General Kiteboarding Rules:

Kiteboarding Right of way rules determine who has the “right of way” and who should “yield, or get out of the way” when passing.

  • A kiter on a starboard tack (right hand and shoulder forwards) has right of way.
  • A kiter on a port tack (left hand and shoulder forwards) must yield right of way (get out the way).
  • For two kiters on the same tack, the kiteboarder upwind must give way to the kitesurfer downwind.
  • A kiter launching has right of way over kiters trying to land

While passing in opposite directions:

  • The upwind kiteboarder must fly their kite high,
  • The kiteboarder downwind must fly their kite low

In surf:

  • Kiters leaving the shore (outgoing) have right of way over incoming riders.  Riders close to shore or negotiating broken water are more at risk, so they have the right of way
  • Kiters riding on a wave have right of way over other riders.

Don’t ever assume you have right of way or insist on taking it – the other kitesurfer or vessel may not know the right of way rule, or they may not be looking!

See more about kiteboarding safety here:  Kiteboarding Handbook

Maui Kiteboarding Rules:

No kiteboarding is allowed on Maui before 11 am, because we share the beach with other beachgoers, fishermen and divers it was decided to let them use the beach freely till 11 am, which miraculously is the time the wind normally picks up.

There are also some spots that kiteboarding is not allowed please see: Maui Kitesurfing Community for and in depth discussion of Maui kiteboarding rules and no fly zones