It is recommended that kiteboarders should follow this code of conduct within Northland. This code aims to ensure the safety of everyone using our waters, that the right principles of the sport are followed and that the right equipment is used.
The speed of all vessels in Northland is restricted to 5 knots within 50 metres of another vessel or 200 metres of the shore.
Board sports are exempt from these restrictions, except for Ruakaka and Waipu estuaries, where board sports are prohibited.
Beginners are strongly advised to take lessons from a professional instructor or school – self-taught kiteboarding can be dangerous to you and to other people.
Kiteboarding code of conduct for riding
- When kiteboarding away from the beach, start downwind of other water users or over 50m away from them and upwind;
- Do not fly your kite over the beach while kitesurfing on the water;
- Do not jump/perform tricks within 50m of the beach or within 50m of anyone downwind of you;
- Know how to perform a deep-water self rescue;
- Help anyone in need of assistance;
- Inform the relevant local authorities if your kite or board is lost;
- It is better not to ride alone. If you do, let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
Rights of way
- Give way to all other water users;
- When crossing, upwind riders should fly their kite high, downwind riders should fly theirs low;
- A rider coming into the beach from the water should give way to a rider leaving the beach;
- A rider on the port tack (kite on the left side) should give way to a rider on starboard tack (kite on the right side). Remember - kite on right, has right of way
- Always use a kite leash and effective safety system;
- Regularly check your safety release systems;
- Check for wear and tear on all your equipment;
- Carry a knife that is capable of cutting the heaviest flying line you are using;
- Use of a board leash is not recommended.
- It is recommended that helmet and buoyancy aid/impact vest are worn;
- It is recommended that communication equipment (mobile phone, handheld VHF and/or flares) is carried or available nearby, to deal with emergency situations.
Setting up, launching and landing
- Set up away from entrances/exits to the beach to keep them clear;
- Leave a clear space for vehicles/other beach users to travel up and down the beach;
- Do not launch near non-kiters, or if the launch area is crowded with people;
- Put a weight on your kite when left on the land to secure it;
- Snake or wind up your lines when leaving your kite unattended;
- Look out for riders returning to shore and be ready to catch their kite;
- It is safest to set up your lines downwind from your kite.
- Check the forecast and local conditions before riding;
- Do not go out in an offshore wind;
- If the beach and shoreline are very busy, wait until it's less busy or find another clear spot;
- Do not spend unnecessary time flying your kite on land – get onto the water as soon as possible.
If in doubt, don't go out!