Byron Bay kite surfing instructor Stephan Kleinlein.
Byron Bay kite surfing instructor Stephan Kleinlein. The Northern Star

Kite surfers outraged by push for beach ban

LOCAL kite surfers are outraged by a proposal to ban their sport at Byron Bay.

Byron Shire Council has decided kite surfing is too dangerous on crowded beaches, and wants it banned in the area between The Pass and the Byron Bay Public Swimming Pool.

Kite surfing, which has gained popularity in the region in recent years, involves attaching a board to a kite, allowing the rider to travel at high speeds and reach heights of about five metres above the water.

The council is concerned about the potential for collisions with beachgoers.

“There is an inherent risk with this activity and council has a duty of care to beachgoers,” Byron Shire Council manager of open spaces and recreation, Nigel Greenup, said.

However, a ban is not the answer, according to kite surfing instructor Stephan Kleinlein.

Mr Kleinlein believes dangers could be avoided by the introduction of kite surfing rules.

“The biggest problem is that kite surfing is not regulated,” he said.

Mr Kleinlein said accidents were caused by inexperienced riders and 'black sheep' who did not follow safety guidelines.

He has suggested the council introduce a designated launching area and devise a set of rules for kite surfing that would ensure kite surfers stayed well away from other beach users.

“It's easy for council to ban something, they start with kite surfing then what is next - canoeing or surfing?” he said.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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