Kitesurfing safety rules
While some countries have specific regulations on flying kites that may also apply to kitesurfing, most don't. However a kitesurfer should comply to the sailing rules regulating water crafts in many countries, . Developed from such generic rules a set of kitesurf specific rules or recommendations has been taking form since the beginning of the sport.
The first such rule is the key rule: with so many people just discovering water sports, a kiter shouldn't assume others adequate knowledge, training or even proper attitude, and be prepared to observe self-preserving distances and always let the others perceive clearly its intentions and its intended path.
there are newbies everywhere . .
Waterstarters have priority: the rider going out from the beach has always priority over the riders coming in.
Kite High Rule - A kiter who is upwind (closest to the wind) must keep their kite high to avoid their lines crossing those of downwind kiters. Similarly, the downwind kiter must keep their kite low to avoid their lines crossing upwind kites. This applies regardless of whether kiters are on the same, or opposing courses.
Clearance Rule - A kiter while jumping must have a clear safety zone of at least 50m downwind because they will move downwind during the jump. A rider must also have a clear safety zone of 30m upwind to jump as his lines could touch the kite or the lines of another rider kiteboarding close by (see Kite High rule).
It's important to also consider potential hazards downwind and crosswind of the rider such as people, buildings, trees and other fixed obstacles. Because of the clearance rule a jumper never has the right of way.
Kiters are also considered as sailing vessels officially – so all the standard sailing rules apply such as:
Starboard Rule When kiters approach from opposite directions the kiter who has the wind on the starboard (right side, right leg/arm leads in direction of travel) has right of way.
The kiter who has the wind on the port side (left side, left leg/arm are leads in direction of travel) shall keep out of the way of the other. In simple terms, this means "keep right" with the kiter coming in the opposite direction passing on the left.
In sailing terms, a sailor or kiter with right of way is entitled to "insist" on exercising that right (warning opposing kiters) by shouting "starboard" clearly and in good time.
Many of the sailing rules of right of way are different expressions that the most maneuverable craft should give way to the less maneuverable one. Therefore, kiters should give way to fishing vessels, but not to a jet ski.
Other boating rules such as no-go zones, distance from shore and swimmers also apply. Also surfing rules do apply, so for instance, the rider to catch a wave closer to the crest has the right of way even if not on a starboard tack, freeriders included.