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
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