Public Safety - Kiting Depends On It

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Public Safety - Kiting Depends On It

Postby OliverG » Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:34 pm

Public Safety

Your local guidlines and common ettiquette and courtesy will require effort on your part to be safe and considerate of the public, and is something we all need to think about to keep the peace. Bans have taken place nationwide so your diligence is needed to maintain access.
It is true that the most danger with regard to the public can be found at local beaches where instruction takes place and where beginners go to learn the sport. We've all seen it; kites crashing on the beach next to a picnicking family, inexperienced kiters coming dangerously close to swimming children, new kiters not fully realizing that they have to yield to everyone else, etc.

Kiteboarding at any location is a privelige, not a right. In addition to making sure you are familiar with various guidelines and understand what's involved in learning the sport there are things you can do to be responsible and safe.

Help your fellow kiters. If you see a new kiter rigging their gear improperly, or using gear inappropriate for the present conditions, let them know. The tendency of kiters new to the sport is often to avoid the more experienced kiters on the beach as they may be reluctant to ask for help or don't feel they need it.

Help to enforce general and local guidelines. Self-policing may be the most effective way of maintaining safety and preventing negative interaction with the public. There are good and bad ways of pointing things out to your fellow kiters, so introduce yourself with a hand-shake and a good attitude and say what you want to say in a positive way.

Prevent Bans. It may sound unrealistic, but all it takes is one or two people, whether they are kiteboarders or members of the public, to get hurt and result in a ban. Rather than develop ways for kiteboarders and the public to safely co-exist, it's often easier for state parks and municipalities to institute a ban, likely for liability reasons. It's happened to varying degrees in Southern California, Hawaii and elsewhere, so it's up to you.
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