Maui Discussion

LETTER: Kiter Response to Keiki Endangerment Complaints

May 7, 2013, 11:23 AM HST
* Updated May 9, 10:26 AM
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By Randolph Coon, Kula

Ka'a Point. Photo by Philip Botek.

Kite surfer at Ka’a Point. Photo by Philip Bolek.

I’d like to respond to the May 3rd letter from Philip Bolek regarding unsafe kiting at Ka’a point near Kanaha.

I’ve been going to that location for almost 40 years now, taken my kids there, and now my grandkids, am a lifelong windsurfer, and now kiter, and so I think I can speak with some authority regarding what goes on at that location.

First, the area that he refers to as a “Hawaiian Fish pond- Loko i’a” is actually an illegal break-wall that was built years ago to create a safe swimming area for families and kids.  Many of us still use it for that purpose and on rare occasions kite boarders sail in through the gap in the rocks to more safely drop their kites on the beach when the winds are very Easterly.

In all my years watching kiters come and go I have seen very few confrontations between competing user groups and fewer still because of kiters sailing into the swimming pond.

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For the most part the kiting community at Ka’a point is like me… married with children, working hard to make a living on Maui, respectful of both the ocean and all user groups, and very non-confrontational.

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Clearly there are exception and those of us who use the ocean almost daily are very sensitive to this and are quick to censure any of our user group who are violating the basic laws of courtesy and common sense.  To categorize a whole user group as showing “blatant disregard… for other beach users, in particular kids” is patently false and irresponsible.

Like so many of the ocean sports here on Maui, kiting is a wonderful family affair. Kiting, like windsurfing, brings people of all ages, incomes, and ethnic backgrounds together. Additionally, as kiting has matured as an international sport both the safety of the equipment and level of competency has increased exponentially.  Current laws prohibit both kiting and windsurfing before 11 a.m. at all North Shore beaches and Mother Nature further limits the days and times people can kite.

So in response to Mr. Bolek I would say that all of us who call Maui home and enjoy the sport of kiting are just as concerned with the safety of our kids as he is and are just as quick to identify unsafe practices when we see them. Where we seem to differ is that we confront the lone offenders and try to solve the problem at its source without blaming a whole community.

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