Kitesurfing can be dangerous.
This code of conduct for kitesurfers and safety advice for non kitesurfers is intended to help reduce the potentially dangerous aspects of kitesurfing. This also includes complaints advice and our child protection policy (see below).
Kite surfers are solely responsible for their own safety and that of affected bystanders. Just because we have taken the care to publish this voluntary Code of Conduct we cannot be held liable for your actions.
- This is by no means a final and definitive list of safety guidelines.
- Please contact our safety officer if you have any suggestions as to this code of conduct.
- All Kiters must have up to date third part insurance.
Up to date BKSA membership will ensure this.
- All beginners must seek professional instruction.
After your initial lessons we advice that you only go kitesurfing when other kitesurfers are at hand to help if required.
Give yourself more space than more experienced kitesurfers.
- Kiteboarders yield right of way to all other beach and water users.
- Conduct your own risk assessment of the beach and conditions.
Check the local weather conditions before riding.
- Keep aware of the changing weather conditions during your session. A storm cloud or squall could make it advisable to land your kite while it passes.
- Check and understand the tidal currents and how they might affect the riding area. Not only on the water, but how this may reduce or remove the safe landing and launching area. Many Cornish kitesurf beaches are not safe to kitesurf on within 1 or 2 hours of high tide.
- Wearing a helmet is recommended.
- All kiters must use a proper safety leash (kite to kiter).
Never tether yourself to the kite with a closed system. Only use quick release harness systems and practice activating such systems under tension.
- While you are setting up pay attention to incoming kiters and assist in landing their kites.
- If you can not walk backwards when the kite is flying directly overhead the kite is too big and/or the wind is too strong.
- If in doubt about what size kite to put up, use your smaller kite.
- Stay clear of power lines and overhead obstructions.
- Never fly a kite in a lightning storm.
- Never kite surf if you do not have good Kite flying experience.
- A kite surfer must be fit and healthy, a competent swimmer and over 18 years of age (under 18s should have parental permission and supervision).
- Always act in a responsible manner. If new or careless riders show up, talk to them with your friends about what´s at risk. Take the time to explain how to safely get into the sport, and where to obtain adequate and professional instruction.
- All manufacturers instructions and safety guidelines must be read and followed, in particular the limitations of the product.
- Equipment must be regularly checked for wear and tear and repaired accordingly before going out onto the water.
- Always Kite surf with adequate safety equipment.
When Rigging, Launching and Packing Up:
- Disable unattended kites. (Usually by putting sand or other ballast on the kite which is placed face down into the wind).
- Disable your own kite(s) if not in use.
- Return your kite lines to the kite(s) when not in use. Do not lay kite lines across anyone’s path.
- DO NOT ATTACH BOARD LEASH until kite is launched and in the neutral position. Attach your board leash as close to the water as you can.
- Make sure that beach area is clear, including enough space for any difficulties you may get into.
- Assisted launch and landing is recommended.
- Always launch/ land your kite facing the water.
- Do not launch or land in crowded areas.
- When launching make sure that kite is free of sand or all other beach users are well clear so that you do not drop sand on other beach users.
- Launch kites only from designated area.
- Never ask an inexperienced member of the public to assist.
- SLOWLY bring kite up to neutral position (11 or 1 o’clock).
- BEWARE OF KEEPING YOUR KITE AT 12 O’CLOCK – THIS POSITION CAN LOFT YOU UP IN A GUST – AND HAS CAUSED MANY BAD INJURIES.
- ABSOLUTELY NO BEACH JUMPING!!
On the Water:
- Never kite surf in congested areas with swimmers, boats or other craft or obstacles.
- Never go out on the water without telling another person where you are going.
- A Kite surfer must know the rules of the sea including navigation laws and abide by them at all times.
- Starboard tack has right-of-way (right shoulder forward is starboard, left shoulder forward is port)
- The upwind rider gives way to the downwind rider.
- Jumping kiters sacrifice right-of-way
- Incoming kiters let launching kiters go out first before landing
- Always maintain a downwind safety buffer zone.
- Ensure you know how to do a deep water pack down. If you don’t know how – seek a lesson from a qualified instructor.
- When risk assessing a session consider kitesurfing in pairs or with a rescue boat in attendance.
- Never kite surf in conditions which are too extreme for either you or your equipment.
- Never kite surf at a distance from the shore, or in conditions where you cannot swim back in an emergency.
- If you lose your kite or board whilst on the water, always report you are safe to the rescue services so they do not waste time and money looking for you. It is recommended that you write your name, address and contact number on all your equipment.
Kitesurfing maybe classed as an ‘extreme’ sport but in general is safe and fun to watch for other beach users. Riders use a kite to generate power enabling them to ride on a small kiteboard across the water.
If you wish to avoid kitesurfing / kitesurfers:
- Come to the beach when it’s not windy – Kites need around 10 mph+ wind to be usable.
- Use a beach with an offshore wind. Kitesurfers generally don’t use beaches with an offshore wind.
- Use a beach we can’t use, such as those with lots of sharp / hard obstacles or a lack of space. The main beaches used by kitesurfers in Cornwall are listed on our spot guide.
What to be aware of when Kitesurfers are using the beach
Many beach users love to watch our sport. It’s fast, looks fun and some of the tricks (and crashes) look great. As a spectator, there are things you should be aware of.
