Kitesurfing

From surfing the waves to mastering tricks, the opportunities to learn with kitesurfing are endless. With the right tuition at accredited kitesurfing schools, anyone can enjoy this exhilarating watersport safely.
Kitesurfer in Poole Harbour

Photo: RNLI / Nathan Williams

Kitesurfer in Poole Harbour

Understand the risks and kitesurf safely

British and Irish waters are incredibly unpredictable and one of the biggest dangers with kitesurfing is kiting alone or in adverse conditions.

RNLI lifeboat crews launched 99 times to kitesurfers in trouble in 2015. Of these call-outs, most were down to kit failure and adverse conditions. In addition, RNLI lifeguards went to the rescue in 54 kitesurfing-related incidents.

Taking some simple steps to stay safe will reduce your chances of getting into trouble and help you get the most out of the sport you love.

Simple checks for safe kitesurfing

  • Always kite with another person.
  • If you go alone, take a means of calling or signalling for help.
  • Never ride out further than you can swim back.
  • Equipment failure does happen. Be prepared.
  • Check the conditions and tides. Don't go out in conditions you can't handle.
  • Check what sizes of kites other riders are using. If you do not have the correct size, do not go out.
  • Do not ask or allow someone who is not familiar with kites to help you launch or land - give them some training on how to do it.
  • Always tell someone you are going out and when you will be back.
  • Follow the safety advice from the governing body for kitesurfing, the BKSA, and other expert organisations.

Keeping you safe

Working with the British Kitesports Association (BKSA), we’re looking at ways we can help make your kitesurfing as safe and enjoyable as possible.

Kitesurfing safety: Useful links and resources

  • British Kitesports Association
    British Kitesports Association (BKSA) logo
    Safety advice
    British Kitesports Association
  • RNLI Lifeguard and sponsored surfer Mark Harris (Egor) surfing at Fistral Beach, Newquay
    Download PDF 3.2MB
    In the surf: your guide to surfsport safety
  • RNLI Lifeguard and sponsored surfer Mark Harris (Egor) surfing at Fistral Beach, Newquay

    Download PDF 2.9MB

    In the surf: your guide to surfsport safety (Welsh guide)

Figures taken from:

  • RNLI lifeboat return of service data UK and Ireland 2015.
  • RNLI lifeguard incident data, UK only, 2015.

Don’t be a statistic

99 lifeboat launches to kitesurfers in 2015

54 kitesurfing incidents attended by lifeguards in 2015