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Rider: Mike Sysavat/Airborne Kiteboarding

The self rescue is a skill that every kiteboarder needs to know and should practice at least a few times. Regardless of your skill level, you will eventually need to perform a self rescue. This video is not meant to replace professional kiteboarding instruction. We strongly recommend that every person interested in kiteboarding start by taking a lesson.

With your kite down in the water, the first thing you need to do is get to your kite. Every kiteboarding manufacturer’s safety system is slightly different, so the correct technique will vary from brand to brand. In general, the safest way to get to your kite is to activate your safety system and then pull yourself hand over hand up one single line until you reach the kite. Never wrap the line around your hand and be careful to avoid kicking your feet around loose lines as you swim.

Once at the kite, maneuver it into a position where you are holding the middle of the leading edge as you would on land. Fold the kite so the wing tips are touching and grab both wingtips. If your kite has an especially rigid leading edge, you may want to let a little air out of the kite to make it easier to fold. You can lay on the bottom wing tip and hold the bridle line for the upper wingtip. Hold the kite open and the wind will pull you back in towards the beach.