St Petersburg Florida has unrestricted access to the waterways around Tampa Bay and the Gulf Beaches. Preservation is important, so it is up to us as kiters to police ourselves. Common sense rules, right of way and common courtesy will help us maintain access.
Common Sense Rules
- Avoid swimmers
- Avoid launching in crowded areas
- Don’t jump close to the beach
- Know your skill level: don’t go out in conditions that are too much for you to handle
- Don’t go further out than you can swim
- Don’t go out in offshore conditions
Right of Way
- A person landing a kite always has right of way over someone looking to launch a kite.
- A person in the process of launching a kite has right of way over someone looking to land a kite.
- Same Tack Right of Way: The upwind rider must keep his kite above 45 degrees, downwind rider must keep his kite below 45 degrees.
- Opposing Tack Right of Way: When two kitesurfers approach from opposite directions the rider riding on his port tack (left hand forward) veers off and goes downwind of the rider who is riding on a starboard tack (right hand forward). The downwind rider keeps his kite under 45 degrees and the upwind rider keeps his kite above 45 degrees.
- Another way to view this: If you’re going left, go downwind… If you’re going right, stay riding upwind (see picture below).
- Leeward Right of Way: The leeward rider has right of way over anyone windward.
- Another way to view this: If you are riding upwind of someone and decide to go downwind, the riders riding downwind of you have right of way (see picture below).
- Speed Right of Way: When riding close to others it is always important to ride in control, the faster rider must avoid the slower rider by either staying upwind or veering off downwind.
- Look before you transition: hopefully you wouldn’t switch lanes on the highway without looking twice, the same applies with kiteboarding.
- Avoid hanging out on the beach with your kite at 12:00 while other kiteboarders are trying to launch or land.
- The pilot of the kite is responsible for a safe launch or land and should be familiar with the proper technique and positioning.
- Maintain a similar tack so that other riders know when and where you transition.
- If you jump, make sure you won’t cross paths with someone downwind of you.
- Lend a helping hand to people launching or landing.
In Association With