your area and work to avoid squalls and storms through TV, radio
          and
          > Internet information. Consider organizing an alert air horn and
          flag signal
          > for your launch as a warning to riders of pending unstable weather.
          >
          > PREFLIGHT CHECKLIST
          >
          > 1. USE GOOD LAUNCH AREAS. Make sure your launch is open, FREE OF
          DOWNWIND
          > BYSTANDERS, hard objects, nearby power lines, buildings and walls,
          etc.
          > within at least 300 ft. (100 m), and preferably more particularly
          in higher
          > wind. Too many riders have slammed into walls, parked cars, trees
          with
          > better launches not so far away at all. Some riders have needed in
          excess
          > of 600 ft. (200 m), to regain control in violent dragging or
          loftings in
          > higher winds. Avoid kiteboarding near airports and in low flight
          path areas,
          > complaints have led to restricted access in some areas. Never fly
          your kite
          > in the path of low aircraft in flight, moving your kite low to the
          water at
          > the first indication of inbound aircraft.
          >
          > 2. WHAT SIZE KITE ARE OTHER RIDERS USING? Check to see what size
          kite other
          > kiteboarders are rigging and get their input on conditions. Try to
          select a
          > kite size for the lower to middle part of the wind range. Do not
          rig too
          > large a kite for conditions and carefully consider advice of more
          > experienced riders. Failure to act on prudent advice has cost some
          riders
          > severe injury and even death. If you don't have a small enough
          kite to
          > safely launch, DON'T!
          >
          > 3. CHECK & REPAIR YOUR GEAR BEFORE YOU FLY. Check your kite for
          tears or
          > leaky bladders. If you have leaky bladders or tears in your kite,
          repair
          > them before flying. Check ALL kite, harness, and control bar lines,
          webbing,
          > pigtails, bridles, the chicken loop and leaders for knots, cuts,
          wear or
          > abrasion. If the line sheathing shows any breaks or knots, replace
          them. The
          > pigtails should be replaced no less frequently than every 6 months
          on
          > inflatable kites. Inspect and test your quick release. Frequently,
          mentally
          > and physically rehearse pulling your quick release in an imagined
          emergency
          > situation. Make sure your flying lines are equal as they will
          stretch
          > unevenly with use. If they have knots that can't be easily
          untied,
          replace
          > your flight lines. Do not casually make changes to manufactured
          equipment.
          > What ever you do must work reliably in what conditions may come.
          >
          > 4. AVOID SOLO LAUNCHING. Solo launching and landing are NOT
          recommended and
          > should be avoided particularly in stronger winds. Launch with a
          trained
          > assistant, using reliable audible and visual signals. If solo
          launching
          > make sure your kite is properly anchored with a substantial
          quantity of sand
          > to avoid premature launch. Never use untrained bystanders to help
          you launch
          > or land. Riders have been severely injured by making this easy
          mistake. Rig
          > your kite for solo launch at the last minute and launch without
          delay AFTER
          > CAREFUL PREFLIGHTING as serious accidents have happened in only
          minutes
          > during this stage. If you leave the kite unattended, wrap up your
          lines,
          > deflate the kite's leading edge and roll it up. It is best to
          place
          the kite
          > in a bag to avoid UV and wind damage.
          >
          > 5. CROSSED KITE LINES CAN WRECK YOUR DAY. Launching with crossed
          or snagged
          > lines has maimed quite a few kiteboarders as the kite tends to fly
          up at
          > very high speed, dragging or lofting the rider into a nearby hard
          objects
          > faster than they can react. Walk down your lines and examine them
          > carefully. Pick your bar up and carefully look down the lines for
          twists,
          > tangles or snags that could cause the kite to be dangerously
          uncontrollable.
          > While you are holding your bar up look down the lines, shake your
          bar to
          > make sure the center lines are connected to the leading edge of the
          kite. Be
          > particularly careful, slow and methodical in high winds. Multiple,
          careful
          > preflighting in higher winds is strongly advised. Rigging "Kook
          Proof"
          > connectors on our kite and lines is easily done with most kites and
          should
          > be rigged on all your kites and bars.
          >
          > LAUNCHING AND GETTING UNDERWAY
          >
          > 1. LAUNCH & LAND UNHOOKED WITH A GOOD BUFFER ZONE. Avoid hooking
          in or
          > connecting with your quick release, while onshore or near hard
          objects.
