Kiting at Revere

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Kiting at Revere

I'd like to open a discussion on kiting at Revere Beach. This past weekend was awesome for kiting, but we were threatened with having our spot closed down several times because of irresponsible kiting/launching. Several kiters were spotted by DCR kiting right next to people swimming with their kite over the beach. One kiter tried to launch a 12M in 10 knots of breeze before it came crashing down on the beach (didn't hit anyone). Another tried to get lessons from a buddy during primetime, at hightide, with an onshore easterly - it was his fourth time kiting. His kite ended up back on the beach covered in seaweed. Another kiter had his kite in the air for long periods of time, literally hanging over the road, while he waited for the breeze to pick up. I'm just regurgitating the pain points DCR verbalized with us. They suggested that next summer we won't be able to kite Revere at all between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Many of us would really hate to see that happen.

I think it is fair to say we need to all kite from the usual spot near the bath house. The DCR agent stressed that he can't monitor kiting activity when we all launch from different parts of the beach. Also, if we're all in one spot, it's less likely that beach go-ers will setup in potential harms way.

The other thing to consider is whether you're qualified to kite at certain times. Does it make sense for you to launch in an easterly at high tide when you're still learning to go upwind? It's actually questionable if anyone should kite in that type of scenario, but I understand the temptation. Problem is when our kites are hanging over the heads of people on the beach. If it comes crashing down, we're gone. It was suggested over the weekend that we should be launching our kites in the water.

Just don't want to see one of our few spots in the Boston area go to waste.

- Beantowner

It needs to be the locals to

It needs to be the locals to enforce the rules, not the DCR.  The DCR is super cool about stuff, but not when you put other people in danger.  Everyone makes mistakes, but being irresponsible with a kite in your hand is how we get shut down.  What they need to see is that we are being responsible and taking control of the situation. I'd be happy to meet with some of the Revere locals and see if we can come up with some good rules for people to follow.  If rules are created for EVERYONE's safety, they should be common sense, and you shouldn't feel stupid trying to enforce them on your fellow kiters. 

- K T H X B Y E P Z -

second this thought for Nahant

We had a newbie at Nahant launch and drop a kite near people.  We also had a kite release and drift in.  Both issues were self policed, but the first one did draw the attention of the lifeguards.

The lifeguards were really super cool about it, but we need to better.  We also need the more experienced people to not cut safety corners.

If there is not enough room to launch on the beach to have at least one kiteline length with no bystanders, then there is not enough room to launch.  Just don't do it.

Don't fly a kite within one length of swimmers or beach walkers!   Just don't.  That is the absolute minimum for experts.  Further is better of course.

Just to drive it home for folks that don't think it is serious, imagine something going wrong (say your harness hook pops out) and you don't realise what happened and you hang onto the bar for a second.  The kite drops and a frontline line runs across a bystander.  The pull on the front line loops the kite rapidly with tension slicing into the bystander.  This and one thousand other similar problems can happen within a second.  Don't do it.  Give yourself and bystanders a margin of safety.  "They went swimming right where we setup" is no excuse.  "But I just saw him do it" is also no excuse.  There is no excuse.  You are responsible for whatever happens.

Sorry to be preachy.  I do not like to do it, but we all need to remind ourselves what can go wrong.  A big thank you to everyone who kited safely away from population at Nahant yesterday.  What an awesome day!  If we all keep it cool, we will keep it open for all.

I assume the sign at PB helps

I assume the sign at PB helps local kiters point out rules in which everyone accepts. Its easier to police if you are supporting ideas that are accepted and you can point them out (not being a jerk did you see the sign). Maybe we can be allowed a sign and its possibel the DCR will see a sign as the majority trying to self police so that a ban would not be necessary given we are aware and trying to adjust. 

But the sign would need to be professional. Jermy made some nice signs and maybe can share his process.

I really like the idea of

I really like the idea of having signs set up. Part of the problem this past weekend was that several people were coming to Revere for the first time and didn't know where the usual spot was. A sign might also lead beachers to set up their umbrellas outside the zone too.

Chicago example

In Chicago they had to come to the point you need a certification to kite:

"Montrose gets extremely crowded during the summer and you must have level 2 certification from PASA or level 3 IKO"

We are super lucky here, they probably had to do that fir similar reasons instead of being completely shut down during season?

