Sailboarding and kiteboarding

Sailboarding (often referred to as windsurfing) and kiteboarding (often referred to as kitesurfing) are surface water sports that combine elements of surfing with sailing and kiting, harnessing the power of the wind. Both sailboards and kiteboards are classified as vessels and therefore come under NSW marine legislation.

Safe distance and speed

Sailboarders and kiteboarders must:

  • Keep themselves and their equipment a minimum distance of 60 metres from people in the water and dive flags on the surface of the water or if that is not possible, a safe distance and speed
  • Stay out of designated swimming zones.


Lifejackets must be worn at most times when 400 metres from shore when sailboarding or kiteboarding. See Lifejackets for more information.

No-go/caution areas

Sydney Harbour is a no-go zone for kiteboarding and many areas within the harbour are restricted when sailboarding.

In Pittwater off Station Beach, caution is required as this is a seaplane landing and take-off area. Appropriate warning signs have been established north and south of the seaplane wharf.

Other locations may have no-go areas imposed by local signage, therefore we suggest you view the relevant boating maps for those locations.

Safety tips

  • Take extreme care when launching
  • Keep a proper lookout at all times
  • Maintain proper distances off when operating in the vicinity of surfers outside the designated surf zone
  • Keep a proper lookout at all times for obstructions, other craft or swimmers
  • Look all around, even behind you
  • Carry a hand held marine radio or mobile phone in a waterproof pouch in case of emergency.

Give way

Power driven craft must give way to sailcraft such as sailboards/kiteboards unless the sailboarder/kitesurfer is in the process of overtaking.

A sailboarder/kiteboarder overtaking any other craft (power or sail) must keep well clear of the vessel being overtaken.

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