Kiteboarding Hand Signals

When communicating on-water or over a distance, wind and wave noise will drown out almost all verbal communication. So it is necessary for kiteboarders to use visual communications to signify their intent, and especially useful is using hand signals. There are a specific set of hand signals that are in wide use, and are widely understood. To be a responsible kiter, you should learn the kiteboarding hand Signals listed below. Understanding these basic hand signals will improve the level of safety for you and others. These hand signals are based on the standard signals used internationally by IKO certified kiteboarding instructors.

When to Signal:
Good communication is essential when launching and landing kites. Also between a kiter on the water and their on shore support crew. Sometimes it will be necessary to communicate with other kiters, and communication is especially important between instructor and student. If you do not know these hand signals, chances are that you have never done a lesson with a professional instructor. It is always recommended to take lessons from professional certified instructors.
 

 

Ready to Launch (launch Signal):

The ready to launch signal is a raised thumb. When the kiter gives the thumbs up sign, the kite launcher knows when to let go. Jab your thumb upward to make this signal more clear to the launcher. An alternative to thumbs up is to raise the board up and point upward with the board.
*It is very important to never launch the kite for someone until they give a clear launch signal.

Don’t Launch (Thumbs Down):

The DONT LAUNCH sign is to have the thumbs down. DO NOT launch the kite if the pilot gives you this signal. You can also shake your head no (sideways) to emphasize the signal.Take care to always give clear signals so that they do not confuse the receiver.

Catch my kite (Catch signal):

Catch my kite (Catch signal)

Patting the head with the palm down is the signal to catch my kite, it also means “I will catch your kite”.

Land your Kite (Land Signal):

This signal means “land your kite to me” if it is give

n by someone on shore to a person who is riding.

Turn around ! (Turn signal):

Turn around ! (Turn signal).

Raise on hand and point up with the index finger, and make a circle with your finger. This circular motion means “turn around”, or “go back the other way”.

Stop ! (Stop signal):

Stop ! (Stop signal).

Push out your flattened palm, fingers pointing up. This stop signal is a widely used and well understood stop signal. It means stop right where you are, come to a dead stop. Wait, in your current position, stop all forward movement.

Release your bar (Let Go):

Release your bar (Let Go).

This signal is when you want someone to Stop by releasing their bar. Push up and out with both hands, opening your hands, just like you are letting go of your (imaginary) bar. This signal tells that other person to release their bar. This signal is usually used between an instructor and student.

Release the trim loop (Release loop):

Release the trim loop (Release loop).

This signal is when you want someone to Stop by releasing the trim loop. Pretend to grab an imaginary trim loop at your belly and bring you hands up and outward like you are releasing a QRTL Quick release trim loop (chicken loop).This is the signal to give when you want your buddy/student to release their trim loop. This signal is usually used between an instructor on the beach to their student on the water.

Are you are OK? or I am OK:

Put the kite at 10 o’clock:

Put the kite at 10 o'clock.

Put both you outstretched arm out at the angle you want to communicate. the rider should attempt to put his kite at the same angle as the arm. You can do the whole wind clock in this way.

Put the kite at the Zenith (12 o’clock):

Put the kite at the Zenith (12 o'clock).

Put both hands together above your head so that they form a triangle. This is the signal for putting the kite at the Zenith, (12 o’clock).

Put the kite at 2 o’clock:

Put the kite at 2 o'clock.

Put both you outstretched arm out at the angle you want to communicate. the rider should attempt to put his kite at the same angle as the arm. you can do the whole wind clock in this way.

Put the kite at 3 o’clock (on the water):

Put the kite at 3 o'clock (on the water).

Put your arm to the side you want the kite to go, palm downward means keep in down, This signal means put the kite at 3oclock on the water and keep it there.

Come here , Come closer:

Come here , Come closer.

Palm inward, fingers pointing up, scoop your hand towards you. This means come here or, come closer.

Look at…, (Look at this…):

Look at..., (Look at this...).

Pointing to your eyes, signals to look at or pay attention to something. This sign is usually followed by pointing to the object of interest.

Look Here, (Pointing):

Look Here, (Pointing).

Look at that, pointing to an object of interest.

Go Left, or Go Further Out:

Go Left, or Go Further Out

Make a pushing motion in the direction you want the rider to go. The kiter goes to the side your arms are indicating. If it is done on the side away from the beach it means go farther out.

Go Right, or Go this way:

Go Right, or Go this way

Make a pushing motion in the direction you want the rider to go. If it is done on the side away from the beach it means go farther out.

Tips for hand Signals:  Whenever possible a hand signal should be preceded by a loud sound signal to get the attention of the kiter. A loud whistle, or a shouted “hoy” should get the attention of the responder. When you are out of earshot, you should be on the lookout for the hand signals of others trying to communicate with you. Sometimes you will be signaled by another kiter, (kiter to kiter), sometimes you will be signaled by someone on shore, (shore to water). Sometimes you will want to signal someone on shore while you are out kiting. (water to shore). The situation will demand that both signaler and signalee both understand the meaning of the signal.

Copyright David Dorn © 2009-[y] all rights reserved