After dozens of unofficial kitesurfing safety meetings, The Maui Kiteboarding Association was officially formed on Tuesday December 15 1998. The official purpose of the association: “To promote safe and responsible kiteboarding and protect the access of kiteboarders to public beaches and waters. To this end the association’s activities would include: Improving safety, launching sites, and product improvements, distribute booklets to the public and at sports stores; self regulate/self police; affirmatively contact city council/government agencies to prevent ban, possibly draft and present proposed regulations; keep in contact with city council/government agencies. To make the organization a non-profit corporation or other type of entity. Volunteer kiteboarders assist the Maui Kiteboarding Association by donating their time and expertise and money. The MKA membership fees are used primarily for the printing and distribution of brochures and other promotional material, and direct expenses such as tool and machinery costs for clearing launch sites etc. A small amount goes to supporting “sister” kitesurfing associations. Membership recognition is sometimes given in exchange for goods or services given to the MKA. Receipts for membership fees can be obtained by writing to: Maui Kiteboarding Association, c/o 415a Dairy Road, Kahului, Maui, HI USA. The MKA keeps its financial records on file. No member or officer of the MKA is paid for their services. All officers of the MKA have an active interest in kiteboarding or are active kiteboarders. The MKA office holders are listed on the “Members Page”. At this time the MKA is an unincorporated association. The MKA represents the interests of its members, supporters and the kiteboarding community as a whole.
MKA establishes Kiteboarding Zones and Safety Guidelines
In February 1999, the MKA began circulating copies of the agreed upon “Maui Kitezone Maps and Guidelines” for display and distribution to the public. Kitesurfing schools and shops, began responsibly informing their customers about safety issues and practices. The Zones effectively separated kitesurfers and windsurfers riding areas to reduce potential conflicts.
MKA restores kitesurfing after FAA ban
October 14, 1999, MKA Elected Delegation met with the FAA at Kahului Airport at 6 pm. Representatives attended the meeting from the Maui Law Enforcement Department, Charles Penque of the DNLR, air traffic controllers, flight safety officers, other members of the kiteboarding community joined the group. Jim Webb from FAA Honolulu gave an audio-visual presentation on the role of Federal Aviation and the duty of flight safety officers. The bottom line was that the FAA was concerned with aircraft safety. The MKA Steering Committee Elected Delegation appointed MKA Vice-President Jim Fosbinder to be spokesperson for the group. The FAA listened to Jim’s summary of our position on the FAR. Jim explained that the Kiteboarding Association was happy to assist with self-policing the runway’s clear way. There was an exchange of information on both sides. Jim Fosbinder worked solidly for a week prior to the meeting to establish the rights of kiteboarders to operate within the FAA regulations.
KITE BEACH RESTORATION
MKA members and community volunteers have done an enormous amount of volunteer work to restore the areas collectively known as “Kite Beach”. The work started in 2000 when the association and kiteboarding community members decided to move the kiteboarding launch areas from “Lower Kanaha” (“Lowers”), downwind to the beaches below (west) of Ka’a Point, the area now known as “Kite Beach”.
The beach launch at the western side of the storm water canal, formerly part of the Naval Air Station Kahului (NASKA), was used for a sewerage pumping station. It is know to the locals as Naska. Formerly a neglected beach and informal trash dump has now been restored to a natural beach that is fit for local families to enjoy, has brought back the natural beauty of the area. Photographers and even tourists and is enjoyed by dozens of kiteboarders and other beach users. For more information on the Kite Beach restoration click here.
MKA promotes Kiteboarder Safety
2000-present MKA members and volunteers continue to disseminate information about kiteboarders Safety. Distribute, copies of the local kiteboarder guidelines, and lobby for maintained access to launch sites. We work with the lifeguards, and the parks dept, and the FAA ATC to maintain good relations among the user Groups and the authorities. In 2000 the HKA Hawaii Kiteboarding Association, was formed to become umbrella association uniting the different island kiteboarding associations. A Maui chapter was formed and ran for a short time. the first FAA Waiver was issued to that association. However problems eventually arose that caused the HKA to be disbanded, and the Waiver was then transferred to a new association, the Maui Kitesurfing Community. The MKC is exclusively concerned with the maintenance of the Waiver, which allows all kiteboarders to kite on the north shore. The MKA assisted in the formation of the the MKC and helped them to to acquire the waiver. The MKA continues to promote kiteboarder safety. While the MKC is concerned with meeting the waiver requirements. For more information on the MKC Maui Kitesurfing Community click here.