In kiteboarding, there WILL become a time when you run into a bad situation. Gear failure or sudden weather changes are two examples where knowing what to do in an emergency can save your life!
Be sure to practice this with each kite you own, as all kites have slight differences and require different hand positioning for an effective rescue.
- NEVER GO OUT FURTHER THAT YOU CAN SWIM!
- NEVER DEFLATE YOUR KITE UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!
- DO NOT RIDE WITHOUT A KITE KNIFE!
- HELMET AND FLOTATION RECOMMENDED!
- ONE PUMP USERS: ALWAYS LOCK OFF YOUR STRUTS WHEN SETTING UP!
- AVOID KITING ALONE!
Here's 3 Methods of Self Rescue:
Activate safety system to flag the kite out on one line
Pull yourself up the line to the bar
Wrap (the line you just pulled yourself to the bar with) at least one kite length (20-30’)on the bar to prevent relaunch, then wrap the rest of the lines until you reach the kite.If able, detach the lines from the kite and stow the bar.
Grab what will be your UPPER wingtip or bridle, (depending on direction of travel) and work your way to other wingtip by sliding leading edge under your arm with the other hand. (hold bridle and push L.E. away from you)Fill the sail with wind to pull yourself back to shore.
Practice this on the beach, or in shallow water to find correct hand positioning-BEFORE YOU NEED IT!
Remember: NEVER deflate your kite unless absolutely necessary!
This technique also keeps you more visible to rescue personnel.Here's how you do it: lay on leading edge of kite (wingtips in the air), with legs extended down center strut. At this point, your upper body will be hanging over the leading edge, so you can easily overhand swim or "dog paddle" to your board.
From there you can swim to shore or use traditional self rescue technique.
Both methods should be known and practiced before you need them.
Use this method if your leading edge deflates.This will happen if the leading edge bladder pops or the deflate valve opens, so make sure to lock down those velcro tabs around the valves! If you remembered to lock down your one pump strut clips, there will still be air in the struts.
Roll the kite ends to middle and secure it into a "raft" with your leash, harness, lines, or whatever you have.If you didn't lock off your struts, you will have a nice long swim with a giant sea anchor, or be kissing your kite goodbye.LOCK DOWN YOUR STRUTS!