Kite surfers have had the wind taken out of their sail as the Poole Harbour Commissioners introduce a kite surfing permit costing £20 which every surfer must clearly display when out on the water.
Local kite surfers feel that there has been little consultation and that this is just another government checklist to keep the peace and appease Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) after several accidents occurred in the area.
The permit costs $20 and came into force on March 28. Each kite surfer must have a valid permit which is clearly displayed while they are surfing.
Kiters can surf all around Bournemouth and Boscombe without a permit.
The Breaker asked local surfer, Nick Spirit if this will affect the amount of surfers going to Poole Harbour.
“I am not happy about it, especially when I can surf for free. It just seems like a government backed scheme to keep the PHC happy” Mr Spirit added that, “The design of the permit holders are flimsy and we are worried about them falling off.”
Following months of consultation with the kite surfing community, the British Kite Sports Association (BKSA), Borough of Poole, Natural England and the RNLI, Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) has now launched a kite surfing permit scheme in Poole harbour.
Over the years, PHC has opted for an educational and support approach, which included regular meetings with the kite surfing community and being involved in the setting up of the Poole Kite Surfing Club and the creation of a Code of Practice.
This went some way to improving the safety of the sport. However over recent years popularity has increased and accidents have occurred, therefore greater regulation was deemed necessary.
The Harbour Master, Captain Brian Murphy, from PHC told The Breaker that: “The main benefit is that legislation is now in place which requires kite surfers to comply with terms and conditions all aimed at improving the safety of this activity in Poole Harbour.”[portfolio_slideshow id=47357].