- Kite Launching / Landing & Rigging
Kitesurfing kites are usually flown on 4 x 30m + lines. They are very thin and can be hard to see. Please keep well clear when kites are launching and landing.
When a kite is on the beach these lines will often be laid out on the beach. If you are walking near kites please be aware of this and look closely to avoid tripping over them.
- Stay upwind (behind) the rider
If the wind is blowing on your back and you are facing the kitesurfer, you should be safely upwind of the rider. This is the safest place to be in relation to a kitesurfer.
Kites always fly downwind of the person they are attached to.
- Kite Equipment
Never grab hold of a kite line when the kite is flying – especially when a rider is launching or landing. This will cause an immediate loss of control of the kite.
Also avoid holding the kite or the rider. You may inadvertently cause the kitesurfer to lose control of the kite.
The club has a code of conduct and we try our best to ensure that members and other kitesurfers visiting our local kitesurf spots obey these. Occasionally things do go wrong. We take complaints very seriously and will do our best to resolve any issues caused by kitesurfing and kitesurfers. To help us help you we ask that you try and get the following information:
- Type of kite. LEI kites have inflated struts while Foil kites look more like a mattress
- Colour(s) of kite
- Make / model / wording / logo on kite – any text printed on the canopy etc
- Description of rider e.g. Height, build, hair colour etc
- What was the rider wearing e.g rash vest, shorts, wetsuit or drysuit
- Colour / make of board
- Riders vehicle e.g car van / make & model etc
- Riders name / nickname
You may want to raise your issue with the rider directly but, depending on the situation, it’s probably best to avoid a difficult confrontation.
Please contact us, with any concerns, complaints or queries you may have via the contact page on this website
The introduction of this Child Protection Policy should be seen as a clear signal by the KKC that it is determined to ensure all necessary steps are taken to protect from harm, those children and young people who participate in kitepower sports at all levels. The policy establishes clubs position, role and responsibilities and clarifies what is expected of other organisations and individuals involved in kitepower sports.
It very clearly highlights the importance placed by the KKC on the protection of Children and young people.
KKC – The Policy
Every child and young person who takes part in kitepower sports should be able to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from abuse. This is the responsibility of every adult involved in kitepower sports. We recognise, however, that child abuse is also a very emotive and difficult subject. It is important to understand the feelings involved but not to allow them to interfere with our judgement about any action to be taken.
The KKC recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from physical, sexual or emotional harm and from neglect or bullying.
The KKC offer wide ranging kitepower sports opportunities for children and young people, in doing so the association should provide the highest possible standard of care. Clear practices and procedures, in addition to a detailed training programme already under way, will ensure that everyone knows exactly what is expected of them in relation to the protection of children and young people. It is essential that those children and young people attracted to and participating in kitepower sports are able to do so in a quality, safe and enjoyable environment.
The aims of this Child Protection Policy are:
- To develop a positive and pro-active position in order to best protect all children and young people who do kitepower sports under the KKC banner, enabling them to participate in kitepower sports in an enjoyable and safe environment.
- To demonstrate best practice in the area of child protection.
- To promote ethics and high standards throughout all levels of kitepower sports within the KKC.
The key principles underpinning this Policy are that:
- The child’s welfare is, and must always be, the paramount consideration.
- All children and young people have a right to be protected from abuse regardless of their age, gender, disability, culture, language, racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual identity.
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
Working in partnership with children and young people and their parents/carers is essential. Social Services Departments have a statutory responsibility to ensure the welfare of children and young people.
- Any act, statement, conduct or other matter which harms a child or children, or poses or may pose a risk of harm to a child or children, shall constitute behaviour which is improper and shall result in a club /association investigation and discriminatory procedure.
- In these Regulations the expression “Offence” shall mean any one or more of the offences contained in Schedule 1 to the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and any other criminal offence which reasonably causes the kitepower sports club / association to believe that the person accused of the offence poses or may pose a risk of harm to a child or children.
- Upon receipt by the kitepower sports club/ association of:
- notification that an individual has been charged with an Offence; or
- notification that an individual is the subject of an investigation by the Police, social services or any other authority relating to an Offence; or
- any other information which causes the KKC reasonably to believe that a person poses or may pose a risk of harm to a child or children then the KKC shall suspend the individual from all or any specific kitepower sports activity for such period and on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.
- In reaching its determination as to whether an order under Regulation 3 should be made the club / association shall give consideration, inter alia, to the following factors:-
- Whether a child is or children are or may be at risk of harm;
- Whether the matters are of a serious nature;
- Whether an order is necessary or desirable to allow the conduct of any investigation by the club/ association or any other authority or body to proceed unimpeded.
- The period of an order referred to in 3 above shall not be capable of lasting beyond the date upon which any charge under the Rules of The Association or any Offence is decided or brought to an end.
- Notification in writing of an order referred to above shall be given to the person concerned.
Through confirming this Policy Document, the KKC has indicated its determination to ensure that children and young people can participate in all forms of kite powered activity and do so with their safety being of paramount importance.
It is essential that this document is representative of a process of continual improvement in the area of child protection within the KKC. It is for all adults engaged in kite powered activities to promote good practice and procedures, whilst being ever vigilant and aware of their responsibilities towards the children and young people in their care.