The problems and concerns you describe may effect kiteboarding access in many areas worldwide in the next few years. This sport started as an extreme fringe sport, practiced by widely spread, isolated individuals or small groups. There were learning curve incidents and accidents but our numbers weren't great enough to generally cause widespread problems. Switzerland was an exception to this trend as the restrictions there came early on.
In the USA, we are trying to manage this growth as intelligently as we can considering that this is a hobby for most of us and there are no kite police to enforce regs, in most areas. One course of action that is in motion now in parts of the USA follows:
1. Form Kiteboarding Associations in populated areas that need them. The associations have many goals including writing and promoting following of safe kiteboarding guidelines. Preparation of local guidelines that focus on local conditions and restrictions is also a goal. Establishment of a network of leaders, i.e. area coordinators (ACs). The ACs are volunteers, that are motivated and have some experience in kiteboarding. In Florida,(there are 17 around the perimeter of the state), many of the ACs are also in Kiteboarding businesses as they have a vested interest in continued access. The ACs also try to gain membership in the association in their area. The goal of membership is to promote the safe guidelines and responsible mannor of riding to avoid complaints and restrictions. Hopefully group pressure will help in encouraging new riders to seek adequate instruction and experienced riders from irresponsible practices that will cause complaints and problems. The ACs also provide early warning of trouble, potential restrictions etc. The association and ACs act as points of contact for the governing authorities if they have problems and concerns.
If you are aware of problems in your area now, it is best to study them, who is involved, who is regulating the area, how could things be better coordinated, meet with the riders and the officials and work out a reasonable accommodation. Try to get local leaders in the kiteboarding community to help promote and enforce the program. If there are lifeguards or park rangers that can help enforce the guidelines and are willing to do so, enlist their aid. These concepts are further explored on:
1. A group setup solely for folks that want to form kiteboarding associations. A cookbook approach is contained in the files section. This content and much more will soon appear on the American Kitefliers Association website. An announcement will be given once this has been setup.
2. Also more information is given in the file section and messages of the Florida Kitesurfing Association at:
It is important to promote adequate training of kiteboarders. If instructors are still too few in your country, it would help tremendously to promote the following succession to people interested in getting into kiteboaring:
1. Get a trainer kite and get your kite handling skills refined to a high degree with this relatively safe kite. Practicing on land with a full sized traction kite should be heavily discouraged.
2. Get intro to kiteboarding video(s) and watch them thoroughly. Associations could even setup a rental program for intro videos to promote new riders learning from them.
3. Once the new rider has thoroughly gone through 1 and 2, then he could buy an appropriately sized used or new kite for learning and pair off with some more experienced riders through an association, internet contacts, through shops or folks that they meet at the beach. Hopefully with enough sense and caution, and by staying well away from anyone else while they are learning they will get up to speed without causing problems.
Encourage the training of instructors in your area through shops if possible. Until you have enough good instructors at an accessible price, you will continue to have learning curve incidents at a potentially unacceptable degree.
We need to try to organize this sport and how we approach it as it moves from a fringe sport into the mainstream, worldwide. It starts with analyzing the problems and effectively communicating the solutions and creating some means of promoting compliance. It won't be easy but going hands off will only result in more cases like that of Switzerland be it locally or over larger areas. I am interested in helping this process along where it is wanted and needed. If I can help, please email me at: email@example.com