My recent in experience in Hong Kong
While I was out kiteboarding in Hong Kong recently, it occurred to me here that there were alot of people who did not understand the kiteboarding right of way rules. It is something that should be taught when you are learning for the safety of yourself and others kiteboarding around you.
Hong Kong’s kiteboarding area can get pretty busy, but compared to some kite spots in Europe, it isn’t really comparable. In these locations where there are hundreds of kites around, right of way rules are so important to avoid collisions and crossed lines.
The simple Kiteboarding right of way rules are below
- A kiter on a starboard tack (right hand and shoulder forwards) has right of way.
- A kiter on a port tack (left hand and shoulder forwards) must yield right of way (get out the way).
- For two kiters on the same tack, the kiteboarder upwind must give way to the kitesurfer downwind.
While passing in opposite directions:
- the upwind kiteboarder must fly their kite high,
- the kiteboarder downwind must fly their kite low
- Kiters leaving the shore (outgoing) have right of way over incoming riders. Riders close to shore or negotiating broken water are more at risk, so they have the right of way
- Kiters riders on a wave have right of way over other riders, except for outgoing riders as above.
If overtaking a rider in front of you, the rider going faster must give way to the slowest rider. Since the rider that arrives from behind is able to see everything, he can decide best on what to do. In practice, it is easier to turn around instead of performing some tricky maneuver in overtaking. However, if you do overtake, make sure you keep your Kite Surfing Kite low and that the other rider has taken notice of you.
Do not ever assume you have right of way or insist on taking it as the other kitesurfer may not know the rules or may not be paying attention.
Most of all, using common sense and giving room to other kiteboarders will keep everyone safe out on the water. If you are about to jump, look downwind to see if there is someone there to avoid any potential incidents.