Etiquette and Conduct

The growing number of kiteboarders, wing-foilers and windsurfers using Kailua Beach Park has compelled our windsports community and local authorities to develop and enforce better guidelines.  Please help preserve our beach access and ocean privileges by observing appropriate conduct and adhering to the following rules and regulations:

  • Safety

    Please embrace a concept of “Safety First” for all beachgoers, oceangoing and windsports enthusiasts. “Safety First” means public safety supersedes your personal needs, wants, desires or timelines.  Education is key to safety.  Please view the following links for more information.

  • Rigging Protocols
    • Please show consideration by setting up, staging and rigging equipment on the grass area of the beach park.  Please avoid laying out kite lines on the beach as they block the already limited launching area (Zone A).  The exception to this rule is the Foil and Ram Air Kites.
    • Grass area. — Please be considerate: Condense your footprint as much as possible. This can be done by stacking kites, rolling lines, placing boards under kites, etc.
    • Beach area. — Please avoid leaving personal gear in the ingress/egress area as the corridor is part of a general public beach.  Please have consideration for all beach users by safely sharing the space.  
    • The area below the high water line should especially remain free of equipment for the safe passage of pedestrians and lifeguard rescue vehicles.
  • Launching Protocols
    Please launch within the designated 200 foot beach area provided (Zone A) and move out of the launch zone as soon as safely possible to clear the area for other users as the launch/land zone is a limited area. (§13-256-74 (a) HAR). Self-launching is discouraged and should be avoided whenever possible as Zone A is upwind of a general use area.
  • Landing Protocols
    Please land within the designated 200 foot beach area provided (Zone A) and move out of the launch/land zone as soon as safely possible to clear the area for other users as the launch/land zone is a limited area. Landing direction is determined by wind, tide and crowd conditions. If you are not sure what to do or don’t have the experience to make a determination please consult with an experienced local windsports enthusiast before you launch. Self-landing is discouraged and should be avoided whenever possible as Zone A is upwind of a general use area.
  • Pedestrian and Public Right of Way
    Always yield to pedestrians and beachgoers when launching and landing as the public always has right of way.
  • General Public in the Launch Site

    We do not have the right to tell anyone they cannot be in Zone A.  A friendly explanation, including a reference to the posted signs, may be helpful. However, aggressive, authoritarian and/or offensive behavior is highly discouraged. Negative messaging, speech tone or an unfriendly disposition are also highly discouraged.  Resolve conflicts by peacefully walking away.  Consider speaking with other experienced local windsports enthusiasts for ideas on how you can use the designated ingress/egress zone without creating further conflict.

  • No Tricks or Jumping Within 200 feet of the Shoreline

    As this is an area of high traffic.  Tricks and jumping in this area is regarded as reckless and dangerous behavior.  In general, stay at least 200 feet off shore at all times when riding (§13-244-9 (a) HAR).

  • Swim Zone
    Stay out of the Swim Zone area (as indicated by the white buoys) and away from swimmers at all times.  The only exception to traversing the Swim Zone is an emergent situation that forces the rider to shore (§13-256-74 (a) HAR). To be doubly clear, time of day, number of people in the swim zone or other factors do not alter the prohibition on kiteboards entering the area.  Finally, it is also highly discouraged to fly your kite over the swim zone.

    KWA endorses The Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea Regulations (COLREGS), which are globally accepted regulations for all ocean-going vessels, to include sailing crafts. COLREGS define priorities between all sea-going vessels with regard to steering ability, visibility, motorized versus non-motorized crafts, speed and maneuverability. Kiteboarders, windsurfers and wing-foilers are regarded as a class of sailboats, and therefore must yield to swimmers, kayaks and canoe paddlers, and of course maintain an appropriate distance to other boating vessels [1].

