Safety Equipment

kiteboarding-line-knifeKiteboarding requires a few pieces of safety equipment before you go out kite surfing on your own.

  • A safety hook knife is considered required safety equipment. The corrosion resistant stainless-steel blade is partially protected by a curved plastic hook. It can be used to cut entangled or snagged kite lines, or to release the kite if the safety release system fails. Some kitesurfing harnesses are equipped with a small pocket for the knife.
  • A helmet is often worn by kitesurfers to protect the head from blunt trauma. Helmets prevent head lacerations, and can also reduce the severity of impact injuries to the head, as well as compression injuries to the neck and spine.

  • A personal flotation device or PFD may be required if the kitesurfer is using a boat or personal water craft for support. It is also recommended for kitesurfing in deep water in case the kitesurfer becomes disabled and must wait for rescue.

  • An impact vest provides some protection against impacts to the torso area. They can also provide some flotation.

  • Signaling devices are useful if the kitesurfer needs to be rescued. This may be as simple as a whistle attached to the knife, or retro-reflective tape applied to the helmet. Some kitesurfers carry a mobile phone or two-way radio in a waterproof pouch to use in an emergency. A small Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) can be carried and activated to send out a distress signal.

  • A buddy is important to help with launching and retrieving the kite, and to assist in an emergency.

  • A GPS can be used to measure distance traveled, tracks and speed during a session.


Board Leashes that attach the board to the kiter are NOT used in Kiteboarding. They are dangerous and should not be used!

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