The following is a list of common hazards when kitesurfing or snowkiting:
- Do not ride alone. In case of an accident you will always have someone to help you. Kite launch, landing or packing with a partner is much easier and safer. Be sure to carry a mobile phone with you and know how to call the emergency services in the vicinity of your kiteboarding spot.
- Avoid public areas; untrained and uninformed crowds cannot assess the level of danger to its fullest. You have to remember that by engaging in this sport you risk not only your life, but also the lives of people around you.
- Do not kitesurf with offshore wind (wind that blows away from the shore). You do not want to end up in the middle of the lake! In the learning process, theoretically every student thinks he is about to learn how to go up wind and then come back to the starting point, but in reality it does not work like that. Off shore wind has another unfavourable feature: it is never smooth and comfortable to ride.
- When launching or landing your kite do not ask for help from people who do not have the appropriate skills.
- Choose a place for training with no obstacles downwind. Better yet, nothing and no one should be standing or distracting your attention in your wind window up to the kite line length. Make sure your assistant always stays behind your kite flying zone.
- Kite lines cannot be reeled in your hands. The kite can pick up wind power at any time and at the very least, damage one of your limbs.
- Before you start kiteboarding, be sure to wear helmet protection. It will save your head from possible impacts with the board, ground or ice when snowkiting. It is recommended to have knee and elbow pads when snowkiting to protect yourself in case you fall down on the ice.
- Do not ignore the importance of using a safety leash. It should be provided with your kite when purchasing one. It will help protect you in case of sudden wind gusts by easily activating the safety system and de-powering the kite even in very complex emergency situations.
- When snowkiting on a frozen lake, always carry an ice screw with a carbine. There are cases when you want to rest after a long ride and the only option is to park your kite by attaching it to an ice screw. Tie a piece of a bright fabric flap to the ice screw, so that it is always clearly visible and will not get covered with snow.
- Make sure to check the weather forecast for your riding day, yet keep in mind that information is always changing. In order to obtain the most probable picture, study forecasts from various sources and compare them to the actual weather. It sometimes happens that the forecasts contradict each other, but when all are pointing towards the same prediction rest assured it is likely to be so.
- Pay extra caution when preparing to launch and land a kite. Unraveling and hooking lines also requires care and attention to detail.
Before we move on to the next topic, you must firmly grasp one very important thing. You have decided to try out this extreme sport, and that’s incredible! However, please always remember that since this sport is gaining more popularity there will always be onlookers who have no idea of necessary precautions. Thus, it is your responsibility to guard them from any possible danger that may come from being within the kite flying zone or wind window.
Please, take care of yourself and others. IKite Canada offers a wealth of safety information and hands-on classes to cover all this, as we first and foremost believe in creating a safe environment for our students and the community.