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What are your local rules for windsurfing and kiting? Kanaha

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Joined: 13 Jul 2000
Posts: 74
Location: Maui

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 4:07 pm    Post subject: What are your local rules for windsurfing and kiting? Kanaha Reply with quote

What are your local rules governing windsurfing and kitesurfing? Kanaha needs your help!

We need examples of rules that have been working to promote harmony between windsports users and other water and shoreline users. Our local enforcement officers are telling us they're hearing complaints from other user groups, and that the current state rules are not enforceable. We'd love to hear from anyone who has knowledge and experience with their local rules and enforcement.

The background:
A community focus group has been meeting to address new rules for Kanaha Beach Park on Maui's north shore. We've had 3 of 4 scheduled meetings. The first one was basically an introduction to the situation, each other, and our goal as a group. The second and third gathered input on issues, needs, concerns, and goals of the various stakeholder groups - Swimmers, Fishers, Windsurfers, Lifeguards, Canoe clubs, Kiters, Vegetation / Malama Maui Nui, Divers, Governorís office, Surfers / SUP, DOCARE / DLNR, DOBOR. In the fourth and final meeting, on May 27, we are supposed to develop recommendations to the DLNR (state Department of Land and Natural Resources) for new rules.

What are your local rules about:
1. Windsurfing and kiting access locations? Hours? Conditions?
2. Distance and speed from shoreline and other users?
(One of our rules, HAR 13-256-20 Windsurfing, states "Sailboard operators shall approach no closer than two hundred feet to a dive flag, indicating dive activity in progress.") Canoe paddlers report having kites jump over them, and shore fishers don't want windsurfers, kiters, or canoes running into their lines.
3. Separation of swimmers from kiters and windsurfers (or other uses)?
4. Formal or informal separation of user groups to specific areas?
5. Protecting beach-goers from uncontrolled or flyaway equipment?
6. Are you considered "vessels" under your local rules? What does that entail?
7. Is there a formal definition for windsurfing or kiting?

If you can provide specific language, and/or cite specific rules by their formal designations, that would be very helpful.

Here is information about Hawaii state rules we've thought governed windsports at Kanaha. Most of the rules are from 1989 or earlier. We've assumed we fell under Coast Guard rules regarding vessels, but the DOCARE officers say we don't. The rules don't mention kiting because it didn't exist when the rules were formulated, so the local groups have voluntarily agreed to abide by the rules for windsurfing.

For more information on these meetings and this issue, see and this thread:

I am posting on these regional iWIndsurf forums:
Southwest USA, Hawaii, Mexico
Northwest USA & Canada
Eastern and Central USA & Canada
I would appreciate it if a kiter would also post on iKitesurf forums.

Thank you very much for any help you can provide. Please keep your responses on-topic and positive.

Karen Bennett
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Joined: 02 Apr 2000
Posts: 479

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I know, the Port Property in Hood River (Event Site, Marina, Hook) are the only spots in the Gorge with official written rules governing kiteboarding and windsurfing. These were developed by the Port with input from both the CGWA and CGKA.
Most of the activity is at the Event Site/Sandbar, and you can see the basics here:

The rules cover launching and landing, but there isn't much regulation regarding what happens out on the water. I do believe the Port was successful in creating a "no wake zone" right in front of the Event Site beach so that the Sheriff would have legal authority to crack down on unsafe practices (big air, fast jibing, etc,) close to the beach where there could be accidents with swimmers, beginners, etc.

At most of the other established windsurfing sites that are also kite friendly, the kiters generally launch downwind of the windsurfers. The main exceptions are Stevenson (in east winds) and Rooster Rock.
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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you asked in this regional forum, and in case you had the impression that most popular spots also have such rules ... only at a few very specific Gorge launches (maybe half a dozen out of >70, something like a mile out of >200 miles of usable river) are there ANY rules relative to your question. It works pretty well until the total jerks or hordes of simply uninformed people visit, and their intrusive toys run the gamut from BBQ grilles and awnings in full parking lots to all kinds of water toys on the beach and the water to rows of lawn chairs blocking access to the water. The common problems are not the toy, but the user. We* try to just roll our eyes, write it off to the three-day weekend bringing the clueless out of the woodwork, and hope it diminishes significantly on non-holiday periods. (Gas prices, observing local patterns, and overflowing porta-potties are helping.)

* Now, about that "we". I understand that some other Gorge venues have it very differently, with attitude (deliberate misbehavior) becoming common. That and some solutions have been discussed at length in more knock-down, drag-out threads, but the more pertinent factor is the question, "What good are rules if there's no one around to enforce them, morals are lacking, and peer pressure has succumbed to political correctness?" My primary venue is being overrun by kites, but the only problems of any number unique to their hardware have been just the frigging space they take up on land and water. Most of them look and act just like the long-time local WSers (many of them ARE), and on the beach their primary tell is the board shorts over their wetsuits and what they're rigging.

"We", at least in most mainland states, also can't imagine having sailing "hours". I guess living in paradise has its drawbacks (and individual people have different definitions of paradise). OTOH, it also funds enforcers for all those rules. Many mainland venues have state and federal rules, but with no enforcement except when a uniformed officer in a marked car drives by and is willing to "offend" a violator. Ya win some, ya lose some.
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Joined: 11 Jul 1999
Posts: 300

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:

"What good are rules if there's no one around to enforce them, morals are lacking, and peer pressure has succumbed to political correctness?"

In the case of Kanaha, there has been some talk of shutting down some of the access points for windsurfers. That is one enforcement option, but one that the windsurfing community does not want to see, obviously. I think Jeff is trying to be proactive and come up with some guidelines that will work so that we can maintain access.

As far as on-the-water conflicts, I find kites to be more of a problem in Maui than the gorge. I think the density of kiters + windsurfers is higher at Kanaha.
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