          > Practice LAUNCHING AND LANDING "UNHOOKED" or not connected to your
          chicken
          > loop. Pull in your trim strap or rope entirely or to a point that
          will allow
          > stable kite flight with existing wind conditions, to properly
          depower the
          > kite before launching and so that you can readily hold the bar and
          release
          > it if necessary. Always maintain minimum clear downwind buffer
          zones,
          > particularly while flying unhooked. Physically and mentally
          rehearse
          > managing emergency situations including just "letting go" of your
          bar.
          > Connect to your quick release once you are well offshore.
          >
          > 2. KEEP IT LOW & GO! … to try to avoid lofting or involuntary
          lifting. DO
          > NOT bring your kite much above 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 m) from the
          ground and
          > NEVER to the vertical, within 300 ft. (100 m) of shore or any hard
          object.
          > Never launch, fly or land upwind and close to the shore or hard
          objects or
          > stand on the beach for extended with your kite in the air. This
          careless
          > practice has killed and maimed riders. This practice MAY reduce the
          chance
          > of lofting but may also promote dragging and serious injury in
          gusty/strong
          > wind conditions. So, if you are dragged be ready to depower
          instantly and
          > ideally before the dragging starts in the first place. HAZARD
          AVOIDANCE IS
          > THE KEY along with rapid preemptive, rehearsed actions. Do not fly
          your
          > kite near vertical or sloped surfaces that can cause uplift and
          sudden
          > dragging/lofting (walls, buildings, hills, tree lines, etc,).
          Avoid thermal
          > generating areas as sudden thermal lofting can occur. Launch in
          the
          > appropriate part of the wind window to avoid "hot" or
          over-powered
          downwind
          > launches. Make sure that there are no bystanders within your
          downwind
          > buffer zone or close by in general.
          >
          > 3. GET OFFSHORE AND STAY THERE. Go offshore at least 300 ft. (100
          M)
          > WITHOUT DELAY after launch. Stay beyond 300 ft. until time to come
          in. If
          > there are substantial waves where you need to put on your board
          consider
          > body dragging outside the breaker zone first. The fun is
          offshore, danger
          > to the rider & bystanders is near shore where most of the hard
          stuff is
          > located.
          >
          > 4. YIELD THE RIGHT OF WAY. Yield the right of way to all others
          in the
          > water. Riders must yield to others when jumping, to anyone on your
          right
          > hand side and to launching riders. When in doubt, STOP.
          Kiteboarders
          > should not jump within a buffer zone of at least two hundred feet
          (60 m) of
          > others and objects that are downwind. Always be aware of the
          position of
          > your lines relative to others, line cuts can be severe and tangled
          lines
          > with another kite, deadly.
          >
          > 5. BOARD LEASHES ARE DANGEROUS. All kiteboarders are encouraged
          to master
          > body dragging for board recovery. Use of a board leash is dangerous
          and is
          > generally discouraged due to the hazards of board rebound or wave
          driven
          > impact. Injuries have happened with both fixed length and reel
          leashes.
          > Wearing a helmet and impact vest is always advised but may not
          provide
          > adequate projection against board impact as the boards can and have
          > violently hit any part of the rider and have penetrated helmets.
          If there
          > is risk of your loose board hitting bathers, find another launch.
          >
          > 6. DON'T GET LOFTED! Lofting or involuntarily lifting isone
          of
          the
          > greatest hazards of kiteboarding. Avoiding unstable weather,
          keeping your
          > kite low and getting offshore without delay are only a few of the
          measures
          > necessary to avoid this threat. If despite all precautions you are
          dragged
          > or lofted a short distance AND have time to react, depower your
          kite as soon
          > as you start to pause. You will likely be dulled by shock so
          mentally
          > rehearse depowering immediately under such circumstances.
          Depowering
          > ideally should occur before you are lofted, still offshore and away
          from
          > hard objects. Multiple gusts can hit over a short period and you
          may be
          > lofted a second or third time, so ACT to depower your kite as soon
          as you
          > can. DO NOT ASSUME that you will have a lull between loftings,
          sometimes you
          > do and sometimes you don't. If you are air born over land, it
          is
          uncertain
          > how and if you will come out of things. Focus on controlling your
          kite with
          > small control inputs to avoid stalling the kite. Some have advised
          keeping
          > the kite overhead AFTER you are lofted and to try to gently steer
          towards
          > the least hazardous are to impact. Other riders have said that
          reversing
          > direction or transitioning after lofting has helped to reduce
          forward speed.
