The Kiting Associations of Australia were clever enough to develop an acronym to create a mental safety checklist.
C stands for conditions. Know the weather conditions before you head out. It sounds silly to say this but know what the weather is anticipated to be like before you go out and put any kind of kite in the air. This is probably the number one rule of kite safety. You can’t just look out your window, see the sun and think you are set. Unfortunately, the weather can turn on you quickly and you are pretty vulnerable out there, especially because the safe, flat open spaces best for kite flying become dangerous locations in a storm. The last thing you want to do is become a giant lightning rod. A good resource is the Windfinder website, where you can find everything from temperature and weather conditions to wind direction, high and low tide, and air pressure. The Bureau of Meteorology has a pretty good website as far as putting out warnings on weather conditions and the like. Trust your gut, too. Even if you’ve been given the all clear by weather reports, if you think conditions are starting to turn, pack it in. Also, for heaven’s sake, don’t use metal lines or any metal in your kite.
L is for look. Just pay attention out there. Operate in a safe area that is free of things like powerlines, trees, and away from airports. Make sure there aren’t giant holes in the ground you can stumble into and hurt yourself. Stay alert to your surroundings. Be aware of people, because they will likely be looking up at the kite and not at you. They might come too close and risk injury if the wind were to suddenly change. Also, check behind you every once in awhile. It sounds like common sense but everything can go out the window once your kite is in the air, because that’s all you want to focus on. Don’t.
E stands for equipment. Check your gear before you go. Make sure the kite is in good condition for flying without any rips or tears, and be sure that the lines aren’t tangled or fraying. If you’re going to tether yourself to anything, be sure you have a quick release option and KNOW HOW TO USE IT. Practice til it is instinct because if you need to use it you will likely be panicky. You want to be able to do and not think. Be sure you know what the limitations set by the manufacturer of your equipment are. Those warnings are NOT suggestions, as much as I’d like them to be.
A is to remind you to have a good attitude. People are going to be interested when they see a cool kite in the air. Be polite but above all, be safe and remember that you are responsible for their safety. If you are still learning, listen to more experienced kite flyers if they are trying to correct or guide you.
R stands for respect. Respect the area that you are in, especially public spaces. Other people want to enjoy the beach or the park or the nice day as well, and you need to be courteous. Respect the air space of other kite flyers and follow all right of way rules. Be respectful of the environment. Don’t trample flowers, litter, or make a general nuisance of yourself.
For additional safety information, check out this handy list.