As with any sport, there are risks associated with kitesurfing. In recent years, there has been a tendency to associate kitesurfing with more risk than surfing. While this is partially true, it is not necessarily the case. Here are some of the most common hazards associated with kitesurfing. Don't take a kite that is too large or too small for the conditions!
One of the biggest risks of kitesurfing is taking too big of a size for your board or kite. This can lead to a dangerous death loop where one rider releases the kite while the other cannot. To avoid this situation, always check downwind clearance and release your board before releasing your kite. This way, you'll be able to release your kite in time for the next wave.
Large kites can be difficult to launch and turn with your board, and they are hard to control when you're in the water. It's also not safe to try to launch another kite while you're flying your own. The same applies to the kite's control when you're standing on top of it at the zenith. The kite can also get uncontrollable if you don't use the correct power and dive.
In marginal wind conditions, it's possible to fall into the water and relaunch the wing and body if you're not on the water. Without enough wind power, you'll have to use body drag to get back to the ground. This is especially important for new riders. Always take a buddy when kitesurfing in rough water. The wind can be unpredictable, so always check the weather forecast and the wind direction before heading out.
A common mistake when learning kitesurfing is taking too big of a kite. Many people don't know they're not physically fit for it, so they attempt the sport and end up getting injured. This is a major mistake! Fortunately, kitesurfing is becoming safer all the time. There's no need to avoid the sport altogether, but learning the risks involved is an important part of kitesurfing.
Despite the risks of taking too big a kite, it is important to stay safe when kitesurfing in rough conditions. Always check for beachgoers' clearance, and use a safety harness to keep your board secure. A kite released too soon can cause you to get lofted and be stuck at sea. It is also dangerous if you end up in a situation where the wind dies too quickly, leaving you drifting in the ocean current.
When first starting out, always check the wind report and weather forecast before heading out to the beach. If there's a high chance of strong wind, kiteboarding in a heavily-populated area isn't recommended. It's also not a good idea to head out during storm fronts, which can be particularly dangerous. You could end up in the middle of a road or be hauled up against a building.
Another danger of the sport is taking too small a size of kite. If you're unsure of how much wind is blowing, consider using a surfboard with a leash. Also, if you're heading into a spot with outside waves, know the tides and avoid any shallow rocks. Otherwise, you may unknowingly reach an area with strong current. It might be too late to launch your kite and catch the wave, and you'll get smashed.
Another dangerous kitesurfing mistake is taking too small a size for the wind. If you're riding alone, you'll want to choose a spot that has clear visibility. Kites that are too small could cause fatal death loops. It's also not a good idea to try to ride in crowded conditions or in areas with more beginners or freestylers. Check the downwind clearance before you launch, and always coordinate a simultaneous release.
Getting too big or too small is a serious danger of kitesurfing. You can reduce the risks of overpowering your kite by choosing a smaller size. It's also better to stick to the manufacturer's wind range when you're learning the sport. By making a small mistake, you can ruin your entire trip. When choosing the right size, you'll have a safe ride and minimize the risk of an injury or accident.
Getting tangled in your lines is the worst kitesurfing mistake, so try to learn to fly your own kites. While modern kites have enough depower to handle strong wind, you don't want to get stuck with a kite that's too small for you. Having a loose line can result in severe injury, so try to avoid standing downwind of a learner. And if you can, try to stay upwind so that you can watch what's going on upwind.