For Kiters: In an effort to promote safety for kiteboarders and other recreational users of 3rd Avenue, a consortium of local kiteboarders and kiteboarding instructors have created the following guidelines. We encourage you to follow these guidelines to insure a safe and fun time on and off the water. Happy kiting! General 3rd Avenue Guidelines
Before kiting at 3rd Avenue, know how to re-launch your kite, perform water landing, and self-rescue.
Be considerate of other recreational users of 3rd Avenue, especially on the bike path.
Use a kite-leash that completely de-powers the kite.
Do not fly kites over the bike path, windsurfing rig area, or in parking lots. This includes trainer and stunt kites.
Kite at least 100 feet upwind from others and objects, and at least 200 feet upwind when jumping.
Do not jump over the rocks or in the windsurfing corridor. Stay out of the windsurfing corridor except while passing through on your way upwind or downwind.
Observe right-of-way rules. Starboard tack (right hand forward) has right-of-way. Riders must yield to others when jumping, maneuvering, or riding on port tack (left hand forward).
If you lack control while kiteboarding in traffic, park the kite in neutral and drift downwind until your path is clear.
The only place it is acceptable to fly a kite on land is the mud flats. You must be at least 150 feet away from others and objects when flying a kite at the mud flats.
Land only in designated landing areas, or perform water landing and self-rescue if necessary. DO NOT land your kite on or over the bike path as it endangers you and others.
General Launching Guidelines:
Launch only in designated launch areas: the upper launch (mud flats) or beach launch (below the parking lot).
Be sure there are no spectators, power lines, rocks, walls, or other objects within 200 feet when launching. Be sure that people near you know you are launching.
Never ask a non-kiteboarder to launch your kite.
Use hand-signals to communicate. Thumbs up means launch the kite; thumbs down means abort launch and put the kite down.
If the kite fails during a launch, release the kite immediately. Failure to engage the safety system is the most common cause of injury in kiteboarding.
It is your responsibility to place yourself in the proper launch position in relation to the kite and the wind; do not rely on the person launching your kite to position it properly.
Once your kite is launched, proceed to the water immediately. Spending unnecessary time with your kite in the air on land puts you and others in danger and prevents others form launching and landing.
When launching, keep your kite 50-70 degrees above the horizon toward the water (between 10:00 and 11:00). Avoid flying the kite directly overhead since lulls and wind shifts can cause the kite to fall, and gusts can cause lofting.
If you are launching a kite, simply release the kite after the kiteboarder gives you the thumbs-up. Do not hold the kite back or throw it into the air.
Special Upper Launch Guidelines:
Set up lines perpendicular to the wind.
Keep the launch and landing areas clear, both in the water and on land.
The mud flats and water entry points are slippery when wet. If you have any doubt about your ability to launch safely, have someone hold you down and walk you to the water.
Beginners should body drag out at least 300 ft (about 3 kite line lengths) from shore prior to water starting, and then the first tack should be away from shore.
Special Beach Launch Guidelines:
The beach is an advanced launch site. Beginners should use the upper launch area.
Set up lines parallel to the water. Do not lay them out until your kite is inflated and you are ready to launch.
Keep gear near the rocks until ready to launch.
General Guidelines for Landing:
Land at one of the designated landing sites (the upper launch, the beach, or one of the lower beaches.)
Do not land your kite to a non-kiteboarder.
If kiteboarders are not available to land your kite, or if you are unable to land at a designated site, perform a self-landing and self-rescue. While in the water at least 300 feet from the rocks, release your bar to drop your kite. Reel in the kite with one line, deflate the leading edge, and roll the kite up on its struts. Swim or walk to a nearby ramp or beach. Do not walk up the rocks and/or onto the bike path with your kite flying.
Avoid landing while other kiteboarders are launching.
When you are approaching a designated landing area, use the universal landing assistance sign by patting the top of your head with the palm of your hand, or by calling out for assistance. Do not assume someone will see or grab your kite if you bring it down without requesting assistance.
Once your kite has landed, immediately insure that it is secure.
Special Guidelines for Landing at the Upper Launch:
If landing at the upper launch, come in at the north cove to keep the launch clear. Come in between the two poles.
Guidelines for Landing at the Beach:
After landing your kite at the lower beach, quickly roll up your lines and move the kite away from the beach immediately. If you are landing a kite, walk the kite near the rocks and secure it.
Other Safety Tips
Get adequate professional instruction; lessons are strongly recommended. Make sure your lessons cover proper launch, re-launch, landing procedures, use of safety systems, and self-rescue.
Kites should be handled by the leading edge. Never grab a kite by the lines or the trailing edge.
Know and use the basic hand signals (trouble on the water/need help, OK on the water, land my kite, release my kite to launch, abort launch).
If you use a board leash, it is recommended to use the retracting type rather than a ìstaticî or ìbungeeî leash, and wear a helmet. Board leashes can be dangerous because they can rebound the board back toward the rider after a fall.
When kiting, look behind you prior to jumping or turning to avoid collision and entanglement with other kiteboarders.
Use EXTREME caution if kiting in offshore winds as the winds will be pushing you away from shore. If you experience equipment failure, you will have to swim against the wind to get back to shore.
If you see other kiteboarders hesitating to launch, ask why. Most often, there are compelling reasons not to kite at that time (such as offshore winds, tide is too low, wind is too strong or too weak, problematic current, etc).†
Set a good example. Promote safety by kiting safely.
For Windsurfers: Don't get caught way out when the wind drops off. Flood currents will easily take you beyond the San Mateo bridge. The launching access ramps can be very slippery. Yield right-of-way to boardsailors exiting the water. Near the launching areas there are submerged obstacles. Booties are a must. At low tide there are several shallow sandbars. Learn their locations because they will always manage to stop you in the middle of a high-speed, power reach. Don't sail beyond the channel marker unless you are an advanced sailor. Both the current & swell increase significantly in the channel