Guillaume

DCR management

Kiting has inherent risks, to both the kiter and the people around us. People around us are ignorant to the real dangers of the kite, and often don't realize how close things are to going south. I love going to beaches that aren't plagued with nanny-state rules for swimming, kiting, fishing, boating, sailling, surfing, and the like. Everyone treats one another with respect, and generally there is enough room to move around. If you hurt someone or damage something with your kite, you are liable. Like you say, kiters are responsible for our own collective safety, whther you are launching or drifting in the water during a self-rescue, generally we are here to help.

On Sunday, I heard that people were self/hot launching despite there being plenty of helpful kiters to assist. Not cool. I also heard that a beachgoer got hit in the foot. I don't know what to believe.

From a beach management perspective, there are things that DCR could be doing better than an all-out ban on kiting during the "busy summer months" (which is only really a few windy weekends during the day). Revere beach and long beach are both big enough for dedicated kite launching and landing zones, where no swimming or other activities are allowed. Why not have short area of the beach dedicated for kiting. It really only needs to be active on windy days in the summer season. Kiters generally claim such a zone anyway once we reach critical mass. Resorts around the world often have dedicated watersports sections of their beach. Such an action would demonstrate real willingness to manage the beach by DCR. 

Kites were being launched everywhere...

Was at Revere yesterday in the afternoon and got on the water prob 2 hrs past high tide. Kites were being launched from several locations on the beach. I had not seen this before.  I ended up going to the northern end where the beach has a bit more grass and peble in it.  A construction site and then an open area were to the west of the beach there. I kept going north of the usual launch because it looked like there too many non kiters near it.  Where I was there were a few kiters set up and just one non kiter for about 100 meters of beach so it seemed quite safe for all concerned.  Glad the plovers were gone though as the area looked like prime plover habitat.

The idea of having a signed launch area during the season is interesting but I think could be problematic.   As a positive, having a designated kite area definitely makes self policing easier since it would concentrate activity. With folks all over the beach its harder to convey and enforce "community standards of behavior". On the negative side; what if the designated launch area is too busy with general beach goers like it was yesterday? Are the other parts of the beach, which may be safer because they happen to be less populated, perceived as off limits because they are not designated as a kite launch area?  If you would like to launch your kite from the designated area, would you have the right to expect other  beach goers to move or stay out of the way?  How do you handle coming in if the kite launch area has filled in with beach goers?  

I know I am not proposing a solution but just want to point out that a designated kite launch area has its problems as well. 

 

A lesson from Chicago

Agree with all of these points / concerns and wanted to weigh in with my experience in Chicago.  (Lived there for 10 years and moved to Boston 1 year ago)  There was a full ban on kiting on any beach in the Chicagoland area because of an incident where someone hit a person on the beach.   The community was outraged and there was a knee jerk reaction to one small incident because of one kiteboarder not obeying the rules.  It took the kite community hiring lawyers, lobbying and a ton of community outreach (+5 years of work) to come to an agreement on where we could kite legally.  They only allow it on one beach in the city and there are heavy restrictions on when you can kite and who is allowed to kite at Montrose - the only legal kiteboarding beach.

Chicago Rules: - Only IKO or PASA Certified kiters can kite at Montrose beach. - ALL KITEBOARDERS must have a blue streamer attached to their kite at all times.  The streamer was issued from the local surf shop and could only be issued upon your showing an IKO/PASA Certification card. - No kiting during summer months (June-September) - Period.  - Kiteboarding could only launch or have the kite over the beach in a designated area which was designated as between a Lifeguard chair and a chainlink fence.  - This also happened to be the only dog beach in the city so we would get sick from E.coli from the water...

The end result was we would have to drive 1, 2 or 3+ hours depending on the wind conditions.  I'm concerned that if we do not self-enforce safety on Revere beach, the same thing will happen here in Boston.  As a conclusion / solution:  Can we put up flags on a stretch of beach at the bath house to create a "designated kiteboard zone"?  If anyone knows the legal way we can approach this I'm volunteering to purchase flags and install them. (As long as we can do it legally)

Thanks for your Chicago

Thanks for your Chicago perspective!