  • Protect Our Ocean and Winged Friends

    It is our kuleana (responsibility) to protect our ocean and winged friends.  Please be watchful of marine life as Kailua Bay is home to many sea animals, to include the Hawaiian Sea Turtle, Spinner Dolphins and the endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal.  On land, be mindful of the Shearwater seabird nesting sites that are roped off and marked with signs.  Indigenous animals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, and/or the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, all of which are enforced by Hawaii Marine Animal Response (HMAR) and the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).  (§13-124 HAR).  Remember that we are visitors in their environment. 

  • General Safety Guidelines
    It is incumbent upon all riders to operate their crafts in a safe manner that does not pose danger to other persons or property. Each individual is responsible for damage and injuries incurred by their actions and equipment. Please adhere to safe launching and landing practices: The individual flying the kite is ultimately responsible for safe operation, but the assisting handler also plays a role in identifying line and bridle entanglements. Self-launching and self-landing is discouraged and should be avoided whenever possible. Always allow adequate clearance between kites to avoid intersecting line mishaps.
  • Trespassing
    Do not enter private property to retrieve kites or equipment without direct permission from the homeowner. Trespassing is illegal and is not endorsed by KWA as it brings unnecessary liability to the homeowner, and can result in expensive litigation for the kiter. KWA advocates gaining direct permission from the homeowner prior to retrieving equipment, and engaging a licensed arborist whenever a kite is persistently lodged in a tree. Please note that this cost will be at your own expense.
  • Kapu (Restricted) Days

    KWA has voluntarily cooperated with the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) by refraining from windsport activities on the following days: Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day.  This agreement extends to the two most prominent canoe regatta days sponsored by our local Kailua and Lanikai Canoe Clubs. Please refer to the HCRA calendar as these days change every year. We are demonstrating our respect for others in the community by voluntarily yielding the beach and water on these special days. 

  • A Special Note to New and Visiting Windsports Enthusiasts
    Kailua Beach is a multi-use recreation area. Unlike other kite destinations that possess expansive beach areas dedicated specifically to windsports, we share a very small beach area with many other sports enthusiasts and beachgoers. We are respectfully asking for your cooperation in adhering to the above guidelines. Please help us preserve our beach and ocean access. Be aware that your actions affect the entire Kailua windsports community. If you do not understand any of the rules or areas described above please ask us. We are happy to help!
  • Additional Recommendations for Those New to Windsports

    Windsports require adequate training from a qualified individual.  After you complete professional instruction, KWA recommends working with a partner for support as you build on your skill set, and until you can independently perform all the following skills: 

    • Determine proper equipment for conditions
    • Determine if it is safe/possible  to sail based on weather conditions
    • Launch  properly
    • Land properly
    • Relaunch/start  in the water
    • Stay upwind (return to launching/landing  area: Zone A)  
    • Self -rescue
    • Body drag to recover your board or move upwind (kite specific) 
    • Operate/reset your safety systems confidently

    Further Recommendations

  • Self-Regulation

    KWA endorses proactive individual self-regulation and community education.  As an Association, KWA encourages members to represent our community with the spirit of Aloha.  As ambassadors of our sport, we ask for your cooperation in self-regulation.  Please kokua (help) by embracing our mission of preserving ocean access for the windsports community.

  • How to Handle Observed Windsport Rule or Guideline Violations

    Please remember that we do not possess the authority to enforce rules and regulations.  If faced with a potentially dangerous situation, KWA recommends attempting to educate those not cooperating with recommended community guidelines or government mandates in a friendly and non-confrontational manner.  This contact might include seeking out a group of local experienced windsports enthusiasts for support in the process. Another option is  bringing your concern to KWA representatives for advice.  However, if an individual continues behavior that poses an immediate danger to the public (similar to any activity that poses immediate danger one might observe in daily life), and all other interventions have failed, please prioritize public safety by contacting the correct governmental agency: 

    • Honolulu Police Department (HPD)
    • Department of Land & Natural Resources (DLNR)
    • Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE)