Page 1 of 1

Illegal Kiting

Posted: Sat, Dec 19 2009, 10:34 AM
by grigorib
Happened to me back in September on a beach at Ocean Shores, WA. I rented a MBS mountainboard, took 3m foil and 13m LEI to the beach which was flat, wide, long and smooth. It was gorgeos which i couldn't say about wind - it wasn't strong enough for 3m but the 13m would pull me just well. So I rode quite a distance and in the end when I was going to start driving back I've noticed a police SUV coming to me. The officer greated and said that he has to intervene. He asked me if I knew it's illegal to ride like that. The fun ended. He said the beach is a state highway, pulled out a book and found a section with a short list of illegal beach activities like buggying, parasailing, kite sailing, using unlicenced vehicles, etc. with a possible fine up to $300. Kiteboarding wasn't there so I pointed that out and also said that the board is just like a skateboard and is far from a buggy. He pointed that it's ptretty big for a skateboard. Asked him if I rode just a kite on my feet if that would be ok and he said yes. Asked him how he handled previous cases and he said he hasn't had to handle kiteboarding yet. After couple of minutes of discussion he agreed it's a gray area. Finally. Where's gray there he shouldn't "intervene" so he said I can go back and ride but he's going go check and find out and come back. No fine yet and no equipment seizure. He said he can't ask me to stop because he doesn't know for sure now. Asked him if there's a reason why I shouldn't do it at all - it's not safe for me, public, beach or what...Apparently it was because of the beach is a state highway and it's listed in the book what not to do. Told him I don't want to get a fine when he comes back either and he promised not to give me the fine today for kiteboarding. He was looking at me all the time with a smile I wouldn't trust. He didn't say "I won't seize your equipment", nor "If I find out it's illegal I'll come back and ask you to stop first". Just no fine now and no fine later and so I could imagine few scenarios how it can end without geting a fine right away but getting into even a bigger trouble. It would bug me to go to court in 4 hours drive from Seattle. I told him I'll wait for him and I did. The wind got lower, fun was ruined, my family was waiting for me so we played with our kid instead for a while and started to pack. The cop didn't come back. Anyone has a kiting experience like that? Any tips and hints?

Re: Illegal Kiting

Posted: Sun, Dec 20 2009, 10:22 AM
by Mike
Good story, I haven't had any trouble flying Revs. Even flying them on the street in Tokyo seemed OK.
Didn't David Kovacs run into some trouble when flying in Italy?

Re: Illegal Kiting

Posted: Sun, Dec 20 2009, 06:22 PM
by cadguy
Mike, I did not run into any trouble. What happened was when I was ready to fly, right next to the Colloseum, a police car drove by and stopped about 100 feet away, facing my direction. So, before I launched I went over to the police car and simply asked if it would be ok to fly for a few minutes. The officer said something to his partner then looked back at me and said,"OK, you fly." I flew for about 5-6 minutes and my then girlfriend (now wife) took some pictures, I landed, packed up, and then the police car drove away. My first international fly, Sweet!
So, if there's any questions about flying illegal or not, i'd say to ask first if possible.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year everyone! :-)

Re: Illegal Kiting

Posted: Sun, Dec 20 2009, 07:12 PM
by Mike
David, I like that photo.
Happy Holidays to you and your new wife!

Re: Illegal Kiting

Posted: Mon, Dec 21 2009, 12:43 PM
by Jim Foster
It is illegal to fly a kite on the beach in front of the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego. At the south end of the hotel, there is a breakwater. It is OK to fly south of that breakwater. Flying north will get you a ticket. There are no signs stating the law. It is up to you to know the law on Coronado Island.

Mike, you know Tom King, well, his sister-in-law has a condo across the street from the hotel. Tom flies there often and learned about the law from another kite flier in the area. That's how I found out about it.

The sign thing seems unfair, but that is the way it is.