*** PSKA Rider's Etiquette ***

General discussions about kiting in the Pacific Northwest - Seattle, Tacoma, Bellingham, the Puget Sound, and places nearby such as the Gorge, the Coast, and BC

*** PSKA Rider's Etiquette ***

Postby pskite_bod » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:44 pm

If you are new to the Northwest kiteboarding scene, welcome. Our community has worked extensively on developing the following guidelines for all kiters (noob to OG) in our region. Specifically, many thanks to j.p., Jeffh, and goiner for working many hours on this project.

Note that there is no enforcement body to make sure you follow the "rules". In fact, they aren't even rules but rather guidelines. As a community and organization, we believe the best chance to preserve our beach access is by individuals putting the needs of the community first, taking responsibility and self-enforcing. Hopefully, you agree and choose to follow these guidelines.


Riders Etiquette

  • Do not kite in the launch and land area.
  • Stay away from swimmers by at least two kite line lengths.
  • Upwind rider keep kite high so as not to interfere with riders downwind.
  • Downwind rider keep kite low to not interfere with riders upwind.
  • If that doesn’t work - see “Kiteboarding Right of Way” list below.
  • Look before you turn (transition).
  • Don’t dawdle when launching or landing. Someone else is probably trying to launch or land and is waiting for you to move.
  • Don't ride near/around slider if you aren't hitting slider.
  • Don’t throw tricks right at the shore and never near a swimmer or beachgoer. See the 2-line length rule.
  • When kiting near teacher/students, make the students' experience less stressful. Give them plenty of room. Stay out of their wind window.
  • Do not stand around with your kite in the air. Follow the low-and-go rule. Keep your kite at an angle, off center (to avoid lofting). The “Go” part is to quickly get into the more-forgiving water.
  • Respect posted distance restrictions on any and all Washington State Bridges (eg. i-90, 520, Hood Canal, T-Narrows).
  • Always be ready to assist another kiter: possible emergency, regular landing and launching, board retrieval (when you are proficient).

Beach Etiquette

  • Pump up your kite. Then lay out your lines.
  • Wrap up your lines. Maintain a small beach footprint.
  • Rest race boards fins down.
  • Bring and use your own equipment, e.g. your pump.
  • Park legally.
  • When you are new to an area, ask the locals for advice.
  • Keep your name and phone number on your board.
  • If you smoke, try to quit. But at least stay downwind of other beachgoers, kiters and kiting equipment.
  • Be courteous and follow all beach specific laws/guidelines.

Kitesboarding Right-of-Way Rules

From the Chicago Kitesurfing website

  • Always use proper judgment and give up your right-of-way by yielding to anyone, or anything, that may appear to create a situation with your position, or upcoming position.
  • Right hand forward while riding is Starboard Tack (and generally has right-of-way).
  • Left hand forward is Port Tack.
  • When two kiteboarders converge in a way that may lead to a collision, the kiteboarder on port tack must give way to the kiteboarder on starboard tack. Starboard tack has right of way in this situation.
  • When two kiteboarders converge, and they are on the same tack, the kiteboarder most upwind must give way to the kiteboarder most downwind. The leeward kiteboarder has right of way in this situation.
  • When two kiteboarders converge in a way that may lead to the kites colliding, the upwind kiteboarder must fly their kite as high as possible, and the downwind kiteboarder must fly their kite as low as possible.
  • A kiteboarder must give way to anyone they are overtaking. The kiteboarder being overtaken has the right of way, and is responsible for maintaining course while being overtaken.
  • Always give right of way to anyone who enters the 200' safety zone downwind of you.

Slider Etiquette

  • Maintain your position in the rotation. If unsure what the ‘rotation’ is, ask. If you are scared to ask, just sit on the sidelines and watch. It is easy to understand.
  • Remove fins from board (to not damage slider).
  • Help with slider install, removal, orientation etc.
  • Don't ride near/around slider if you aren't hitting slider.

Wave Riding Etiquette

  • It is not ok to short jibe a wave if someone is tracking on it - classic downwinder move, just because you are downwinding doesn't give you special rights.
  • It is not ok to be tracking on a wave and then fade or decide to fall back on the next wave because you think it is better - someone is probably on it tracking it too.
  • When heading back out and someone is on a wave coming in, make your decision quickly to:
    • Go downwind hard to avoid the wave rider (don't make him/her guess), OR
    • Pinch hard upwind to avoid the same rider (this means you may hit some whitewater so know how to "hike" or float the whitewater), OR
    • Transition/jibe back to the beach
  • DO NOT keep your tack and head straight at the wave rider causing him/her to adjust just because you don't want to lose ground - regardless of starboard you do not have priority in this case.
  • Up the line vs down the line: we get a lot of onshore wind so going up the line can be fun but if you are going up the line on a wave where another kiter is going down the line, you do not have priority.
  • Upwind kiter has priority. This is tough sometimes. If you are on a wave that is facing up but hasn't broken and someone upwind of you gets on the wave after you've already started to track on it, that is tough. In surfing this isn't an issue, the surfer deeper on the wave has priority, but in surfing you have to be in the right spot, you can't paddle fast enough when out of position, then go right to the deepest takeoff point like a kiter can. The exception is if they don't know what they are doing AND they are quite a ways down the line and obviously not in the right position (shoulder soldier).

Electronic Forum (Including PSKite) Etiquette

  • Be civil.
  • Be brief.
  • Obey copyright laws.
  • Have fun.

Any comments, suggestions or corrections should be directed at the original discussion thread. Thank you!
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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:42 am

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