Safe kiteboarding - Be in the clear

Kiteboards are classified as vessels and must comply with NSW marine legislation.

Kiteboarding is a surface water sport that combines elements of surfing with sailing and kiting, harnessing the power of the wind.

Roads and Maritime Services has launched Safe Kiteboarding - Be in the CLEAR to increase awareness among kiteboarders of the maritime regulations relating to kiteboarding in NSW.

Be in the CLEAR adopts the CLEAR safety system endorsed by the NSW Kiteboarding Association so that both novice and experienced kiteboarders can minimise the risks to themselves and to other beach and water users.

Be in the CLEAR


Check the wind, currents, waves and tides

  • Never kiteboard in offshore winds
  • Keep the downwind area well clear
  • Stay alert – conditions change quickly on the water.


Look before you launch, land, jump or change direction

  • Prevent risks to yourself and others by continuously observing:
    • What other people are doing
    • Where you are in relation to objects, structures and the land
    • How these factors will affect your movements
  • Avoid potential collisions in all circumstances.


Use the right equipment and check it every time

  • Wear an appropriate lifejacket:
    • On open waters when more than 400 m from shore and kiteboarding alone a level 100+, 50 or 50s
    • On alpine waters at all times level 100+, 50 or 50s
    • On open waters and more than 400 m from shore when kiteboarding in company of another kiteboarder or support vessel a purpose designed kiteboard harness which has inherent floatation equivalent to a lifejacket level 50 or 50s lifejacket
    • On enclosed waters when more than 400 m from shore a purpose designed kiteboard harness which has inherent floatation equivalent of a level 50 or 50s lifejacket
    • For more information on lifejackets visit the Lifejacket – Wear it website.
  • Use a kite leash and make sure anything you hook into is quick release
  • The kite you are using must suit the conditions, your size and ability. If it is too large to launch safely, don’t
  • Make sure the lines are uncrossed before you launch or you will have no control over your kite
  • Always check your equipment before setting out
  • Never exceed manufacturers’ specifications
  • Practise safety systems so they become instinctive.


Seek and listen to local advice

  • Use your judgment to avoid dangerous situations; don’t rely on skill to try to get out of them
  • Don’t exceed your limits
  • Safety should be your first and utmost priority
  • Never go out unprepared.


Respect people, the law and the environment

  • Use care, courtesy and common sense when you interact with fellow kiteboarders and other beach and water users:
    • Avoid irregular riding around other vessels
    • When heading into shore, keep your lines clear of others and avoid sweeping your kite over the shoreline.
  • Be aware of your legal safety requirements. This includes regulations on lifejackets, distance off and avoiding collisions
  • Respect the beach and aquatic environment. Don’t litter. Leave the environment as you found it.

If you are new to the sport, have professional lessons to learn how to kiteboard safely and correctly and to build confidence.

Visit the NSW Kiteboarding Association website for more information on kiteboarding in NSW.


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