We will go over the three kiteboarding safety systems, what they are and situations to use them. When you have a modern day control bar and you know how to use your safety systems, you can reduce the risk of something happening.
Three Kiteboarding Safety Systems
Over the years, brands have evolved their safety systems to become simpler and more effective. To best know what to do in different scenarios we recommend taking a lesson. In our lessons we go through the safety systems in a controlled environment.
Safety System One: Let Go
When in doubt, let it out. Kiteboarding is counterintuitive to what your reactions tell you to do. A common first reaction for new kiteboarders is to pull in on the bar when they experience more tension. This reaction will cause even more power to be generated or will cause the kite to backstall. If you’re getting pulled, if you feel out of control, or if you crash, let go of the control bar.
Letting go of the control bar will cause the kite to depower. The kite will travel to any direction it’s facing. When the kite is on the water, you’ll need to pull one of the outside lines for a water relaunch. Pulling one of the outside lines will get the kite to the edge of the wind window or to the neutral zone.
Safety System Two: Eject
To eject, push away your safety system. Another term for this second safety is to “flag the kite.” The majority of brands have a “push away” safety system. Some brands have a different method like a twist method to flag the kite.
In a situation where letting go doesn’t stop the power, lines became tangled or you feel uncomfortable, eject or push away the quick release. The idea in this safety system is to flag the kite onto one of its center lines. This will prevent the kite from powering up. Wind will blow over the top of the kite like if it was positioned safely on the beach.
From a technical perspective, the control bar should travel half the distance to the kite to fully eject. The problem with older control bars is their “flag line” may not be long enough to fully eject the kite. Brands over-engineered bars by having a flag line and line tensioner that would then connect to the two center lines. Now, one of the two center lines is the flag line that your safety leash is attached to. This system is cleaner and safer.
Safety System Three: Full Eject
This third option is a last option. If your quick release fails (it shouldn’t unless its outdated), then your last option is to eject by pushing away the release on your safety leash. You must first push away your second release for this to work. If you eject your safety release without ejecting your quick release on the bar, nothing will happen.
Kiteboarding is an extreme sport and can be dangerous. Kite manufacturers have worked hard to develop simple and effective safety systems. We find that 99% of the current safety systems on the market work. Older systems do not flag the kite the same way modern systems do and are not as effective. Even with new safety systems, we recommend practicing flagging the kite once in a while on a lightwind day.
Have questions or stuck on a certain step? Send us a message!