While kitesurfing is basically a safe sport if you get appropriate training and exercise caution, it can be fast and furious and injuries are possible. For any serious injury, seek medical treatment immediate. Understanding some common injuries may help you avoid them.

These injuries are avoidable if you follow safety guidelines and kite within your ability.

Tennis Elbow

    • If you do a lot of kitesurfing you can develop a form of Tennis Elbow - painful inflammation of tendon attachments in the lower arm.

    • Visit a physio, rest and use anti inflammatories (follow medical advice)

    • Acupuncture treatment is worth trying

Burst ear drum

    • This can occur if the side of your head has a major impact on the water, even if you are wearing a helmet. This could occur if you get lofted or stuff up your landing after a jump.

    • A burst ear drum can heal over a 5 week period, but may require an operation if it doesn't. Don't go in the water while it is healing.


    • You can get either tendonitis of the arm (see Tennis Elbow above) or of the foot (extendor tendonitis). This is generally caused by having loose footstraps and having to tense your feet in unusual positions.

    • Visit a physio, rest, massage the area (with a rolling pin works well), apply ice, use anti inflammatories.

Impact injuries

    • These occur if you hit something hard, most often as a result of being lofted and carried into something solid, or if you kite to close to a solid object and hit it.

    • Avoid getting lofted and kiting near solid objects. See Hazards for more information.

Broken legs or feet

    • Can occur if you jump in shallow water and land hard, or you get lofted on or onto solid ground.

    • Don't jump in shallow water or near the shore, and avoid getting lofted by keeping your kite low.


    • The water can cool you skin so you don't notice sunburn happening.

    • Wear suncream and protective clothing or wetsuit.

Groin injuries

    • Can occur if you have one foot in a foot strap (e.g. of a directional board) and the board gets twisted and yanked by a wave, which in turn stretches groin muscles and ligaments.

    • Be careful when you have one foot in a foot strap (e.g. going upwind). Have both your feet in foot straps when getting out through surf.

Hitting the board

    • You can be dragged into your board if you have come off it, or it can be dragged into you if you wear a board leash

  • Don't wear a board leash.

Line cuts

    • Kite lines can cause serious injuries if they wrap around any part of you and get powered up by the kite

    • Be careful during self rescue to avoid getting any lines wrapped around you, particularly your legs while swimming.

    • Carry a line knife and cut the lines if you to get tangled.

Sore back - tight piriformis muscle

    • When using a surfboard you tend to load the back foot more

    • If you ride toeside in your natural stance you can "overload" some of the muscles in your back

    • Note: You should get medical advice on how best to deal with a sore back

    • Physiotherapy or myotherapy treament is advisable

    • The following stretches can help remedy tight piriformis muscles