Aside from centerline or chicken loops, snap shackles that don't reliably
open, etc., a big threat to kitesurfers or more accurately kitesurfing
access, is new folks trying out kitesurfing. That is without any proper
instruction, sometimes without kite depowering leashes and playing with
traction kite on the beach among a bunch of bystanders. If you want to
practice on the beach you should use a small traction kite. When you put a
full sized kite, there is no reasonable excuse for not going immeditely out
on the water to body drag, or practice waterstarting.
I saw a group of four or five guys, doing this in SE Florida yesterday.
When they weren't parking the kite near the zenith looking to get lofted they were skiing down the
sand around other people. They honestly felt that it was nothing worse than
using a surfboard without a leash. I told them that I had an unconfirmed
report of a girl in France that was killed by a runaway bar a couple of
years ago. There is also the case of a child that was killed in England
several years ago by the handles of a runaway buggie foil on land. Also,
crashing the kite down and around bathers and bystanders of the beach
exposes those people to line cuts or worse. The point is they saw it a big
toy kite and they were playing with it. Of course this same size kite moved
a 3300 lb. mini van a foot a few months ago in Cape Hatteras. Our numbers
are too great now to allow this sort of common practice to go on in
populated areas. So what did I do? I went up to them and talked with them.
I don't know how effective I was because I was pretty exasperated at that
In large part, I give responsibility to the person that sold this fellow the
used kites. If you are selling used kites, it isn't enough just to find a
buyer, you owe it to the buyer, other kitesurfers and yourself to try to
compel him to take adequate lessons, buy and watch intro to kitesurfing
videos, etc. If not, bans are becoming more common. They had an article on
the front page of the Wall Street Journal about kitesurfing today. It
wasn't wholly flattering focusing on turf wars between kitesurfers,
windsurfers and others. See http://online.wsj.com/public/us
need to take care of these problems before the regulators do it for us.
They are starting to do just that now.