This really is a bigger issue, because the DCR could easily adopt a set of rules (or bans) for all their beaches, which would be just about every beach in Boston, and Horeseneck too.  So one dude dropping his kite on someone could totally scew the whole region.

I suggest we come up with rules for ourselves.  Come up with a launch area.  Create a sign and bring it to the DCR with a plan and some local contacts to go to immediately if there was a problem.  Show that we are concerned and also responsible.  We've done that at other spots before and it's worked, hopefully it will work this time.  If the rules are for all parties safety, it makes it easy to say yes to.  We may have to make sacrifices... you cannot make it a sweet deal for our side only.  

So the serious question... if you Revere locals were restricted to have one area to launch and land from that made the most sense to you and was the safest option, where would it be?  Keep in mind where the Plovers are every year.  Wind directions too.  North of Antonia's?

Can I make a recommendation... NO ONE SHOULD KITE REVERE before 6pm until after Labor Day weekend so we don;t have to worry about any issues?  go do Dog Beach for the next two weeks.  

- K T H X B Y E P Z -

Having a designated area with

Having a designated area with signs would also (maybe) require or be a good idea to have signs saying "can't kite here before 6 pm memorial to labor day go there instead", and on the designated area saying "beach goers please avoid tanning in this area for your safety", it's like when I see non kiting people setting up on that tiny tiny beach at Waquoit instead of walking down passed the trees, makes no sense.  Just my 2 cents from the outisde, I only kited Revere twice and off season.

Guillaume

You can't really say "beach

You can't really say "beach goers please avoid tanning in this area for your safety" but at Hardings we used "Kiteboarding launch area, kiteboarders and beachgoers please use caution."  I think that kind of covers that everyone needs to use caution, while at the same time announces that it is a kite zone and you are kind of there at your own risk.

You can ask people to move, but they have as much right (if not more) to be there than you do.  You need to stress that it's a safety thing, and not act entitled or piss anyone off.  1000 people could think kiting is awesome and great to have at Revere, but none of them go on record for thinking so... but one formal complaint can end it all because it's all that is on record.  

- K T H X B Y E P Z -

You can't really say "beach goers please avoid tanning in this a

It would need to be worded appropriatly obviously but I have seen a sign saying something like "Area reserved for kiting" some years ago. It does not really say you can't set up a chair and go tanning but I think most people get the message.
You can't either say the area is not safe for non kiters because then people will think we are dangerous and complain as well.

Guillaume

The least crowded area on

The least crowded area on Long Beach is at the Lynn/Nahant rotary and to the north. There’s room to launch, even at high tide, there are bath house facilities, there’s free parking on the street and in the playground lot and you don’t have to drive up and down the causeway to get there, pay parking is also close at the end of the DCR lot. We should be launching and landing there on a hot weekend day when the tide is high and the beach is crowded.

We think we are entitled to kite there but we are not. Barbecuing is not allowed, no dogs and no fishing either. In the areas where the lifeguard chairs are located you cannot use a flotation device!

If we do not all kite smarter we will be banned.

TD

I did not read much of this

I did not read much of this so forgive me if this as been brought up.  there seams to be a lot of chatter on Slack about kiting nahant and revere.  many of the comments do not seam to be passing good informatin.   for those of you whow have been doing most of the policing  you may want to log on to Slack chat New England Kitesurfing and listen in on some of the topicks.  Yesterday there was some talk about kiting Dog beach during high tide. 

Pbay

What if we did exactly what we did at Pbay? Signs and work with DCR?

We never did work with the

We never did work with the DCR at PB, we just got together and made a set of rules that made the most sense from a safety standpoint, and posted them. It was kind of an experiment. But we didn't really have a problem or incident, we were just being proactive. This is a little different. I think I can get us in front of the right person at the DCR... But we should get the rules together first. 

Where is the plover areas in comparison to the typical kite area? I haven't kited Revere during plover season in a few years...

- K T H X B Y E P Z -

The nests change spots every

The nests change spots every year. They're usually in the vicinity of the bath house.

I like the idea of the sign.

I like the idea of the sign. It would help if we placed a few up and down thw beach though, and the sign had a map like the one at wd. Kiting location should be the "traditional" spot in front of kells creme. Also some rules such as: don't fly over plover nets, the road, or bathers. Don't launch/land close upwind of bathers, etc.