          > It would be wise to accept and plan for the fact that YOU CAN BE
          LOFTED AT
          > ANYTIME you have a kite in the air.
          >
          > LANDING
          >
          > 1. USE ASSISTED LANDINGS BUT … SOLO DEPOWER IMMEDITELY IF
          NECESSARY!
          > Approach the shore slowly with caution. Keep your kite low (ideally
          within
          > 10 to 20 ft. of the surface), to try avoid lofting. Take care to
          avoid
          > causing an accidental jump in well powered conditions while
          approaching the
          > shore. Arrange for assisted landings at least 300 ft. (100 m) from
          > bystanders, power lines, vertical surfaces, etc.. NEVER not use
          > non-kiteboarders for assisted launches or landings, as use of
          bystanders has
          > resulted in severe rider injuries. Use mutually understood hand and
          voice
          > signals to improve launch and landing safety. Riders have been
          killed
          > standing around looking for an assisted landing when gusts have
          hit. IF IN
          > ANY DOUBT, DEPOWER YOUR KITE even if you are still offshore. ALL
          riders
          > should be comfortable with depowering their kite immediately even
          in deep
          > water and swimming in to avoid being lofted or dragged in sudden
          gusting
          > winds.
          >
          > 2. STOW YOUR GEAR. Properly anchor (or ideally deflate your
          leading edge
          > and roll up your kite), disconnect and wind up your kite lines. Do
          not allow
          > your kite to be accidentally launched. Kites should be placed in a
          safe
          > area well out of bystander and vehicular traffic.
          >
          > © FKA, Inc. 2002,2003,2004
          >
          > LOCAL KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES FOR ______________________________
          > (e.g. necessary area specific precautions and restrictions )
          > 1.
          > 2.
          > 3.
          >
          > An example follows:
          > LOCAL KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES FOR BOCA RATON, FL
          > The following guidelines have been prepared to aid kiteboarding
          safety and
          > access privileges at the City of Boca Raton Beach in the vicinity
          of Spanish
          > River Blvd. These practices and other appropriate procedures should
          be
          > followed while kiteboarding off this beach.
          >
          > 1. New kitesurfers must seek adequate, proper instruction BEFORE or
          while
          > kiteboarding here.
          >
          > 2. Launch and land north of lifeguard stand #20 located due east of
          Spanish
          > River Blvd. No launching or landing is permitted at guarded beaches.
          >
          > _________________________________________________________________
          > What are the 5 hot job markets for 2004? Click here to find out.
          >
          http://msn.careerbuilder.com/Custom/MSN/CareerAdvice/WPI_WhereWillWeFi
          ndJobsIn2004.htm?siteid=CBMSN3006&sc_extcmp=JS_wi08_dec03_hotmail1
        • flkitesurfer
          You are welcome Greg and thanks for your support! One of your comments was particularly telling in my opinion ... I love my instructor and the shop that
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 3, 2004
          • 0 Attachment
            You are welcome Greg and thanks for your support! One of your
            comments was particularly telling in my opinion ...


            "I love my instructor and the shop that recommended him, but they did
            not even come close in giving the information included below."


            I have received similar comments to this, several times in fact. Lots
            of us have been through SCUBA diving instruction, consider a SCUBA
            complete course that consists of ...

            What your gear consists of and how to assemble it,
            How to put it on,
            Practical time using the gear in the water,
            How to tear down and take care of your gear.

            These are important steps in dive instruction and are basically
            the "nuts and bolts" of the sport.

            Still, something is missing.

            In the 1960s, you might have only received the instruction listed
            above. The injury and attrition rate were quite high in the early
            years in the growth of diving so in time the industry improved
            instruction to reduce accidents and participant dropout.

            What did they do?

            They included more theory about the physics and functioning of the
            gear and the diver in the water, environmental information, emergency
            planning and a whole series of more advanced topics that created an
            ENTIRE new instructional sub-industry.

            Will knowing the "nuts and bolts" about launching your kite,
            waterstarting, a few techniques for landing your kite and
            related "hands on" skills necessarily keep you out of a nasty
            incident or accident? No, not necessarily at all.

            Kiteboarding instruction needs more theory, environmental and
            emergency planning information in my opinion. Some schools do this
            while quite a few others apparently do not. Greg mentioned
            certification, I have often thought that myself but haven't
            particularly pushed for it, Certainly not pending more complete
            instruction. Still, certification in many ways was the salvation and
            a strong factor for sensible expansion in diving, hang gliding,
            paragliding, sky diving, etc. Time will tell on that point.

