Kiteboarding International Right Of Way Rules

Kiteboarding is so much fun! Before heading out there are some rules that every rider should remind themselves of to minimize risk.

Kiteboarding is fun and there are many other good reasons why one should try it if not already totally hooked on it!

  • It’s a great outdoor sport that involves gliding over the water and being at one with nature and the elements.
  • It takes riders to stunning places with a good bunch of awesome friends.
  • It’s good for overall health because it improves coordination, balance, and concentration and strengthens the entire body with physical activity.
  • It frees the mind and revitalizes the soul while enjoying great outdoor environments.

Before starting practicing, there are some rules that every kiteboarder should take a moment to consider, learn, and share within the kiteboarding community.

The common sense and a little forethought will help to minimize risks to ourselves and others.

Please take a moment to read the following International Kiteboarding Organization advice that Bretto would like to share to remind all kiteboarders of their responsibilities.


Kiteboarding is more fun with Windswell Port Douglas

1. On the beach

The outgoing rider has right of way over the incoming rider.  As the wind is sometimes gusty on land, the rider who is on the beach is the one more at risk, so he has the priority.

2. Head On

When two riders converge: the rider going starboard (kite right-hand side) has right of way and the rider going port tack (kite left-hand side) must give right of way and pass downwind with his kite as low as possible. There is no particular reason for this rule, but it is already applied in all other sports and nautical activities.

3. Overtaking

The rider going faster than another in the same direction must give way to the slowest rider.   The one going faster is the one who has a global vision of the situation since he arrives from behind.

4. Upwind vs Downwind

The rider passing upwind (windward) from another kiteboarder must fly his kite overhead: the kiteboarder downwind (leeward) must pilot his kite as low as possible.

5. Waveriding

The rider surfing a wave has the right of way over the one who is jumping or going in the opposite direction: when surfing a wave, the kite is less easy to pilot so there is less room for manoeuvres. Nevertheless, the rule for the outgoing rider (mentioned above) is still applicable when the waves are close to the shore (shore break). In this case, the rider who is surfing will have to give way to the rider who is going out.

6. Jumping

A rider must have a clear safety zone of 50m downwind because he moves downwind when he jumps.

7. Respect

Right of way must be given to all other beach users…


For further information, visit the Australian Kitesurfing Association website or the International Kitesurfing website


There are also our own Four Mile Beach Safe Kiting Guidelines – check out the sign at the kite beach for launching and landing areas etc.

Good winds………


Bretto WindSwell

Bretto WindSwell