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We rank kitesurfing in our group 2 medium-risk sports so although it is not unsafe, it is best to be aware of the things below in order to reduce of risk of injury. It is also important to make sure you are covered so take a look at our kitesurfing policy which will cover you for medical costs that could otherwise be financially damaging.
Wind and weather
It may be tempting to go out in winter storms but exercise great caution if you do, and in general it is advised to avoid them. Offshore winds are also dangerous as the kitesurfer is at danger of being carried far out to sea.
Physical stressors and health
Mistakes increase with fatigue but it is easy to lose track of tiredness when wrapped up in the excitement of kitesurfing! Come in before your arms turn to jelly. Be wary of sunburn and hypothermia.
Generally nothing to worry about in the UK but in warmer climes jellyfish, sea urchins, sharks, whales and crocodiles are more of a problem. Always check local conditions, listen to local advice and dress accordingly with stinger suits/reef booties.
Choosing to kitesurf in cross-offshore or offshore winds is malpractice as you risk getting blown out to sea. If this happens consider releasing your kite, leaving your board and swimming back to shore. Jumping in shallow water is also dangerous and not worth the risk. Go out to deeper water for jumps.
“Deathlooping” is uncommon but occurs when the kite goes into uncontrollable loops and will drag an attached kitesurfer with considerable power. It can be caused by a pulley or brindle line breaking so inspect these regularly for signs of wear and replace BEFORE they fail.
Other craft and swimmers
Kitesurfing means you can travel fast so it is important to look out for boats and yachts, hang gliders and swimmers. Rules stipulate kitesurfers must keep at least 50m away from any swimmer.