            The Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines are far from a substitute for all
            the necessary information detailed in the paragraph above. Then
            again, they would suppliment the "nuts and bolts" so frequently being
            taught in these early days of the sport. Critically, THEY ARE FREE
            for the use of whomever would like to consider them. The Guidelines
            aren't cut in stone absolutes, although researching some of the
            repeated accidents sometimes make me wish that they were. The
            GUIDELINES are for consideration and what better time for discussion
            and consideration is there but during instruction. Someday, I have no
            doubt that there will be more complete cirriculum in kiteboarding
            courses but that is then and this is now. Just a suggestion for
            something that costs nothing and could actually do some good.
            _________________
            FKA, Inc.
            transcribed by: Rick Iossi

            Promote "Ride Hard & Safer, Ten Ideas..." PRESERVE YOUR ACCESS TO
            RIDE
            http://www.kiteforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?topic=3881&forum=3&4

            --- In kitesurf@yahoogroups.com, "gheilig" <gregheilig@s...> wrote:
            > Thank you to Rick Iossi and the FKA for posting these essential
            > safety guidelines.
            >
            > I am new to kitesurfing and definitely appreciate this information.
            I
            > have received instruction and am at the point of flying my kite
            > reasonably comfortably on the beach (away from people and
            > obstacles!). I have not yet hit the water yet.
            >
            > I feel that the kitesurfing industry should require certification
            for
            > use of its equipment much like the scuba industry does for its
            > equipment.
            >
            > I love my instructor and the shop that recommended him, but they
            did
            > not even come close in giving the information included below.
            >
            > Can anyone recommend a kite camp that provides the same level of
            > safety information provided in your previous message? I need a
            > kitecamp because I need to "immerse" myself in this sport to get
            > comfortable doing it. I have many years of scuba, surfing,
            > skateboarding, and snowboarding experience behind me so I am no
            > stranger to boarding or ocean "extreme" sports.
            >
            > Sincerely,
            > Greg Heilig
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In kitesurf@yahoogroups.com, "Rick Iossi" <flkitesurfer@h...>
            > wrote:
            > > The latest draft update of the Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines in a
            > LONG series
            > > of updates over the years appears below. As always, constructive
            > input is
            > > welcome.
            > >
            > > Thanks!
            > >
            > > FKA, Inc.
            > > transcribed by:
            > > Rick Iossi
            > >
            > > SAFE KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES – February 2, 2004
            > >
            > > The following ideas are presented to try to improve kiteboarder
            and
            > > bystander safety, to reduce complaints and attempt to preserve
            our
            > access to
            > > ride. These ideas have been taken from the analysis of over 100
            > accidents
            > > that have happened worldwide over several years. Many of these
            > accidents
            > > might have been avoided if a bit more knowledge and care were
            > used.
            > > Kiteboarding can be hazardous to the rider and to bystanders,
            > particularly
            > > if practiced without adequate training, safety gear, knowledge
            and
            > caution.
            > > NOTE: Riders must accept that even if these guidelines are
            > followed, that
            > > accidents, injury and even death may occur in the "extreme sport"
            > of
            > > kiteboarding. Kites can exert very substantial force with little
            to
            > no
            > > warning with sudden gusts, improper line attachment, mishandling,
            > etc.,
            > > resulting in dragging and/or lofting, possibly with no time to
            > effectively
            > > react. And, NO "you can't always just let go or kill the
            > power of
            > the
            > > kite," as many accidents have established. Your ability to
            > safely
            > depower
            > > your kite in an emergency will weigh heavily on your technique,
            > preparation
            > > and reliability of your gear.
            > >
            > > Kiteboarders should consider these ideas, area specific
            guidelines
            > if
            > > applicable along with other prudent and safe practices
            appropriate
            > for local
            > > conditions. Cutting corners or picking and choosing safe
            > kiteboarding
            > > practices can seriously reduce the rider's factor of safety and
            > increase the
            > > odds of an accident. Seek local, competent knowledge regarding
            > safe local
            > > practices as special precautions may be indicated beyond those
            > discussed
            > > here. Safety automatically increases to some degree once the
            rider
            > becomes
            > > both aware of and takes potential hazards seriously. By contrast,
            > ignorance
            > > and indifference raise the hazard level substantially and have
            > frequently
            > > been a factor in avoidable accidents. These guidelines have been
            > updated
            > > frequently over the years, so please check the FKA website for
            the
            > latest
            > > version. Don't use old versions of these guidelines as
            > important
            > changes
            > > occur with new knowledge gained over time.
