Tips for Kiting at Kitebeach Maui

December 24, 2013 community, News

Tips for Kiting at Kitebeach Maui
By David Dorn, 12/24/2013

Welcome to Kitebeach.
Here are some guidelines to help you kite safe and fit into the local community.

No kiting before 11am:
This is because of the fishermen/swimmers/divers. Surfing and SUP is permitted.

Stay West of the Lifeguard Tower:
The kite area is west of the lifeguard tower, the other side is for windsurfers, swimmers canoes etc.

Stay out of Swim Zones:
There are three swim zones, stay out of these at all times. And give way to swimmers at all other times. There is a new swim zone directly in front of the campground, do not launch or ride through this area.

Give way to other users:
Stay away from other beach/water users:
Keep an eye out for fishing rods, and stay far away.
Do not bother or endanger any; beach walker, picnicker, or sunbather.
Stay away from Canoes. Do not fly kite over them, or over divers either.
Stay away from Divers: Avoid them and watch out for their red flags and buoys.

Airport zone:
Do not kite upwind (East) of the Lifeguard tower

Wind shadows close to Ka’a point:
Do not launch close to Ka’a point.
Bodydrag out before waterstarting.

Keep the kite Low and Go:
The wind is gusty on the beach.
Do not fly on the beach, get out into the water quickly, then stay out.
The beach is for launching and landing only.

Do not kite in the Blue Water:
The water offshore is dark blue, outside the reef you are too far away from rescue or help. Do not go out into the blue water, it is better to stay inside the reef in the “green water”.

Avoid Brown Water:
Brown water after the rain is dirty and unhealthy. Especially around streams and river mouths. Avoid brown water areas for three days after rain.

Shallow Reef:
Reef and shallow rocks are everywhere,. You can see them as brown or yellow or black areas. They can be a few inches deep or can even poke up at low tide. Avoid reef areas and never fall head first. Ask a local kiter to point out the “Boneyard Reef” it is very shallow and should be avoided.

Look before you Jump:
Check the traffic and the landing area before you jump. The water can be shallow, and you might not land in the planned place.

Have an Exit plan:
Choose several locations downwind where you can safely come ashore. Do not exit over rocks, this is dangerous. The last chance exit beach is downwind of the water treatment plant. If someone gets blown past there to the harbor wall, call 911.

Know how to Self Rescue:
Lear how to do a proper self rescue. There is no boat recovery service. You cannot rely on others to save you or tow your gear in so it is up to you to know how to make it back to the beach on your own.

Do not walk upwind with your kite in the Air:
The beach is too narrow and the wind too gusty for that. Put your kite down and walk upwind.

Do not use a board leash:
Board leashes are dangerous and have caused many serious injuries and even deaths. They are not necessary for recreational kiting. Get rid of the board leash, and learn to upwind drag to your board.

Do not jump on the beach:
Do not jump on the beach or onto the beach (do not jump close to beach either) this is dangerous for you and for bystanders. This one of the major causes of accidents and injuries.

Learn the ROW rules:
To avoid accident on the water you should learn the Right of Way (ROW) rules. These are the traffic rules for the water. Ask a Kite Instructor to explain them to you or look them up online.

Sea Life:
Turtles:
Avoid turtles, they are everywhere, and could suddenly surface ahead of you. Do not hit them or harass them in any way, they are protected. Sometimes they come onshore to rest. Leave them alone.
Sharks:
Yes they are out there.
Shark sightings are rare because sharks do not need to surface. But that does not mean that they are not there. There are a good number of sharks in the Hawaiian near shore waters. Most shark species do not bother humans, virtually all sharks have teeth and are capable of biting. There are several larger species of shark that have been known to bite people. So it is always prudent to avoid contact with sharks.
Do not go on the water if you are cut or bleeding (in any way), Do not fish while kiting, do not kite alone, Come in immediately if you get a cut. Do not pee in the water.
Do not spend more time in the water than you need to.
Do not kite after sunset. Do not kite after rain near river mouths.
Stay out of the water if a shark has been sighted. If you see a shark, do not panic, but go beach to shore and get out of the water.
Monk Seals:
Avoid them. They are big and can get defensive and territorial. Avoid contact (avoid eye contact) and stay back even if they are on the beach. They are protected by law, but they have been known to bite people as well.
JellyFish:
Their are many species of jellyfish, some can have painful stings. It is best to wear long sleeve rashguards for protection. Some stings can be life threatening especially for sensitive/susceptible people. If in doubt or in serious pain see the lifeguards. If you have difficulty breathing call 911
Coral Reef:
Coral and reef creatures are community of living sea creatures, so do not step on them. Also do not take away shells (live or dead) and do not break coral by standing on it. Some creatures like “Wana” (sea urchins) can spike your feet and hands or feet painfully so keep your hands and feet off the sea floor.

Emergencies call 911:
In any emergency call 911. they will contact the lifeguard, ambulance or police, or search and rescue.

For more information visit:
www.MauiKiteboardingAssociation.com

This is the western end of Kitebeach. The beach adjacent to the dirt parking lot is used by the kite schools. Kite Beach, at Kanaha Beach Park, Maui, Hawaii. Aerial View from www.bluehawaiian.com Aerial Photo of Kite Beach, Kanaha, photo courtesy of www.bluehawaiian.com

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