Kitesurfing rules in Australia

Kitesurfing rules and regulations vary in different states and territories in Australia. Some rules are summarised on this page.


Regulations can change - the information on this page may be out of date. Please check the latest information provided by your state or territory government.


The Marine Safety Regulations require all occupants of the following vessels to wear a specified Personal Flotation Device (PFD) when in an open area of a vessel that is underway:

  • power driven vessels up to and including 4.8m in length

  • off-the-beach sailing yachts

  • PWCs

  • canoes, kayaks, rafts and rowing boats

  • stand up paddleboards when more than 400m from shore

  • pedal boats and fun boats

  • kiteboards and sailboards

Note: A person operating a stand-up paddleboard, kiteboard or sailboard no more than 400m from the shore, is not required to wear a PFD.


Western Australia

Kiters and windsurfers are required to carry safety equipment in accordance with the WA marine laws. Ensure safety equipment is in good working condition and is easily accessible.

  • Within protected waters (except Lake Argyle) or within 400 metres of the shore in unprotected waters, no safety equipment is required.

  • Between 400 metres and 2 nautical miles from shore in unprotected waters a lifejacket and an in date inshore distress flare kit or a registered EPIRB/personal locator beacon (PLB) must be carried.

  • Between 2 and 5 nautical miles a lifejacket and an in date registered EPIRB/PLB must be carried.

  • Over 5 nautical miles a lifejacket and an in date offshore distress flare kit and an in date registered EPIRB/PLB must be carried.

Lifejackets (PFDs)

  • It is a requirement that lifejackets are worn when operating more than 400m offshore in unprotected waters. This lifejacket can be a level 50S or higher.

  • It is strongly recommended that an approved lifejacket is worn at all times when kiteboarding or windsurfing.

  • If using inflatable lifejackets, it is recommended that they be serviced regularly in accordance with manufacturers advice.


New South Wales

Both sailboards and kiteboards are classified as vessels and therefore come under NSW marine legislation.

Distance off

  • When travelling at 10 knots or more, sailboarders/kitesurfers and their equipment, including kite and lines, must:

  • Maintain a minimum distance of 60m from any persons or non-powered vessels or 30m from powered vessels and any objects in the water or, if that is not possible, a safe distance.

  • Stay out of a designated swimming zone

Lifejackets / PFDs

  • Open waters when more than 400m from shore and kiting alone: PFD type 1, 2 or 3

    • On Alpine waters when more than 400m from shore & kiting alone: PFD type 1, 2 or 3

No-go/Caution areas

  • Sydney Harbour is a no-go zone for sailboarding and kitesurfing.

  • At Pittwater off Station Beach, caution is required as this is a seaplane landing and take-off area. Appropriate warning signs have been established north and south of the seaplane wharf.

  • Other locations may have no-go areas imposed by local signage.

Give way

  • Power driven craft must give way to sailcraft such as sailboards/kiteboards unless the sailboarder/kitesurfer is in the process of overtaking.

  • A sailboarder/kitesurfer overtaking any other craft (power or sail) must keep well clear of the vessel being overtaken.


South Australia

Sailboards or kite boards require:

  • within 400m of shore: PFD Type 1, 2 or 3, worn at all times

  • more than 400 m from shore: PFD Type 1, worn at all times.