Kiteboarding Guidelines

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General Guidelines

  • Before kiting at 3rd Avenue, know how to re-launch your kite, perform water landing, and self-rescue.
  • Be considerate of other recreational users of 3rd Avenue, especially on the bike path.
  • Use a kite-leash that completely de-powers the kite.
  • Know how to and be proficient in performing self rescues.
  • Do not fly kites over the bike path, windsurfing rig area, or in parking lots. This includes trainer and stunt kites.
  • Kite at least 100 feet upwind from others and objects, and at least 200 feet upwind when jumping.
  • Do not jump over the rocks or in the windsurfing corridor. Stay out of the windsurfing corridor except while passing through on your way upwind or downwind.
  • Observe right-of-way rules. Starboard tack (right hand forward) has right-of-way. Riders must yield to others when jumping, maneuvering, or riding on port tack (left hand forward).
  • If you lack control while kiteboarding in traffic, park the kite in neutral and drift downwind until your path is clear.
  • The only place it is acceptable to fly a kite on land is the mud flats. You must be at least 150 feet away from others and objects when flying a kite at the mud flats.
  • Land only in designated landing areas, or perform water landing and self-rescue if necessary. DO NOT land your kite on or over the bike path as it endangers you and others.
  • If you are using a foil board of any kind, please set it up with the blades away from anywhere a person might walk, and please put the board in an area no one would walk (and not on the setup turf at all).
  • Foil kiters and long boarders can tack at much higher angles than other kiters. Right of way rules apply within a 'performance' group, but are not applicable across groups. Please provide a larger margin of safety when sharing the water with other groups.

Launching Guidelines

General Launching Guidelines

  • Launch only in designated launch areas: the upper launch (mud flats) or beach launch (below the parking lot).
  • Be sure there are no spectators, power lines, rocks, walls, or other objects within 200 feet when launching. Be sure that people near you know you are launching.
  • Never ask a non-kiteboarder to launch your kite.
  • Use hand-signals to communicate. Thumbs/arm up means launch the kite; thumbs/arm down means abort launch and put the kite down. Use left/right arm movement to get the launcher to move the kite up/down wind.
  • If the kite fails during a launch, release the kite immediately. Failure to engage the safety system is the most common cause of injury in kiteboarding.
  • It is your responsibility to place yourself in the proper launch position in relation to the kite and the wind; do not rely on the person launching your kite to position it properly.
  • Once your kite is launched, proceed to the water immediately. Spending unnecessary time with your kite in the air on land puts you and others in danger and prevents others form launching and landing.
  • When launching, keep your kite 50-70 degrees above the horizon toward the water (between 10:00 and 11:00). Avoid flying the kite directly overhead since lulls and wind shifts can cause the kite to fall, and gusts can cause lofting.
  • If you are launching a kite, when the kiter gives you a clear signal that they are ready, make certain that the kite is in the right position before letting go. Do not throw the kite; if it is in the right position you need only let go.

Guidelines for Launching at the Upper (north) Area

  • Set up lines perpendicular to the wind. In a southerly wind direction you will be closer to the path than normal. In a northerly wind you will be closer to the cove than normal.
  • Keep the launch and landing areas clear, both in the water and on land.
  • The mud flats and water entry points are slippery when wet/muddy. If you have any doubt about your ability to launch safely, have someone hold you down and walk you to the water.
  • Beginners should body drag out at least 300 ft (about 3 kite line lengths) from shore prior to water starting, and then the first tack should be away from shore.

Guidelines for Launching at the Lower (beach) Area

  • The beach is an advanced launch site. Beginners should use the upper launch area.
  • Set up lines parallel to the water. Do not lay them out until your kite is inflated and you are ready to launch.
  • Keep gear near the rocks until reach to launch.

Landing Guidelines

General Landing Guidelines

  • Land at one of the designated landing sites (the upper launch, the beach, or one of the lower beaches.)
  • Do not land your kite to a non-kiteboarder.
  • If kiteboarders are not available to land your kite, or if you are unable to land at a designated site, perform a self-landing and self-rescue. While in the water at least 300 feet from the rocks, release your bar to drop your kite. Ensure that the kite is/remains depowered. Get to the kite (perhaps winding the lines as you go), flip it over to tips up, and proceed with the self rescue to the beach/exit point. Do not walk up the rocks and/or onto the bike path with your kite flying.
  • Avoid landing while other kiteboarders are launching.
  • When you are approaching a designated landing area, use the universal landing assistance sign by patting the top of your head with the palm of your hand, or by calling out for assistance. Do not assume someone will see or grab your kite if you bring it down without requesting assistance.
  • Once your kite has landed, immediately insure that it is secure.

Guidelines for Landing at the Upper (north) Area

  • If landing at the upper launch, come in at the north cove to keep the launch clear. Come in between the two poles.

Guidelines for Landing at the Lower (beach) Area

  • After landing your kite at the lower beach, quickly roll up your lines and move the kite away from the beach immediately. If you are landing a kite, walk the kite near the rocks and secure it.