Help keep our beaches (and kiteboarders!) safe by following this set of guidelines for fun, happy, safe kiteboarding in Santa Barbara. These guidelines were developed by the Parks and Recreation and Waterfront Departments.
1. NO KITEBOARDING IN THE HARBOR
Kiteboarding in Santa Barbara harbor is simply too dangerous, given possible harm to people on land or in vessels. Also, swimming in the harbor is in violation of Municipal Code Title 17. The harbor is too populated with vessels to allow swimming or kiteboarding.
2. NO KITEBOARDING ON WEST BEACH
West Beach is too small and too congested to allow body dragging or board dragging practice in the sand. Also, the water area adjacent to West Beach is a designated quiet-water sailing area used by Sea Shells and other small craft, including child or young-adult sailing students.
3. NO KITEBOARDING WITHIN 500 FEET OF STEARNS WHARF
This prohibition helps assure the protection of people and property on the Wharf, as well as kiteboarders themselves, from kite-boarding mishaps.
4. NO KITEBOARDING WITHIN 200 FEET OF BATHERS, SWIMMERS OR VESSELS WHILE OPERATING IN CITY WATERS
This is an appropriate distance to help prevent adverse interactions with bathers, swimmers or vessels. At twice the length of the average kite line, this distance is intended to allow room to maneuver from a dangerous situation before it results in an accident.
5. NO KITEBOARDING INSIDE SWIM BUOYS
Exceptions for entry and exit using designated Kiteboarding Zones at Leadbetter Beach (see #8 below) and East Beach Kiteboarding (see #9).
6. NO KITEBOARDING AT LEADBETTER BEACH ON WEDNESDAYS AFTER 5PM APRIL 1 — NOVEMBER 1
This is the period during which Wet Wednesdays, a weekly sailboat regatta, and Nite Moves, a combination run-and-swim event, occur offshore and at Leadbetter Beach.
7. NO KITEBOARDING AT CITY BEACHES DURING SPECIAL EVENTS
Due to the concentration of event participants, kiteboarding is prohibited at City Beaches during City-permitted special events. This mainly takes place at Leadbetter Beach but would extend to East Beach during certain special events. Kite boarders can check the Special Events Calendar at the City of Santa Barbara website to preview times and dates for most scheduled special events.
8. STICK TO THE KITEBOARDING ZONE AT LEADBETTER BEACH
This 200’-wide (posted) zone allows kiteboarders to launch from an approved location. The launching and landing zones is defined as East of the permanent marker buoy that defines the annual Leadbetter swim zone, and with approved flags placed on the beach to notify swimmers of the activity occurring in this location. Use of the zones would not exclude use of the beach by other persons, and kite boarders are required to maintain a 200-foot distance from bathers, swimmers and boaters.
9. STICK TO THE KITEBOARDING ZONE AT EAST BEACH
To afford kite boarders a place to gain proficiency at their sport, a 200’ x 1,000’ area of East Beach south of the Chase Palm Park restroom near the Calle Cesar Chavez and Cabrillo Boulevard intersection (extending 500’ west and 500’ east of the restroom and 200’ north of the mean high tide line), is a designated a “Kiteboarding Zone.” This 1,000-foot-wide area extends south to ocean waters, up to the City limit, one mile offshore. As with the zone at Leadbetter Beach, kiteboarders utilizing the East Beach Kiteboarding Zone must continue to maintain a 200’ distance from bathers, swimmers and boaters while on the beach, crossing through the swim buoy area or operating seaward to the one-mile City limit. The kiteboarding zone does not exclude other beach or ocean uses.