            > >
            > > GENERAL SAFETY GUIDELINES
            > >
            > > 1. JUMP TO HELP KITEBOARDERS. Readily help other riders with
            > launching and
            > > landing using reliable agreed upon visual and audible
            > communications.
            > > Whether you are starting out or are almost a pro, your help may
            > avoid a
            > > serious incident/accident and possible restrictions. NEVER grab
            the
            > lines of
            > > a flying or powered kite. Get involved with your local
            association
            > or club
            > > and with area riders to try to preserve access to kiteboard.
            Riders
            > are
            > > solely responsible for their safety and that of effected
            > bystanders. If you
            > > are new to an area or visiting, seek out local kiteboarders,
            shops
            > and/or
            > > associations for local guidelines and tips BEFORE riding. Don't
            > ruin things
            > > for the local riders.
            > >
            > > 2. GET ADEQUATE PRO KITEBOARDING TRAINING. Kiteboarders,
            > particularly
            > > beginners should seek adequate, quality professional instruction.
            > Beginners
            > > must avoid crowded areas particularly as kite control is still
            > being
            > > developed. Beginners should body drag out at least 300 ft. (60m)
            > from shore
            > > prior to water starting and should always stay out of guarded or
            > restricted
            > > beach areas. Be careful in your launch area selection and be
            > willing to
            > > drive and walk a bit further to have more ideal conditions. Build
            > your skill
            > > and experience carefully, you will advance faster for your
            effort.
            > Riders
            > > have been injured for choosing poor launches when far safer
            > conditions were
            > > relatively close by. Be particularly careful in new conditions
            and
            > at the
            > > START and END of the riding season. Many accidents occur in
            these
            > times
            > > even among experienced riders. In kiteboarding, "DISTANCE IS
            > YOUR
            > FRIEND,"
            > > so use it!
            > >
            > > 3. KITEBOARD WITHIN YOUR LIMITS. Know your equipment's
            > limitations
            > as well
            > > as your own. If you aren't 100% healthy OR IN DOUBT, DON'T FLY!
            > You
            > should
            > > be comfortable with conditions and your gear otherwise, don't
            > launch and
            > > "live to fly another day." Always maintain an energy
            > reserve while
            > out
            > > kiteboarding. Hydrate regularly and wear adequate exposure
            clothing
            > > (wetsuit/dry suit), to deal with unexpected time in the water.
            Cold
            > water
            > > kiteboarding requires additional critically important precautions
            > as
            > > compared to warmer conditions and are beyond the scope of these
            > guidelines.
            > > Don't kiteboard alone or further from shore than you are
            > readily
            > able to
            > > swim in from.
            > >
            > > 4. USE A KITE LEASH, QUICK RELEASE, HELMET, IMPACT VEST and other
            > reasonable
            > > safety gear. Make sure you have proper safety equipment, such as
            a
            > tested,
            > > well maintained kite depowering leash securely attached to your
            > body, a good
            > > well fitting helmet, impact vest, gloves, whistle and hook knife.
            > Most
            > > kiteboarding fatalities involve head injury. A good helmet for
            > kiteboarding,
            > > MAY aid in reducing injury and improve the chance of survival in
            > many but
            > > not necessarily all impacts. A helmet is NO excuse to kiteboard
            > carelessly.
            > > Regularly test and maintain a reliable chicken loop or kite
            > depowering
            > > release. Relying upon manual unhooking alone to release your bar
            is
            > > UNRELIABLE based upon the accident experience. The rider needs to
            > understand
            > > and accept that in an emergency, this quick release MAY NOT be
            > accessible or
            > > function correctly in the critical seconds of the emergency. It
            is
            > up to the
            > > rider to avoid the emergency in the first place and to aid proper
            > function
            > > of the release through practice and maintenance.
            > >
            > > 5. LAUNCH, RIDE AND LAND WELL AWAY FROM BYSTANDERS. Give way to
            > the public
            > > on the beach and in the water at ALL TIMES. Be courteous and
            polite
            > to
            > > bystanders. Complaints have frequently led to bans and
            restrictions
            > on
            > > kiteboarding in some areas and continue to do so on a regular
            > basis. NEVER
            > > launch, ride or land upwind of nearby bystanders. Work to keep a
            > minimum
            > > 300 ft. (100 m) buffer zone from bystanders.