Also, if you go there to kite, don't be a stranger. Talk to your fellow kiters, especially the noobs(it's usually not Hart to pick them out). I know I appreciated advice from the more seasoned kiters among us back when I was new.

I don't like the idea of no kiting before 6. It seems to drastic, plus what would I do when I blow off work :)

NEMBA

Might be time to start an official organization to help preserve our riding locations. NEMBA is the golden example and could be a helpful source/blue print. You can also review case studies of the organization fighting back for trail rights. It would require considerable work from volunteers within our community. 

Time to make MassKiting into

Time to make MassKiting into an advocacy group in addition to a community. We might need a new mission statement.

I feel like a sign should be

I feel like a sign should be posted at Dog beach and long Beach also. I can not imagine the DCR would have a problem with rules.
How do we pay for the signs or the process? I am ready to make a $ donation .
Go fund me?

The signs are relatively

The signs are relatively cheap.  If we get to that point, we can take donations.

- K T H X B Y E P Z -

Sign at three beaches

I like the sign idea too. We need signs for all three major traffic beaches, IMO. Just a matter of time before something goes down in Nahant or Dog. Already something wack happened at Dog a few weeks ago... Happy to donate for a sign for Revere, Dog and Nahant as well.

After all the issues this

After all the issues this week at Revere and Nahant you would think people would Know better. Yesterday I was a little disapointed to see some locals riding at Nahant at the Halfway house. This spot was the most crowded with beach goers and right in front of the life guards. 

The rest of us were down the the north end that had few people and lots of space. Like others have said if we don't get our act together we are one incident away from a ban..

 

 

 

 

Mission statement and signs sound amazing. I'm def happy to donate some $$ to have a bunch of signs in pbay style around the local beaches. This would make it much easier to point out rules to people that are somewhat reckless....

If you look at how kites are being flown right now, you can observe at least 10-20 situations in which stuff could go wrong (involving spectators) every session. As people pointed out here repeatedly, it's therefore only a matter of time until we have an incident and spots closed down...

So there seems to be a consent that we have to be proactive. The only question is who's gonna take the lead.

 

Mk isn't going to change it's

Mk isn't going to change it's mission statement to save beaches, but there's good reason to keep it seperate.  We need to make a nonprofit like the Access Fund for climbers. Something that can stand up in court as a legal entity that can't be tarnished.  North American Kiteboard Saftey and Access Association is a name that would work.  Or we could go regionally with Northeast or New England, but if we start this, it may grow beyond our area.  There is nothing like this protecting our beaches anywhere in the country and it's badly needed.

- K T H X B Y E P Z -

Revere rules ver 1.0

So we should probably narrow these down, but I pulled together a list of rules taken from other local beaches that apply to Revere just to get the conversation started. 

  • Please launch and land in designated area only.
  • Launch area is in front of the ??
  • Please set up in designated area between two signs.
  • Please stay at least 200ft away from all plover fenced areas.
  • Keep 200’ from swim areas and distance from all swimmers.
  • Please do not kite close to beachgoers in shallow waters.
  • Respect other kiteboarders, when not kiting wind up lines so that others have room to set up and land.
  • Assisted launching and landing is recommended.  
  • Do not launch kites with people standing downwind of kite lines.
  • State specific times?  (summer months?)

Removed after discussion:

  • State specific wind directions?
  • Do not kite in straight onshore or offshore conditions.

We should have two posts with signs on them designating the area.  The same posts could have the sign above as well.

  • Kiteboarding launch area between signs (arrows?)​
  • Kiteboarders and beachgoers use caution. 

 

- K T H X B Y E P Z -

Like 'em. Not sure about the

Like 'em. Not sure about the wind direction thing though. Onshore is fine at Revere if it is windy enough, and you know what you are doing. I would say that the biggest danger is usually when there is too much West in the wind. Launch gets *super* squirrelly, with kites dropping from the sky right onto the beach.

As for lifeguards, there are non up at the standard launch.

Good to know about lifeguards

Good to know about lifeguards, we can take that out.

The wind direction I just threw in there but doesn't need to be in there.  

