PASA Certified Kiteboard Instruction on Florida's Gulf Coast
In many places, kiteboarders have taken unnecessary risks or exhibited dangerous behavior. The result? Those beaches are now closed to kiters. In order to keep kiteboarding safe, fun for everyone, and open on all beaches, we all must work together. By following a few rules of the road and simple guidelines, we should be able to keep kitesurfing the fastest growing water sport in the world. If you have any other suggestions not listed here, "contact us" with your suggestion and we may add it to this list.
Keep the beach clear
- When you launch your kite in a crowded area, go on out in the water. Don't stand flying your kite on the beach, becoming a potential kitemare or accidently hitting a tourist.
- If a kiter is leaving the beach and another rider is coming in, the exiting rider has the right of way. Let's get all the kites off the beach and out in the water, THEN you can ride in to land your kite.
- Never do beach jumps, land-boarding, or "skate" around on a crowded beach. There is too much potential for error with lots of people around.
- Always remain in control of your kite, especially on the beach. Always wear a kite leash, and launch and land your kite slowly and safely, using an assistant. Only do a self-launch or self-land whenever necessary, after you have practiced it thoroughly with a standby assistant. Never "let your kite go" or land it hard on a public beach.
Right of way
- Stay out of the swim zones on public beaches. Period. Launch outside the swim zones and stay outside of the buoys while riding.
- Out on the water, the kiter who is upwind should fly his kite higher, while the downwind kiter should fly his lower. This way, they can pass by each other safely without a chance of getting tangled (kitemare).
- Never get closer than two kite-lengths from a student (one person flying a kite, with an instructor nearby). The student could dive his kite unexpectedly and you could be tangled in his lines. Use the same rule for flying too close to newbies as well. (Note: if the instructor is allowing his student to fly right in the middle of a crowded kiting area, stay away from them in the water. Back on the beach express your concern to that instructor that he may be putting his students in danger by allowing them to fly in the kiter "fast lanes.")
- Stay away from surfers. Do not cut them off in the breaks. Good waves are all the surfer has to ride. YOU can ride out and in. Find some waves outside of the surf breaks, or at least give them plenty of room. Show common courtesy. (And then maybe they won't beat you to a pulp later.)
Boosting and distance riding
- When boosting (jumping), make sure you have plenty of room for a landing. Remember, you will drift downwind while in the air. Also what will happen if you don't land it and your kite crashes downwind of you? This is why it is very risky to try big airs right off the beach, or close to a swim zone.
- When you go off-shore, be aware of your distance from the beach. If a line breaks, or your kite deflates, or the wind dies, you WILL be swimming back to shore. So don't go further than you are willing to swim.