The video of KK zippin through the air has reached across many lines of communication. I have seen it posted on blogs that have nothing to do with kiting. People who have never flown a kite or were even aware of the existence of kitesurfing ask me EVERYDAY if I knew the guy or had I seen the video. All the blogers and most of the people I talk to have the opinion that kiting is uncontrollably dangerous and should be banned or very regulated. In short they think we are all out of our minds.
We got another taste of the fallout from the vid. This past week we heard that one of our local sites might no longer allow kiting. A STATE PARK ranger(more than one probably) had received an e-mail citing the document 62d-2. I dont know who sent the e-mail but item 15 on page four states...
(15) Aircraft. No person operating or responsible for any aircraft, glider, balloon, parachute, or other aerial apparatus shall cause any such apparatus to take off from or land in any park except in an emergency when human life is endangered or where a designated landing facility may exist on park property.
Now we all know that there is a huge difference between kitesailing and paragliding but the general public, park managers, and governing bodies could view them as almost the same thing. The way it reads there could be a gray area for interpretation of "aerial apparatus". Then to make the point even stronger the ranger referred to the KK video as a reason to interpret the rule to include kiting. Since the ranger is in charge of what happens inside the park we would have to leave, miss at least one day of sailing and make inquiries through the park service.
Now the story does have a happy ending. After making those inquiries we were told that kiting is an allowed activity in all state parks including the one in question. This interpretation should be true for all state parks in FL.
But lets make a point to be responsible and courteous to all of the Park management personnel and employees in all the parks through out the state. Donâ€™t be confrontational if asked to leave. Just find out who the regional manager in your area is and ask them about kiting in that park. I found the regional manager and the assistant manager to be very helpful. They will be on our side as long as we donâ€™t endanger others and do follow general park rules. Remember that the interpretation will depend on the feedback the park service recieves from its people in the park.
And please donâ€™t give the media any more dramatic footage to play over and over and over and over.........