It is essential for you to know the safety systems of your kiteboarding setup and to know how to properly use them.
There are three basic safety systems on a normal kiteboarding setup. You have a depower system, a quick release on your chicken loop and a quick release on your safety leash. These systems are used for different purposes as explained below.
The depower system is used to adjust the attack angle of your kite in relation to the wind. This equals to adjusting the power of your kite. The depower system works by adjusting the length of the power/center lines. Power is increased by making the center lines longer and correspondingly power is decreased by making the center lines shorter. You cannot completely depower your kite using the depower system, but you can use it to decrease or increase power to fit current wind conditions.
Chicken loop quick release
The quick release on your chicken loop is used when you need to completely depower your kite. This can be useful in many situations. Successful use of the quick release can even save your life if you are in extreme danger. Make sure you know how to properly use the quick release on your control bar as the mechanism of quick release varies with each manufacturer and model.
Saftey leash quick release
The last safety system you can use as a last resort if everything else fails is the quick release on your safety leash. Your kite should depower sufficiently for you to manage the power of the kite by using the quick release on your chicken loop. Sometimes things don´t go as planned as the lines can get wrapped and tangled or some of the parts of your safety system can malfunction. In this case you should use the quick release on your safety leash. This will disconnect you from your kite. That means the kite is no longer pulling you, you are free. On the other hand your kite is now flying away without being attached to anything. This can also be dangerous if it flyes into a crowd, it is now pulling the lines behind itself. So use your safety leash quick release as a last resort, only if nothing else works. You can loose your kite by doing so and cause danger to others.
Last but not least, you should have a knife to cut lines with on your harness. Use the knife if nothing else helps.