• Starboard tack has right of way (right hand forward on the control bar and wind coming over your right hand/shoulder/bow first)   
  • Port tack  (left hand forward on the control bar and wind coming over your left hand/shoulder/bow first)
  • When on the same tack, downwind (leeward) rider has right of way. Right of way does not mean you can veer up or down wind. While passing, MAINTAIN YOUR COURSE!!
  • Jumpers revoke their right of way. Look before you jump
  • When you turn, look in front and behind you. You lose your right of way when turning 
  • Jumping, performing a trick, kite looping, majorly altering your body position, or bearing off downwind gives up your right of way. Again, maintain your course so others can see your intended path.
  • Kites being launched have right of way and kiters leaving the shore have right of way over incoming kiters. If you are coming in and see someone coming out go back out for another tack, then come back to try again.
  • While passing another kiter on the same tack, pass downwind of them and keep your kite low.
  • When passing kiters in opposite direction the upwind kiter must flight their kite high and the downwind kiter must fly his kite low. Doing this ahead of passing someone is a good way to signal your passing intentions.
  • When riding in surf, the kiter riding on the wave or closest to the peak of the wave has right of way. Except in some situations when another rider is just leaving the beach. Varies depending on location.
  • A capsized vessel (kiter off board in water/windsurfer/boat/etc) always has right of way. 
  • Please do not kite directly in front of the launching/landing zone
  • Commercial boat traffic (ferrys, container ships, etc) has right of way over other vessels
  • Do not ever assume you have right of way or insist on taking it. The other rider/vessel may not know the right of way rule or they may not be paying attention.
  • Avoid collisions at all cost 

San Francisco Boardsailing Association

Protecting and enhancing kiteboarding and windsurfing access and safety since 1985

The SFBA does important behind the scenes work in the Bay Area to keep access to our local kite beaches open for our use. Without them we would not be able to kite in a lot of Bay Area locations. 

Please join the mailing list and become a member today.