3rd Avenue



3rd Avenue Kiteboarding Safety Guidelines

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. Whether you’re new to the sport, or just new to our site, we encourage you to follow these guidelines to insure a safe and fun time on and off the water. We welcome you to our site and our community, and hope you will join us in our effort to promote kite safety. Happy kiting!

== General 3rd Avenue Guidelines: ===

  1. Kites must NEVER be flown over the bike path, windsurfing rig area, or in parking lots. This includes trainer and stunt kites.

  2. Kiters yield right of way to all non-kiters, both on land and in the water.

  3. Launch only at our two designated sites: upper launch (mud flats), and the beach (below parking lot).

  4. All kiters must use a kite-leash that will completely de- power the kite.

  5. You must have knowledge of the following procedures: kite release, self-rescue, kite re-launch, emergency landing protocol if near the rocks.

  6. If you are walking on the bike path with your kite inflated, be considerate of others using the path. Make sure your lines are not trailing.

  7. Stay at least 200 feet away from shore while kiting.

  8. The only place it is acceptable to fly a kite on land is the mud flats. You must be150 feet away from others and obstructions when flying a kite at the mud flats.

  9. No jumping over the rocks or in the windsurfing corridor. Stay out of the windsurfing corridor except while passing through on your way upwind or downwind.

  10. Landing your kite on or over the rocks or bike path is STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

If you are new to kiteboarding, new to this site, or have questions, find a kiter who can assist you or explain the safety issues. The community at 3rd Avenue is built on helpfulness; we welcome the opportunity to help other kiters stay safe and have fun.

Launching Guidelines:

Upper Launch Guidelines -

  1. Lines should be set up perpendicular to the wind at the upper launch. They should not be left unattended for long periods.

  2. 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. If you slip in the mud, keep the kite steady and suspended toward the water.

  3. There are separate areas for launching and landing. Observe them whenever possible.

  4. 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.

Beach Launch Guidelines-

  1. At the beach launch area, lines must be run parallel to the water line. They should not be run until your kite is inflated and you are ready to launch.

General Launching Guidelines-

  1. Be sure there are no power lines, rocks, walls, or other hard objects within 200 feet of you downwind when launching. Be sure the people near you know you are launching.

  2. When launching, use hand-signals to communicate. Thumbs up = launch the kite; thumbs down = abort launch/put the kite down. Do not give verbal commands, as voices are often obscured by kite and wind noise.

  3. If the kite fails during a launch or does not otherwise launch smoothly in a controlled manner, release the kite immediately. DO NOT hesitate. Failure to let go of the bar is the most common cause of injury in kiteboarding. Release the kite at the first sign of trouble.

  4. 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.

  5. Once your kite is launched, immediately proceed to the water. Spending unnecessary time with your kite in the air on land puts you and others in danger and prevents others form launching and landing.

  6. Consider launching and landing unhooked, and prepare to let go of the bar at the first sign of trouble. This is highly recommended, especially for beginner and intermediate kiters.

  7. Never ask a non-kiter to launch your kite. This has caused accidents. The outcome of a launch is the kiter’s responsibility.

  8. 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.

  9. If you are launching a kite, simply release the kite after the kiter gives you the thumbs-up. Do not hold the kite back, throw it up, etc.

Landing Guidelines:

Upper Launch Guidelines -

  1. At the upper launch there are separate areas for launching and landing. Observe them whenever possible. (The landing area is in the cove, which is upwind and inland from the launching point area. Come in between the two poles).

Beach Launch Guidelines:

  1. After landing your kite at the lower beach, quickly roll up your lines and move the kite to the back of the beach (upwind, next to the rocks) to clear the beach for others. If you are landing a kite for another kiter, move it to this same area, don’t just drop it where you landed it. Make sure the kite is secure or wait until the owner gets to the kite.

General Landing Guidelines:

  1. Land at one of the designated landing sites (the upper launch, the beach, or one of the lower beaches.) If there is not a kiter available to land your kite at one of the designated sites, perform a self-landing in the water. While in the water, release your bar to drop your kite, and swim or walk in.

