Should I go kiting?

Kiteboarding Australia
Kiteboarding Australia

Updated advice for the kiting community from Kiteboarding Australia

Dear valued KA members & wider kiteboarding community,

We have received a number of questions from kiters regarding whether kiting is permitted at the moment.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and following state and federal government advice, KA recommends that to protect our members, the kiting community and public alike, kiters should stay at home and refrain from kiting for the foreseeable future.

The decision to make this recomendation is not taken lightly and we understand this may have an impact on peoples livelihoods, exercise and wellbeing however KA sees this as a necessary inconvenience for a period of time until the pandemic is under control in Australia and restrictions are lifted.

The COVID-19 situation is changing daily, both nationally and state by state here in Australia. KA is guided by an essential value of looking after the safety of our members, the broader kitesurfing community and the general public alike. This value prevails as we face the difficult challenge of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

KA considered a number of factors in making this recommendation including:

  • Current local council, state and federal government health and safety recommendations and laws in relation to Covid-19
  • State Maritime Safety Acts and Regulations pertaining to recreation boating, which include kiteboarding .
  • The risk of injury when kiting including:
    • Risk of hurting ourselves.
    • Reduced numbers of other kiters and volunteer rescue services to give assistance.
    • Risk of close contact to emergency rescue teams and medical staff.
    • Stretching hospital resources and denying those who need more urgent medical attention of valuable resources.
  • Public perception - Kiting is a very visible sport and kiting at this time is likely to attract negative attention when other sports and recreational activites have been stopped..

We understand that this recommendation will not be popular amongst many of our members but in addition to aligning with the position of various government Authorities and other sporting associations, we also respect the feedback received from our own members who are frontline medical physicians recommending it is time to stay at home.

It is the responsibility of each member to make their own decision whether or not to go kiting at this time. The rules are different in each State so KA is only making a recommendation. Should you decide to continue to kite the following guidelines should also be considered prior to each session:

  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are aware and stay up to date on your local council, state and federal government health and safety recommendations and laws in relation to Covid-19, including beach closures.
  • Undertake a thorough risk assessment each session assessing the conditions, locations and your ability.
  • Refrain from going out in stormy, frontal or unpredictable conditions
  • Play it safe, do not attempt new or difficult tricks that could result in injury or chase big winds and waves that increase the likelihood of something going wrong.
  • Only kiting with one other friend.
  • Staying 1.5m apart at all times.
  • Do not share equipment.
  • Refrain from carpooling
  • Do not drive around the state or to distant beaches chasing conditions. Stay local.
  • Ensure you inspect your equipment each session making sure it is safe to use.

Members should also be aware that if it is illegal to kitesurf in your state or local area, you may be excluded from being able to make a claim under your KA insurance in the event of an accident or injury.

Its also a timely reminder leading into the Easter break that authorities are urging us to stay at home this Easter, so please stop and think about the potential impact your actions could have on your families, friends and the local community alike.

As always the safety and wellbeing of our members is KA's number one priority and by staying home or by following the guidelines above, exposure to COVID-19 will be reduced not only for our members but for their families, friends, first responders and the broader Australian population in this time of need.

Staying home will save lives and the wind will still be there when this all blows over and restrictions are lifted of which we are greatly looking forward to.

For more information regarding State, Federal and Maritime Government recommendations and restrictions concerning this pandemic please visit the following useful links.

Latest maritime updates:

ACT: No specific maritime guidance- refer to ACT govt advice NSW: NSW Government Transport for NSW Maritime update 2/4/20 QLD: Maritime Safety Queensland For the latest Maritime Safety Queensland statements please click here S A: No specific maritime guidance - refer to SA govt advice TAS: Maritime and Safety Tasmania VIC: Maritime Safety Victoria WA: WA Department of Transport WA Department of Transport COVID-19 FAQs NT: Refer to below graphic and NT govt advice

Please do the right thing and look after your loved ones in this unprecedented time,

Stay Healthy, Stay Safe and Kind Regards,

Kiteboarding Australia.