20 November 2005

Kite surfing

Kitesurfing is inreasingly popular on Manly beach. This sport looks impressive when practised by a skilled surfer but it is frightening to be sharing the beach with a beginner.
There have been fatalities while kitesurfing and it is recognised as a dangerous sport. Although it is recommended that it be learnt at a school, this is not required by law.
It is recommended not to kitesurf in crowded places so it is surprising that Sydney's most popular beach allows it at all.
The safety guidelines ("The Art of Staying Alive") for kitesurfing are compared with driving a car. They include:

  • wear a helmet
  • Go slow and be careful in a crowded place (near shore, people and hard objects, etc.)
  • Never launch, ride or jump upwind of people
  • Never let yourself or others even have a chance of getting tangled up with the flying lines (e.g. do not fly your kite over other people)
  • Do not kitesurf in very strong wind if you are a beginner
In Manly these rules are not applied or enforced.
It may be necessary to wait for more fatal accidents here before any regulation is introduced.

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