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Wave Kiting Right of Ways - still confused

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Wave Kiting Right of Ways - still confused

Postby sickdog » Sun Dec 27, 2020 2:50 pm


I've been wave kiting for quite a while in different spots (Cape Verde and Mauritius to mention the two most populars), and i'm still quite confused about wave kiting right of ways... for example, the first two things that come up to mind:

do windsurfers always have the right of way, even if they are in a worse position on a wave?
if i'm closer to the peak, i've always the right of way?

I can't find anywhere a precise guide of the right of ways for wave kiting, it would be great if anyone could help out...


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Re: Wave Kiting Right of Ways - still confused

Postby grigorib » Sun Dec 27, 2020 3:07 pm

Compared to windsurfer you would be more maneuverable vessel so yes, windsurfers would have right of way.

1. Avoid collision
2. More maneuverable vessel yields to less maneuverable one
3. Maintain prescribed traffic pattern (channel/port/slick/etc)
4. Starboard is a king of seas
Last edited by grigorib on Sun Dec 27, 2020 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wave Kiting Right of Ways - still confused

Postby Strekke » Sun Dec 27, 2020 3:10 pm

Good question. I have experienced similar confusing situations in Mauritius. Some people claim that because it's harder for windsurfers to catch a wave, they have the right to drop in even if a kiter is in a better position. However, when you then have 10 windsurfers all dropping into sets of 6 waves and doing double attempts if they miss the first one, then there are simply no waves left for the kiters. Now throw in the wingsurfers on foils and you can already imagine what a shitshow Manawa etc. will be on a good day.

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Re: Wave Kiting Right of Ways - still confused

Postby plummet » Sun Dec 27, 2020 5:39 pm

I can't answer for those locations. This is how we roll locally.

While tacking out to sea assuming you are in an upwind enough position to get too the impact zone, whoever turns onto the swell first takes that swell and the wave associated with it.

Simple. Job done.

The tricky part is selecting the right swell that will turn into an epic wave. When you select it, it may be a stormer or may fizzle out. You are 500-600m out to sea. It is unknown at that point. But it is fair. Guy on the swell gets the wave. Wind surfer, kiter, foiler, wing foiler whatever.

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Re: Wave Kiting Right of Ways - still confused

Postby iriejohn » Sun Dec 27, 2020 6:30 pm

The wave belongs to whoever is on it first, subject to the overriding rule that collisions are to be avoided at all costs. The problem sometimes arises that some dick decides to turn onto your wave upwind of you forcing you to take evasive action. A quiet word on the beach usually stops it happening again, but if it doesn't then a clear description of the damage that will occur to his usually expensive and pristine equipment in the event of a collision seems to work. :wink:

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Re: Wave Kiting Right of Ways - still confused

Postby Eduardo » Sun Dec 27, 2020 7:48 pm

I agree with plummet and iriejohn.

While kiters often yield to windsurfers as they have to work harder per wave in general, they do not have priority. I will often give a wave to a well behaved windsurfer who has been making the same circle as everyone else. But not if there's a big crowd and I had to wait a long time to get the right spot on the right wave. There are also windsurfers who purposely stall to let the next wave catch up to them after they made a bad choice selecting a smaller swell. I will not give them my wave.

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Re: Wave Kiting Right of Ways - still confused

Postby Hugh2 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 8:17 pm

Depends on the spot. Try claiming a wave from a windsurfer at Sunset Beach in Cape Town and you are in for a rude surprise. However, at Haakgat Plummet's approach rules, largely because you can get started on a swell far out and ride it all the way in, windsurfers and kitesurfers generally acknowledging each other's priority. But at Sunset Beach the swells form up really quickly and there is not time for that and once a windsurfer is on a wave and charging down the line even if you are already on the wave your best approach is to bail.

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Re: Wave Kiting Right of Ways - still confused

Postby TheRussian » Sun Dec 27, 2020 11:19 pm

Mauritius (One-eye) is very orderly - everyone (kiters & windsurfers) goes out in a queue & furthest out picks their swell line 1st - never had any issues, aside from the odd kiter trying to get on a wave - but closest one to the break has the right of way, regardless of being a kiter or windsurfer

As mentioned, the quality of the wave is luck of the draw, except at One eye, as on a big day, its v obvious as the swell just gets bigger & faster

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Re: Wave Kiting Right of Ways - still confused

Postby longwhitecloud » Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:59 am

1 . Be respectful 2. Learn what short tacking is. 3. Ask the alpha guru locals the rules.

Rules are there to keep people safe and to make things fairer, i am not saying fair though - you cannot just come along and expect to be local guru status.. there is a heir-achy - just like in surfing. ease in gently - show respect to get respect.

i have never considered a windsurfer to have priority, but i will still apply the same rules above.

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Re: Wave Kiting Right of Ways - still confused

Postby peppedurso » Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:04 am

Rule n.1 should be avoid collision at any cost, but lack of common sense in both kiters and windsurfers do not make things easy. Also among windsurfers the ones that are going against the wave got priority, instead surfers and kiters got priority if they are surfing a wave. I guess most of the frictions get started by that.
Use common sense, stay safe and enjoy!

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