New Milestone in Kitesports Safety: ISO Standard 21853 on Quick-Release Systems
The Global Kitesports Association (GKA) has achieved a milestone in kiteboarding safety!
Since 2014, the GKA and its members have been working tirelessly with the International Standardization Organisation (ISO) along with an international team of engineers and experts to bring this industry-wide, internationally valid safety standardization classification for quick-release systems on kite bars.
The new international standard ISO 21853 for quick-release systems has come into force February 14th, providing the kite industry a new way of ensuring their equipment conforms to the state-of-the-art safety requirements, and it allows consumers to single out products that fulfil the standard and ensure consumers’ safety while practicing the sport they love.
In future production cycles, quick-release systems that comply with the ISO standard through testing at one of the independent testing facilities will be embossed with the official ISO standard number.
An additional label issued by the GKA, pronouncing a tested and certified product as ISO compliant, will make it easy for consumers to choose suitable equipment.
The ISO standard 21853
applies in all countries worldwide
overrules all national standards for quick-release systems in kitesports like the French standard AFNOR
sets the standard for maximum release force (equal to or less than 170N) and opening time (equal to or less than 2 seconds) of quick-release systems under different standardized conditions like
dry and clean conditions
water with sand
cold and wet conditions
includes the safety leash release system that belongs to the respective kite control bar
sets the international standard on how to test release forces through
standardized testing units
standardized testing procedures
sets the standard on many more important safety relevant parts of QR systems like
percentage of signal color
strength of material
For quick-release systems on kite bars is tested at two independent, certified testing facilities worldwide:
Fraunhofer Institute in Rostock/Germany
Camosun Institute in Victoria/Canada
Only those two institutes can issue an official certificate stating the conformity of a product with the ISO standard 21853. The GKA is in charge of the entire certification process.
Additional information for consumers and manufacturers:
Embossing the number ISO 21853 on a part of the QR system is a mandatory requirement of the standard. However, because products have already been manufactured for 2020 and brands were not allowed to put this number on the QR system prior to the effective date of the standard, February 14th 2020, they are not able to call their QR system ISO 21853 certified, even if the QR system fulfills all technical requirements (QR systems opens at the required maximum release force in the obligatory maximum amount of time). Brands who hand in an official, independent technical approval stating that all requirements of ISO 21853 are fulfilled except the embossed number will be listed on the GKA website (https://www.global-kitesports.org/iso-product-norm/
) and are allowed to label their products with the official Global Kitesports Association ISO label. We ask interested brands to contact the GKA directly.