  2. Landing your kite on or over the rocks or bike path is strictly prohibited.

  3. DO NOT land your kite to a non-kiter. This has caused accidents.

  4. If you cannot land at a designated landing site and find yourself getting closer to the rocks, release your bar while you are still well away from the rocks (at least 300 feet). Reel the kite in, deflate the leading edge, roll the kite up on its struts. Either swim to a nearby beach or ramp, or walk carefully up the rocks. DO NOT walk up the rocks and/or onto the bike path with your kite flying.

  5. Avoid coming in to land if you see that a kiter is launching.

  6. When you are approaching a designated landing area, use the universal “landing assistance please” 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 asking for assistance.

  7. Once your kite has been landed, immediately insure that it is secure.

Other Safety Guidelines:

  1. 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).

  2. Kites should be handled by the leading edge. Never grab a kite by the lines or the trailing edge. Whether it is launching, landing, or sliding down the beach, grab the kite and not the lines as lines under tension can cause injury.

  3. 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) (Insert graphics)

  4. Get adequate professional instruction. Lessons are strongly recommended, as are comprehensive videos. Make sure your lessons cover proper launch, re-launch, landing procedures, use of safety systems, and self-rescue.

  5. If you use a board leash, it is recommended to use the retracting type rather than a “static” or “bungee” leash, and wear a helmet. Board leashes can be dangerous because they can rebound the board back toward the rider after a fall. Keep in mind that the helmet will not protect your back, neck, chest, or face.

  6. Suggested safety gear: helmet, hook knife, de-powering kite- leash, personal floatation device (PFD) and/or impact-vest, booties, marine strobe, whistle, marine radio.

  7. When jumping, insure that you are at least 200 feet upwind from others and objects.

  8. Use EXTREME caution if kiting in offshore winds. The winds will be pushing you away from shore, which will be of particular concern if you experience equipment failure - you will have to swim against the wind to get back to shore.

  9. If you see other kiters 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).

  10. Set a good example. Promote safety by kiting safely.

North landing


(At low tide you can check out these hazards.)

> It is worse than that. It is dangerous to land anywhere BUT between the
> poles, as we moved all the old car carcasses to the other sides of the 
> poles, along with many of the rocks. Whereas we buried all the rocks between
> the poles so that they would only be about 6 inches out of the mud, beyond
> the poles they can come up a foot or so. So a person landing in the north
> cove 'must' come in directly between the poles, as centered as possible.
> JR set the poles and marked them with green and red tap. He also put the

> yellow whiffle balls on them to make them easier to see from the bay side 
> (still difficult). When the rider cannot see any color on the poles, it is
> safe to ride right into the cove. When the rider can see green on the poles,
> it is safe to body drag past the rocks. When the rider can see red, s/he has
> to walk through the rocks. When doing this, and since the rocks may be
> exposed about 6", it is important to take small, high steps. Tripping on a
> rock, since they are covered in barnacles, WILL result in injury. Just take
> a look at my legs if you don't believe it.
> The bottom of the north cove is mostly hard-packed something, but up where
> it becomes dry there is some exposed clay that is slippery.

South landing

I am not a 100 lbs person but I think that one of the
issues that Jack has rightfully brought up is that the
traffic that you get at the Parking lot area is truely
uncertain and at times frightful.Making it worth not
landing there.

I've been kiting at 3rd for a couple of seasons now
and have experienced a lot of close calls when landing
and launching, mainly due to the in out traffic.
If it is a busy day you may want to think twice in
landing there.

Some of the key elements when coming in at the parking
lot beach, and I hope that it is not a repetition of
what others have written:
-Come in with a decent amount of speed
-When reaching the wind shadowed area keep your kite
high ~1pm and undertake a figure of eight if additonal
power is needed without bringing the kite too low in
the window or else it will stall
-Come in with an upper tack so that if someone is
coming out or an obstacle comes up you will still make
it to the beach
-If you feel like you have insufficient board speed,
just body drag in, as trying to get in on the board
may create too much resistance and "kill" the kite
-Also whenever you feel the kite is stalling, make
sure to make some quick and short turning movements to
eliminate the Hindenburg effect.