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Last chance to stop this bad legislation!

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Last chance to stop this bad legislation!

Postby kitester » Sat May 17, 2014 12:35 pm

Anyone who may enjoy kiting in the state of Florida should read, sign and pass this around to anyone they know who might like to kite in Florida. The amended legislation that was passed with intended secrecy and without public review could affect approximately 100 popular sights in this state. Take the time to protect our access. Do it today!


There is a limited time for review of this poorly amended law. If you are a kite boarder or have friends or family that enjoy the sport please take the time to read the letter below. Your right to access is at stake. If you wish to preserve that access please copy and past the letter below into your e-mail and send it to the Governor’s office as soon as possible. The letter is a form letter so you may modify the wording to soften or strengthen the message. In order of effectiveness in gaining the attention of the Governor’s office please try to CALL FIRST, then E-MAIL. Then find and post the petition on

014 Bill Summaries - The Florida Senate 2014 Bill Summaries - The Florida Senate SB 320 — Commercial and Recreational Water Activities by Senators Sachs, Margolis, and Sobel View on
Call request a veto-it's just a box they will check but enough calls will get their attention. (850) 488-7146. The phone call is easy. Just press “1” to speak to his office representative. I did. Tell them as much or as little as you want and ask that the Governor reject the bill or send it back for review then copy and paste or rewrite and send this email to the Governor. Go to his webpage to send your email or use the address below. ... -governor/ lastly sign the petition and share with as many supporters as possible. Remember to sign the letter. The petition is on

Dear Governor Scott,

The legislative process has failed a large State of Florida user group.

Soon you will be presented with a bill, Senate bill 320: Commercial and recreational Water Activities also know as the White-Miskell act. The bill was originally designed to provide regulation to the popular activity of Parasailing. It was to include regulation of when and where parasailing might be restricted or prohibited. We feel that such regulation could be beneficial to the public interest. Unfortunately special interest groups saw an opportunity to attempt regulation of a completely unrelated sport, kitesurfing. Kitesurfing or Kiteboarding bear only moderate resemblance to parasailing and completely no relevance to the issue the bill is designed to address, public safety. The primary differences between the two are altitude, mechanical propulsion, and commercial activity. Parasailing involves a vendor/operator that uses a boat to pull paying customers to altitudes of up to 600 feet or more suspended from a parachute-like canopy. The operation of such an apparatus at such altitudes clearly should warrant some regulation and a specialized licensing and inspection process. Kiteboarding on the other hand is not a commercial activity. The owner/operator of a kiteboard uses only wind propulsion. It is the most fundamental example of sailing and is even simpler than the sport of windsurfing. It includes no mast or boom and the board is much smaller than most surfboards. There is only one rider on a board at any time. The “kite” is really just a sail similar to those used to propel sailboats. The sail is steerable and guided by a set of four lines attached to a bar the operator uses to steer it. Because the lines are 25 meters in length or 82 feet, the maximum altitude that a kiteboarding sail might achieve under the best circumstances is around 125 feet. In fact this is even rare. Most kiteboarding kites will never exceed 100 feet of altitude. This means that the operator would not exceed an altitude of 10 feet. This legislation will adversely affect approximately 100 popular kiteboarding sites state wide where no conflicts or public safety concerns have ever arisen. Additionally local law enforcement will have the very challenging task of enforcing restricted areas that only exist over open water. Buoys, flags, postings and enforcement could cost the state millions of tax payer dollars. As you are aware those dollars could be put to much better use.
It seems clear that those who seek to regulate kiteboarding either do not understand these very basic differences or have some personal agenda. The subject was not well vetted nor did it receive the proper public review required by state law. As you know there is often a problem when last minute amendments are attached to good legislation. These amendments are not a train, they are a train wreck. Hundreds of Florida residents and many more tourists visit our state each year to practice and enjoy this exciting sport. The result is an estimated $83 million dollar infusion for the tourism industry. Worldwide Florida is known as a wonderful kiteboarding destination. We urge you to not sign this legislation that will harm our state’s resident kiting community or discourage visitors from other states and countries from experiencing our wonderful state. We thank you for your consideration.

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Postby dyyylan » Sat May 17, 2014 1:46 pm

It's bad legislation to prevent kiters from kiting in the way of airplanes or in the middle of boat channels? Seems fine to me. Here's the actual bill text that relates to kiting:

287 327.37 Water skis, parasails, and aquaplanes, kite
288 boarding, kite surfing, and moored ballooning regulated.—
289 (5) A person may not operate any vessel towing a parasail
290 or engage in parasailing or moored ballooning within 100 feet of
291 the marked channel of the Florida Intracoastal Waterway or
292 within 2 miles of the boundary of any airport unless otherwise
293 permitted under federal law.
294 (6) A person may not engage in kite boarding or kite
295 surfing within an area that extends 1 mile in a direct line
296 along the centerline of an airport runway and that has a width
297 measuring one-half mile unless otherwise permitted under federal
298 law.

PS - this passed 117-1 in the house and 38-0 in the senate so good luck getting rick scott to to even look at it

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Postby SkippyB » Sat May 17, 2014 3:22 pm

Kitester thanks for posting this. Dyyylan lets not have a defeatist attitude :-?

We already have his staff working on questions for an interview with a kitemag that shall remain nameless. We have made our presence known at a state waterway enforcement agency meeting (FWC) and have hundreds of phone calls and emails being sent. We have several plans of action to fight this already in motion but if we can get it stopped before being signed it will be the easiest.

Please it takes 5 minutes. Call, Email, Sign and Share FL Kiting needs your help ... teboarding

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Re: Last chance to stop this bad legislation!

Postby kitester » Mon May 19, 2014 12:24 am


It does sound at first like it might be a good idea, but it puts at risk many popular riding places that have been used for years without pilot or boaters complaints. It could lead to a bad precedent. The complaint at the one particular airport where there might have been a concern is bogus. 1. They said if a pilot had to ditch in the water kiters might be in that zone. BOGUS because anything one mile or any number of miles out could be at risk. lets close down all city streets and remove all neighborhoods that are in line with the center line of a runway For 1? 2? How bout ten miles out. 2. pilots on approach or leaving the airport might occupy the same airspace. BOGUS because there is a minimum altitude that is between 500 and 600 feet required over populated areas. At one mile out the plane is out of the air traffic pattern for that airport. When I was flying years ago we had to be at 600 ft. about a half mile past the end of the runway making a left turn just so we did not encroach on another airports space. The point is that the concerns are bogus around any airport EXCEPT where a kiter might launch and ride right at the end of the pavement out to maybe a 1/4 mile. Every pilot is taught that you must be able to clear a 50 ft obstacle by the time they reach the tree line. In my experience you really want about three times that to be safe. Most are that high by the time they reach the end of the pavement. There are few places that that set of conditions could ever exist. It might be proper to post no kiting zones on channel style markers in those few spots but, lets not put access at risk where there is no such complaint or even the possibility of danger beyond the extraordinary. It is clear that the yes votes in the house and senate came from representatives that had not been clearly informed or were misled by a small group with a personal agenda. Lets give them another try to get it right.

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