Here's some information and suggestions regarding windsurfing around kiters.
If we are moving our kites up and down, we are most likely underpowered and trying to generate power through the motion of the kite. Not a secure situation. If the wind dies off just a few mph more, our kites are falling. Not a really great time to sail under the kite. If you can avoid it do. If not, keep your eye on the kite.
A kite flying steady in the air, is pretty stable, though our winds are not. Keep your eye on the kite if within 100ft.
Marine waterway right of way rules hold. Starboard has right of way. Whoever has the right of way can give it up if they don't think they can hold their line, by veering off, motioning for the other to take the right of way, or some other way of communicating it.
If a kiter is in the water with their kite down, imagine a semi circle downwind 100ft on either side of the kiter. Try to stay out of this area. The kite could relaunch and power up along the water.
Sometimes we loose our boards. If you see our boards and we're not near them, sailing upwind of us and pointing to where it is would really help.
If we have the kite directly over our heads it is a pretty stable condition.
Do not ever sail between the kiter and a downed kite.
If you are passing from the rear, downwind and within a lines distance from a kiter, don't assume we see you. Hollar out, and definately keep an eye on the kite.
When we jump we go up, downwind, sometimes forward of where we started and sometimes back. We try to look downwind and back before we jump though we can forget.
We jump by sending our kites up and back, fairly quickly. If you see our kites doing that, assume we'll be airborn and heading downwind. Once airborn, we have very limited control of our flight path.
If a kite is falling from the sky it is the most unpredictable situation. It can power up, sweep across the water, slam into the water, launch the kiter downwind by 10-60ft in an instant, etc. If you can avoid this situation at all costs do.
If a kiter is in the water and seems to need help, approach only from upwind.
If a kite is loose on the water assume the lines extend 100ft upwind and do not cross them. Do not sail within 20-60ft downwind of these kites, depending upon the strength of the wind. DO NOT TRY AND RESCUE a loose kite, unless you know how to do it safely.
When we are waterstarting, we will dive the kite sharply downwind to pull us onto the board. If you are coming in and see someone about to waterstart a kite, be aware that this will happen. Keep your eye on the kite.
If a kite is blowing onto shore or around the rigging area. The only way to grab it is to grab one end of the kite. Not the lines, not the middle, not the back. If uncertain just let it go. No kite is worth more than someone elses safety.
We're in Minnesota with fluky winds. Nothing is predictable. We try to give an extra distance for good measure, and we hope that you keep an eye on our kites any time you are within the danger zone.
I hope this helps. If all else, if a situation happens that you didn't feel comfortable with, please discuss it with us on shore. We are all learning here. I think everyone is trying to enjoy the day, and really doesn't want to hurt any one else's.
End of Session Productions
LAKAWA, Founder Emeritus
Sponsored by Slingshot Kiteboarding
Midwest Mountaineering Team rider