I guess the onshore thing stuck out cause I think that's how someone dropped a kite on someone recently, right?  Onshore winds, but barely enough to kite is double trouble for people on the beach.  Plus direct onshore means people are buzzing the shoreline, which is fine if there is no one in the water, but otherwise it can be dangerous.

So there are no official swim areas or buoys at Revere?

 

- K T H X B Y E P Z -

I *think* there are at the

I *think* there are at the south end of the beach, and yeah, they may have bouys...though I don't usually go down there.

It occurs to me that to do something like this at Revere, it should have DCR's blessing. If I was not a masskiter, and I randomly saw a sign telling me where I could kite, I might say, WTF!

Also, this self-imposed restriction could be limited to the summer months. 

I hear you, but if there was

I hear you, but if there was a non-local that saw a sign telling them where to kite and they thought "WTF!" then they can go back to wherever they came from cause we don't want them kiting here and ruining it for us ;)

- K T H X B Y E P Z -

I like where this

I like where this conversation is going.

I agree that MK itself shouldnt change it's mission, but it can certainly can be (actually *is* as evidenced by this thread) our mouthpiece. I am thinking about what our collective goals as kiters in NE should be. I think kiting probably attracts people with a pretty independent mindset, so keeping the goals simple, and the scope of activities small is probably necessary, at least at first.

I was just looking at NEMBA's history as a case study in how these things start, and I had a few random observations:

1. In the case of mountain biking, they have a need to modify the lands they ride on, which is a different model than we use (for an example, go biking at Russel Mill in Chelmsford). We don't need infrastructure. We really just need access to get into the water.

2. I think we all hate to see trash on beaches, and most kiters I know love the stoke, but we also love nature, and do respect the birds, etc.. So to start something like this, we should also have the spirit of cooperation with organizations like DCR and NPS to make the beaches better for everyone (while protecting our access).

3. Our sport can be dangerous not just to ourselves, but to others too. The bottom line is that any sane person treats us as one unit anyway ("you kiteboarders"), so we are at an extreme disadvantage if we dont act like a one. I have to wonder if the whole Cape Seashore thing wouldnt have gone differently if there was an organized, named group sticking up for our access.

4. We have a huge advantage:I can't think of a time that anyone has hated on me for doing it. I think most people *love* to watch us do what we do, and they would probably miss us if we were gone.

So here are some goals off the top of my head:

    Protecting access to beaches

    Educating the public (e.g. launch and land is freaky...don't get too close)

    Educating ourselves (e.g. launch and landing is freaky...don't do it near anyone)

    Making our beaches better (and letting people see us doing it)

    Maintaining and promoting a mindset of conservation, and living with the natural world

These are great for the NP.

These are great for the NP.  I think safety should be up there with access, or it should be the #1 reason in my opinion.  You cannot fight for access if your plan doesn't keep everyone safe.  

- K T H X B Y E P Z -

Awesome!

Awesome!

Just like dort pointed out, there's tons of people that love watching. I was also wondering whether it'd be useful to harness their excitement for our cause. We could have flyers or something (message/content tbd, maybe prompt them to like the facebook group or so) that help solidify support from the normal beach goer. I guess the idea being that - while there's always gonna be a grumpy old guy that doesn't want us there - we should try to find ways highlitghting that a good amount of non-kiting people want us there.

Mission

We don't need to replace our mission, but we do need to expand it if we want to maintain access. There isn't anothet site like this in new england and kiteboarding isn't big enough to support a similar site. It might be as simple as adding a tab to the site about kiting rules that apply to all beaches, why the rules are in place, and what we can all do to preserve and fight for access to beaches.

Right on, the "basic" common

Right on, the "basic" common sense rules used to be on our beaches page.  That's easy enough for me to put back up.  The last month we've been talking to a web developer about a new plan for Mk, and because of that we haven't done much work on the site because I'd have to do it all again if we ended up going with the developer's plan.  But that's a whole other story...

- K T H X B Y E P Z -

I put the general kiting

I put the general kiting rules/etiquette back up on the beaches section.  If anyone things there should be more info, be proud to say it loud here ;P

- K T H X B Y E P Z -

Kiting sings at CA

While visiting CA, I found pretty clear signs where the kiting/swimming is allowed.