            > >
            > > 6. BE AWARE OF THE WEATHER. Is the forecast and current weather
            > > acceptable, free of pending storm clouds and excessive gusty
            winds?
            > Color
            > > radar can sometimes give a clue as to violent storm/gust
            > potential. Are
            > > seas and wind condition within your experience, ability and
            > appropriate for
            > > your gear? New kiters should practice in lighter, side or side
            > onshore
            > > winds. Onshore winds have a much higher injury rate even among
            > experienced
            > > riders and should be avoided. Offshore winds should be avoided in
            > the
            > > absence of a chase boat. If storm clouds are moving in, land and
            > thoroughly
            > > disable your kite well in advance of any change in wind or
            > temperature, if
            > > necessary depower your kite while still away from shore.
            Lightning
            > can
            > > strike many miles ahead of storm clouds. Learn about unstable
            > weather in
            > > your area and work to avoid squalls and storms through TV, radio
            > and
            > > Internet information. Consider organizing an alert air horn and
            > flag signal
            > > for your launch as a warning to riders of pending unstable
            weather.
            > >
            > > PREFLIGHT CHECKLIST
            > >
            > > 1. USE GOOD LAUNCH AREAS. Make sure your launch is open, FREE
            OF
            > DOWNWIND
            > > BYSTANDERS, hard objects, nearby power lines, buildings and
            walls,
            > etc.
            > > within at least 300 ft. (100 m), and preferably more particularly
            > in higher
            > > wind. Too many riders have slammed into walls, parked cars, trees
            > with
            > > better launches not so far away at all. Some riders have needed
            in
            > excess
            > > of 600 ft. (200 m), to regain control in violent dragging or
            > loftings in
            > > higher winds. Avoid kiteboarding near airports and in low flight
            > path areas,
            > > complaints have led to restricted access in some areas. Never fly
            > your kite
            > > in the path of low aircraft in flight, moving your kite low to
            the
            > water at
            > > the first indication of inbound aircraft.
            > >
            > > 2. WHAT SIZE KITE ARE OTHER RIDERS USING? Check to see what size
            > kite other
            > > kiteboarders are rigging and get their input on conditions. Try
            to
            > select a
            > > kite size for the lower to middle part of the wind range. Do not
            > rig too
            > > large a kite for conditions and carefully consider advice of more
            > > experienced riders. Failure to act on prudent advice has cost
            some
            > riders
            > > severe injury and even death. If you don't have a small enough
            > kite to
            > > safely launch, DON'T!
            > >
            > > 3. CHECK & REPAIR YOUR GEAR BEFORE YOU FLY. Check your kite for
            > tears or
            > > leaky bladders. If you have leaky bladders or tears in your kite,
            > repair
            > > them before flying. Check ALL kite, harness, and control bar
            lines,
            > webbing,
            > > pigtails, bridles, the chicken loop and leaders for knots, cuts,
            > wear or
            > > abrasion. If the line sheathing shows any breaks or knots,
            replace
            > them. The
            > > pigtails should be replaced no less frequently than every 6
            months
            > on
            > > inflatable kites. Inspect and test your quick release.
            Frequently,
            > mentally
            > > and physically rehearse pulling your quick release in an imagined
            > emergency
            > > situation. Make sure your flying lines are equal as they will
            > stretch
            > > unevenly with use. If they have knots that can't be easily
            > untied,
            > replace
            > > your flight lines. Do not casually make changes to manufactured
            > equipment.
            > > What ever you do must work reliably in what conditions may come.
            > >
            > > 4. AVOID SOLO LAUNCHING. Solo launching and landing are NOT
            > recommended and
            > > should be avoided particularly in stronger winds. Launch with a
            > trained
            > > assistant, using reliable audible and visual signals. If solo
            > launching
            > > make sure your kite is properly anchored with a substantial
            > quantity of sand
            > > to avoid premature launch. Never use untrained bystanders to help
            > you launch
            > > or land. Riders have been severely injured by making this easy
            > mistake. Rig
            > > your kite for solo launch at the last minute and launch without
            > delay AFTER
            > > CAREFUL PREFLIGHTING as serious accidents have happened in only
            > minutes
            > > during this stage. If you leave the kite unattended, wrap up your
            > lines,
            > > deflate the kite's leading edge and roll it up. It is best to
            > place
            > the kite
            > > in a bag to avoid UV and wind damage.
