Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Kite Spots along the Mayan Rivera

From a Utah blizzard to Spain to Mexico, all in 3 weeks. I had a chance to kite several spots along the Mayan Riveria - from Playa del Carmen to the ruins at TULUM, a week ahead of the start of the 2008 PKRA world tour, opening here next week March 5 - 9

The beaches here are great for kiting when the wind is up and the night life in Playa del Carmen proper is GREAT - my kiting coincided with carnival this past week which made the trip especially fun. The wind here is side on shore coming ESE, and bigger kites are definitely required. I kited with a BEST 14 WAROO and my 133 cm twin tip - that set up worked fine - I also would also have enjoyed kiting a surfboard had I one with me - bring it!

On arrival, several folks directed me to the beach off the Shangrila Hotel in the center of town. While it may be kiteable, it's a narrow beach full of kids - so DON'T go there, instead, if you want to kite in town, head to the northern end of town to Calle 37 & Ave 1 - there's a decent launch area behind the Coco Bay Hotel at Gran Coco Bay see MAP.

There are literally 100's of miles of kiteable beach to the north and south and it gets better as you get away from town. I happened to stay at the Fairmont Mayakoba which has a GREAT beach for kiting. The beach here is significantly wider than the beaches in Playa del Carmen, and of course, with all the amenities one would expect at a Fairmont - drink service and a swimming pool and shower right at launch. Still further south, there are also fun 'jungle hotels' at Playa Paraiso Beach just south of the Mayan ruins of Tulum, where XTC Kite center is located. This area has a great vibe. Jungles, ruins, and a kite beach!

Since my partner in crime Susi will be there, I'll be checking WINDGURU and if the wind is up, maybe i'll hop on a plane and go back for the contest..

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Kiteboarding Regulation Defeated - Hawaii Senate Proposal 2901

off the docket for now... prior post :

There's an unusual piece of legislation in front of the senate of the state of Hawaii. At best this proposal seems impossible to monitor and enforce - at worst it could be the beginning of regulations governing where and how people sail and kite. Speak out NOW to express your view by writing the honorable elected officials of hawaii. Please direct your opinion to the Committee on Water and Land

the text of the proposed regulation is HERE

Essentially it's intent is to regulate windurfing and kiteboarding such that it would be illegal for a windsurfer or kiteboarder to be within 200 feet of any swimmer or surfer.

The intent is not an issue - it makes eminent sense for people to exercise good judgement wrt safety in the water - I have sympathy for the "intent" having been tangled up by another rider who was close enough to fly his kite between my lines - unquestionaly a dangerous situation for all. That said, it's clear to me that the legislation as drafted is impractical and won't really have the intended impact and I am thus fervently against this proposal. A guideline like this needs to be self policed by our community - not created as a piece of legislation that can't really be enforced. Hard to imagine a police officer going out on the water to ticket a rider - until it was too late / post fact. Let's make sure we self police bad behavior out of our sport so others dont feel the need to try to legislate. Speak out!