(Published April 2013, last reviewed with no updated 2020)
What is Kitsurfing?
Kitesurfing combines skills from a range of activities including; kite flying, surfing, windsurfing and wakeboarding. Kite Surfing takes place on the water standing on a board while flying a kite which provides the power.
What is a Kitesurfing Permit?
The adventurous activity permit scheme is designed to ensure that only people with the relevant skills and experience lead adventurous activities for the young people. Therefore all activities classed as adventurous can only be lead by someone holding the appropriate permit.
Additionally young people (under 18) can take part in adventurous activities for themselves with personal activity permits.
A Kitesurfing permit is required for all Kite Surfing taking place except in class C water. Definitions of water classifications can be found in POR.
Levels of Permit
Kitesurfing permits can be issued for any class of water. Each class of permit can be further restricted (such as through non tidal etc.) to end up with an individual permit to the level of the competence and requirements of any person.
Types of Permit
There are three types of permit available for Kitesurfing. These are:
Personal – Allows a young person (under 18) to take part in Kite Surfing with others with a personal Kite Surfing permit.
Leadership – Allows the permit holder to lead Kite Surfing for a single group.
Supervisory – Allows the permit holder to remotely supervise more than one Kite Surfing group.
Personal – If you hold a personal Kite Surfing permit you can go Kite Surfing with others who hold a personal Kite Surfing permit. It does not allow you to go Kite Surfing with anyone not holding a Kite Surfing permit.
Leadership – If you have a permit to lead Kite Surfing then you can look after a maximum of four people with two kites at a time, and must remain with the group at all times.
Supervisory – If you hold a permit to supervise Kite Surfing then you can supervise up to three groups. All supervised groups should be within communication range of the permit holder who will need to be in or have immediate access to a rescue craft. You remain responsible for all the groups you are supervising, but can designate someone with the appropriate skills to be the leader of each group.
When supervising groups from a distance the holder of a Kite Surfing supervisor permit needs to designate a leader for each group. This designation lasts only for the current activity while the permit holder is supervising.
People designated as group leaders should have the necessary skills and be responsible enough to lead a group safely on the class of water being used. There is no problem with making young people group leaders if they are up to the role, and it can be used as a useful development tool.