KITESURF, SURF AND ORDINANCES OF THE CAPITANERIA
Let's debunk a common place: summer is not the season of kite or surf.
Summer is coming, season of sun, sea, kitesurf and surf. Or not?
The link between summer and surf is very strong in the imagination of all of us, but in reality things are often different, at least if you live in Italy, and for two reasons.
Statistics in hand, the disturbances in our country arrive mainly in winter, autumn and spring, not in summer. It follows that most surfable waves do not arrive in the summer but in the rest of the year. Things are a little better for kitesurfing because in summer the thermal winds often blow, sometimes with a moderate intensity, but the good news ends here. And we come to the second reason.
2) Summer is the bathing season.
Bathing season means that the majority of people go to the beach, relax on the beach, swim, and unfortunately this sometimes does not match the activities of those who, like us, love to live the sea differently, surfing, kitesurfing or other activities. On the reasons of this conflict we could write pages and pages, and equally we could quibble at length on how to reconcile the different needs of those who frequent the beaches in the summer, but let us limit ourselves to the facts: in summer our beaches are super crowded: bathers, children, umbrellas , canopies, street vendors, everything more and super concentrated. A kitesurf sail undoubtedly can represent a potential danger, a hundred sails are even more so. All ' abroad there is no lack of virtuous examples of coexistence between swimmers and surfers with related regulatory models, and in truth there are also examples in Italy in this sense, but unfortunately they are only a minority. Moreoften kitesurfing and surfing are simply forbidden on our beaches during the bathing season , or are allowed in narrow spaces that are certainly not sufficient to contain a growing number of practitioners. There are not many exit channels, ditto for kitesurfing beaches.
But let's see in more detail how things really are.
Seaside Safety and Kitesurfing Ordinances
The bathing season in our country is that time of the year during which the sea area in front of the beaches is primarily intended for bathing. The bathing season begins almost everywhere on May 1st and ends on September 30th . The exact dates are established in the seaside safety ordinance , the administrative provision issued by the local office of the Harbor Offices - competent Coast Guard which regulates the bathing and navigation activities. It is to this order that we must refer to the practice of kitesurfing, as well as other activities in our beaches in the summer.
In the maritime district of Livorno , for example, the normative reference is the seaside safety ordinance n.51 of 2011 . Among other things, this ordinance regulates the rescue service, the obligations of bathing establishments, sea areas reserved for bathers and some bans in these areas. Thus, during the bathing season (1 May - 30 September) the sea area for a distance of 200 meters from the beaches and 100 meters from the cliffs is primarily intended for bathing. (...) In the aforementioned sea areas, it is FORBIDDEN in the hours between 8.30 and 19.30: the transit of any naval unit, windsurfing, kitesurfing. (...)
It is also forbidden to land surf and kitesurf, in stretches of sandy shore in concession for bathing facilities. In these sections the dealers, if specifically authorized, must take care to separate these areas from those intended for bathers.
Landing is allowed on free beaches if there are no swimmers in the landing area.
It is however forbidden to surf and kitesurf to evolve, where permitted, less than 60 meters from swimmers and from units at sea or moored.
The order continues by defining the areas where bathing is prohibited:
- in ports and within 100 meters of them,
- within 100 meters of industrial settlements such as water intake and return works,
- in the water mirrors in front of the mouths of the rivers and canals navigable up to 50 meters from the coast,
- outside ports near sea areas where piers or walkways are placed for the mooring of passenger ships, for a radius of 50 meters
- within the launch corridors of the pleasure boats, appropriately marked. (the characteristics of these corridors are then specified in a special section).
Different maritime areas generally have different regulations. For example, in the district of Viareggio the ordinance n.71 of 2015 establishes that the sea area primarily intended for bathing is 300 meters, not 200 and the prohibition time is from 7.30 to 20.00. Here, however, sailing boats with floating dinghies and windsurfers are allowed to take off and land even outside the launch corridors, provided that a course perpendicular to the beach and a minimum speed is maintained, and provided they are hand-held up to 100 meters from the coast .
Very often, in addition to the seaside safety ordinance, reference should also be made to specific ordinances of the harbor office for kitesurfing: the ordinance n. 43 of 2007 of the maritime district of Livorno or the order n. 31 of 2007 of the maritime district of Piombino. Let's see in brief what they establish:
- Kitesurfing is forbidden to children under 14
- During kitesurfing it is mandatory to wear an individual rescue vehicle and a safety helmet.
- It is mandatory to have a safety device that allows the wing to be opened and subsequently deflated, while keeping it locked to the person. (Fortunately, all today's kites have such safety systems)
- It is mandatory to use a suitable tool to cut the lines. (the
cable cutter) - It is also forbidden to leave the kitesurf unattended, without having first disconnected at least one part and rewound the cables on the boom.
Finally it is repeated that in areas destined mainly for bathing it is necessary to use launch corridors and it explains which features they must have and how they should be used.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to analyze all cases, beach by beach. In principle, however, it is clear that during the bathing season, before entering the water with a surfboard or a kitesurf, it is good to visit the coast guard site and look for the seaside ordinance of the area in question to see if in a certain beach is allowed or not. Furthermore, if a bathing establishment is present, the regulation posted at its entrance must also be checked.
In short ... summer comes: hard times for those who surf, or kitesurf
Here is a non-exhaustive list of some kitesurfing ordinances:
Ordinance kitesurfing Livorno
Ordinance kitesurfing Piombino
Ordinance kitesurfing Anzio
Ordinance kitesurf Palau, Sardinia
Ordinance kitesurfing Genoa
Ordinance kitesurfing Ancona
Ordinance kitesurfing Viareggio
Ordinance Veneto kitesurfing and Annex A
seaside Safety Ordinance island of Elba