Before you fly any kite you must know exactly how its safety system works.

Firstly you must correctly connect your bar and lines to your harness.

How to connect yourself to your bar, lines and kite.

  • Always connect your safety leash first. Remember safety first.
  • Your safety leash is attached to your harness and it connects to the metal ring on your chicken loop. Check your bar system to be sure exactly where this is.
  • Next connect your chicken loop to your spreader bar hook that is in front of you on your harness.
  • Push the chick stick through the bottom of the spreader bar to hold your chicken loop in place.

All modern Kitesurfing kites have a let go safety system. After you let go, almost all of the power will disappear and the kite will stop flying. 

Letting go is the most important safety system of all. Letting go when you crash your kite will also prevent damage to your kite.

  • If you have let go of your bar and your kite is still pulling or if you are in an emergency situation such as your kite is tangled in another kite you would activate your main safety system.
  • Your main safety system is located directly in front of you and is usually clearly marked in red. The majority of safety systems are activated by pushing the red safety release away from you and then letting go of it completely as it is pulled away from you.
  • Some brands have a slightly different system which is activated by a twist or even a pull. This is why you must practice activating your safety before fly your kite so you can quickly release yourself from the kite in an emergency situation.

Most modern kites have a simple one line safety system. This is activated when you release your main emergency safety system. After you have released your safety your kite will only be attached to you by one line and have almost no power. This is also known as a flag out system because your kite is attached to you by one point similar to a flag so cannot catch any wind and pull you. 

Once you have activated your safety release system LET GO!

Practice activating your main safety with your eyes closed on the beach or at home before you fly your kite.

Some common examples why you would activate your main safety system

  • You have let go of your bar and your kite is still pulling you. 
  • You collide with another kite and your lines become twisted and there is no safe way to untangle. 
  • Your lines become tangled in an obstacle.
  • You have equipment failure, such as a snapped line or your lines are twisted around your kite.
  • Your kite is looping out of control and you have let go.
  • You feel that you are not in control for any reason. 
  • You are stuck out in deep water and are unable to relaunch your kite and you need to perform a self-rescue or deep water pack down rescue. 
  • You have crashed your kite in waves and are unable to relaunch your kite. 
  • Something went wrong during launching your kite.

Final Safety Release Systems

Your final release must ONLY be used in a life or death emergency.

You must know how your final safety system works BEFORE you go out as many brands are different.

Once you have released your main safety you have the option of releasing the whole kite from your harness by using your final safety release system. 

Check that your final safety system works before every single session as part of your pre-flight check

It is extremely important that your safety leash is attached to a fixed point to the front or to the side of your harness on the side of your predominant hand and that the quick release is within easy reach. 


So if its not clear enough…

Attach your final safety to the side or front of your harness.

Some examples of why you would release your final safety

  • You have released your main safety system and
  • You are still being pulled by your kite after you released your main safety.
  • You are being pulled underwater. 
  • You are caught in an obstacle such as a boat, another kite or similar. 
  • You feel that your life is in danger if you do not release all of your equipment.

Reasons why you do not want to release your final safety system

  • In deep water, your kite is your rescue craft enabling you to perform a self-rescue or a full pack down.
  • If you release your kite it can become very dangerous to other people, especially when connected to your bar and lines.
  • If you do need to be rescued then you are easily located with your bright coloured kite. Without it you are a tiny dot in the ocean and very difficult to see. 
  • Your kite is expensive and could be damaged and lost.

Only fully release all your equipment if your life is in danger but if you are in danger, do not hesitate to release…

Just do it!

“Don’t ever become complacent or overconfident. Expect the unexpected.” Robbie Anderson – International Kitesurfing Organisation

Once you have released your final safety remember to LET GO

Emergency safety systems made simple

  1. Know that letting go is your first and main safety and this is the most commonly used safety system but be prepared to use your emergency safety systems at any time.
  2. Know your safety systems inside out and out, know how to use them with your eyes closed and check that they are working before every session.
  3. Make sure that your final safety release is attached to a fixed point to the side or the front of your harness and do not hesitate to use it if you feel that your life is in danger.

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