Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to do a Night Kitesurfing Session: Safety Tips

In my previous post I talked about a very special full moon kitesurfing experience, and I would like for you to also take advantage of a full moon whenever you have a chance. I had many experiences of night kitesurfing and those always turned out to be especially exciting. So I decided to share some basic night kitesurfing tips with you for a safe, nice and smooth session. Here they are:

full moon kitesurfing kiteboarding fullmoon

1. Choose a full moon night (one or two days before or after will be good also) with no clouds, because you will need direct light. As you might imagine, moonlight is much weaker than sunlight and clouds might block any light completely.
2. Find a spot that you know very well and that doesn’t have any big safety issues: no rocks, currents or strong tidal movements, no big waves, obstacles etc. You can’t do night kitesurfing in a place full of obstacles.
3. The access to the water should be very safe, so a sandy beach is almost mandatory. If you are at a lake with no easy access, you can consider launching from a boat, even though it can be quite dangerous to manage the lines with low light. That’s why it’s important to never do this alone. Go with an expert buddy, better yet if he/she is a local instructor.
4. Have your full moon night kitesurfing session in a company where at least half of the crew is pretty skilled and experienced, so that there is someone to handle the situation in case of emergency. 
5. No beginner should be allowed to take part of the full moon night kiteboarding session or at least they should be a really small minority.
6. In a larger group, form a group of two or three kiters that will have to stay together at all times, in order to assist one each other in case of emergency.
7. Determine a well-lit gathering point on the beach that would be visible from the water.
8. Every kitesurfer should be equipped with a water resistant light device (such as LED lights) to indicate his/ her position at all times: it might be a good idea to attach a light on one of the kite’s bridles as and additional safety device, which should also be seen from the beach. Every board should also have a light attached. In case of a kite crash, the light would help retrieve it easily.  
9. If it’s possible, one kiter in every group should be equipped with a waterproof communication device.
10.  Assistance on the shore should be available, and it would also be good to have a rescue boat on site.
11. The kiting area should be clearly defined, in order to prevent the participants from going too far. Everybody should be reached quickly in case of emergency.
12. Determine a light signal identifying the starting and ending time of the session. This will help to reasonably organize and optimize the schedule of your night kitesurfing event.

A full moon night kitesurf session is not the best situation to try our favorite tricks or to ride big waves, but it has its own original magical aspects.

Imagine riding on a silver-lit surface, where even the wind will sound more gentle and quiet, and where you will see the dark water passing under your kiteboard with nuances you’ve never seen before. The moonlight, once you get used to it, is really strong and can allow you to see almost as in daylight, but with an unusual new flavor.

Try this new experience and share it with us! Safe kiteboarding!

full moon kitesurfing kiteboarding fullmoon

Addendum: A fellow kiter Willy Badenas, showed us how the original techinque of led lights to enlighten Kites and Kiteboards which is used in Mar Chiquita (mar del Plata): The result seems astonishing!
(Thanks Willy for sharing: the original idea is of the local rider Noe Quiroga)

kitsurf kiteboarding led light night session
kitsurf kiteboarding led light night session

kitsurf kiteboarding led light night sessionkitsurf kiteboarding led light night session

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This post follows the previous moon light kitesurf post, adding tips how to have a great night session
Full Moon Kitesurfing
Date published: 04/30/2014
Date Update: 04/30/2014