            > >
            > > 5. CROSSED KITE LINES CAN WRECK YOUR DAY. Launching with crossed
            > or snagged
            > > lines has maimed quite a few kiteboarders as the kite tends to
            fly
            > up at
            > > very high speed, dragging or lofting the rider into a nearby hard
            > objects
            > > faster than they can react. Walk down your lines and examine
            them
            > > carefully. Pick your bar up and carefully look down the lines for
            > twists,
            > > tangles or snags that could cause the kite to be dangerously
            > uncontrollable.
            > > While you are holding your bar up look down the lines, shake your
            > bar to
            > > make sure the center lines are connected to the leading edge of
            the
            > kite. Be
            > > particularly careful, slow and methodical in high winds.
            Multiple,
            > careful
            > > preflighting in higher winds is strongly advised. Rigging "Kook
            > Proof"
            > > connectors on our kite and lines is easily done with most kites
            and
            > should
            > > be rigged on all your kites and bars.
            > >
            > > LAUNCHING AND GETTING UNDERWAY
            > >
            > > 1. LAUNCH & LAND UNHOOKED WITH A GOOD BUFFER ZONE. Avoid
            hooking
            > in or
            > > connecting with your quick release, while onshore or near hard
            > objects.
            > > Practice LAUNCHING AND LANDING "UNHOOKED" or not connected to
            your
            > chicken
            > > loop. Pull in your trim strap or rope entirely or to a point that
            > will allow
            > > stable kite flight with existing wind conditions, to properly
            > depower the
            > > kite before launching and so that you can readily hold the bar
            and
            > release
            > > it if necessary. Always maintain minimum clear downwind buffer
            > zones,
            > > particularly while flying unhooked. Physically and mentally
            > rehearse
            > > managing emergency situations including just "letting go" of your
            > bar.
            > > Connect to your quick release once you are well offshore.
            > >
            > > 2. KEEP IT LOW & GO! … to try to avoid lofting or involuntary
            > lifting. DO
            > > NOT bring your kite much above 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 m) from the
            > ground and
            > > NEVER to the vertical, within 300 ft. (100 m) of shore or any
            hard
            > object.
            > > Never launch, fly or land upwind and close to the shore or hard
            > objects or
            > > stand on the beach for extended with your kite in the air. This
            > careless
            > > practice has killed and maimed riders. This practice MAY reduce
            the
            > chance
            > > of lofting but may also promote dragging and serious injury in
            > gusty/strong
            > > wind conditions. So, if you are dragged be ready to depower
            > instantly and
            > > ideally before the dragging starts in the first place. HAZARD
            > AVOIDANCE IS
            > > THE KEY along with rapid preemptive, rehearsed actions. Do not
            fly
            > your
            > > kite near vertical or sloped surfaces that can cause uplift and
            > sudden
            > > dragging/lofting (walls, buildings, hills, tree lines, etc,).
            > Avoid thermal
            > > generating areas as sudden thermal lofting can occur. Launch in
            > the
            > > appropriate part of the wind window to avoid "hot" or
            > over-powered
            > downwind
            > > launches. Make sure that there are no bystanders within your
            > downwind
            > > buffer zone or close by in general.
            > >
            > > 3. GET OFFSHORE AND STAY THERE. Go offshore at least 300 ft.
            (100
            > M)
            > > WITHOUT DELAY after launch. Stay beyond 300 ft. until time to
            come
            > in. If
            > > there are substantial waves where you need to put on your board
            > consider
            > > body dragging outside the breaker zone first. The fun is
            > offshore, danger
            > > to the rider & bystanders is near shore where most of the hard
            > stuff is
            > > located.
            > >
            > > 4. YIELD THE RIGHT OF WAY. Yield the right of way to all others
            > in the
            > > water. Riders must yield to others when jumping, to anyone on
            your
            > right
            > > hand side and to launching riders. When in doubt, STOP.
            > Kiteboarders
            > > should not jump within a buffer zone of at least two hundred feet
            > (60 m) of
            > > others and objects that are downwind. Always be aware of the
            > position of
            > > your lines relative to others, line cuts can be severe and
            tangled
            > lines
            > > with another kite, deadly.
            > >
            > > 5. BOARD LEASHES ARE DANGEROUS. All kiteboarders are encouraged
            > to master
            > > body dragging for board recovery. Use of a board leash is
            dangerous
            > and is
            > > generally discouraged due to the hazards of board rebound or wave
            > driven
            > > impact. Injuries have happened with both fixed length and reel
            > leashes.
            > > Wearing a helmet and impact vest is always advised but may not
            > provide
            > > adequate projection against board impact as the boards can and
            have
            > > violently hit any part of the rider and have penetrated helmets.
            > If there
            > > is risk of your loose board hitting bathers, find another launch.
            > >
            > > 6. DON'T GET LOFTED! Lofting or involuntarily lifting isone
            > of
            > the
            > > greatest hazards of kiteboarding. Avoiding unstable weather,
            > keeping your
            > > kite low and getting offshore without delay are only a few of the
            > measures
            > > necessary to avoid this threat. If despite all precautions you
            are
            > dragged
            > > or lofted a short distance AND have time to react, depower your
            > kite as soon
            > > as you start to pause. You will likely be dulled by shock so
            > mentally
            > > rehearse depowering immediately under such circumstances.
            > Depowering
            > > ideally should occur before you are lofted, still offshore and
            away
            > from
            > > hard objects. Multiple gusts can hit over a short period and you
            > may be
            > > lofted a second or third time, so ACT to depower your kite as
            soon
            > as you
            > > can. DO NOT ASSUME that you will have a lull between loftings,
            > sometimes you
            > > do and sometimes you don't. If you are air born over land, it
            > is
            > uncertain
            > > how and if you will come out of things. Focus on controlling
            your
            > kite with
            > > small control inputs to avoid stalling the kite. Some have
            advised
            > keeping
            > > the kite overhead AFTER you are lofted and to try to gently steer
            > towards
            > > the least hazardous are to impact. Other riders have said that
            > reversing
            > > direction or transitioning after lofting has helped to reduce
            > forward speed.
            > > It would be wise to accept and plan for the fact that YOU CAN
            BE
            > LOFTED AT
            > > ANYTIME you have a kite in the air.
            > >
            > > LANDING
            > >
            > > 1. USE ASSISTED LANDINGS BUT … SOLO DEPOWER IMMEDITELY IF
            > NECESSARY!
            > > Approach the shore slowly with caution. Keep your kite low
            (ideally
            > within
            > > 10 to 20 ft. of the surface), to try avoid lofting. Take care to
            > avoid
            > > causing an accidental jump in well powered conditions while
            > approaching the
            > > shore. Arrange for assisted landings at least 300 ft. (100 m)
            from
            > > bystanders, power lines, vertical surfaces, etc.. NEVER not use
            > > non-kiteboarders for assisted launches or landings, as use of
            > bystanders has
            > > resulted in severe rider injuries. Use mutually understood hand
            and
            > voice
            > > signals to improve launch and landing safety. Riders have been
            > killed
            > > standing around looking for an assisted landing when gusts have
            > hit. IF IN
            > > ANY DOUBT, DEPOWER YOUR KITE even if you are still offshore. ALL
            > riders
            > > should be comfortable with depowering their kite immediately even
            > in deep
            > > water and swimming in to avoid being lofted or dragged in sudden
            > gusting
            > > winds.
            > >
            > > 2. STOW YOUR GEAR. Properly anchor (or ideally deflate your
            > leading edge
            > > and roll up your kite), disconnect and wind up your kite lines.
            Do
            > not allow
            > > your kite to be accidentally launched. Kites should be placed in
            a
            > safe
            > > area well out of bystander and vehicular traffic.
            > >
            > > © FKA, Inc. 2002,2003,2004
            > >
            > > LOCAL KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES FOR ______________________________
            > > (e.g. necessary area specific precautions and restrictions )
            > > 1.
            > > 2.
            > > 3.
            > >
            > > An example follows:
            > > LOCAL KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES FOR BOCA RATON, FL
            > > The following guidelines have been prepared to aid kiteboarding
            > safety and
            > > access privileges at the City of Boca Raton Beach in the vicinity
            > of Spanish
            > > River Blvd. These practices and other appropriate procedures
            should
            > be
            > > followed while kiteboarding off this beach.
            > >
            > > 1. New kitesurfers must seek adequate, proper instruction BEFORE
            or
            > while
            > > kiteboarding here.
            > >
            > > 2. Launch and land north of lifeguard stand #20 located due east
            of
            > Spanish
            > > River Blvd. No launching or landing is permitted at guarded
            beaches.
            > >
            > > _________________________________________________________________
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