By Jessica Sanchez, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – For kiteboarding along the Florida coast, the stronger wind months often come in October through May. With the season, Miami Beach applied new rules and regulations for all kiteboarders, including requiring all kiteboarders to obtain a Kiteboard Operator Permit, by October 1, 2019.
Subject to the requirements specified in the Ordinance No. 2019-4263, Kiteboard Operator Permits are available for a fee of $46 and are valid for a period of five years from the date of issuance.
In November 2017 after an accident the sport was being scrutinized by the community. Miami Beach Ocean Rescue Chief Vicent Canosa said at the time, “It’s a safety issue […] It’s a dangerous situation when you can’t go in the water because these kiteboards are going by you.”
In February 2019, the Miami Beach Kiteboarders Foundation introduced three guidelines to the city council. Kiteboarders must stay at least 200 feet from the shore, 50 feet away from swimmers and cannot fly their kite over the beach unless launching or landing.
Since then, kitesurfing is prohibited south of 24th Street and between 25th and 29th streets. Only experienced, level three kiteboarders can surf in designated areas and out of swimming zones.
All beginners are required to take lessons on 76th Street at The Kite Shop, the only business in Miami Beach with a permit to teach kitesurfing.
Kiteboard Operator Permit applications can be made online or in person. The application is available online and to apply in person it must be done at the City of Miami Beach Customer Service Center, located at 1755 Meridian Avenue, Suite 100.
Simultaneously with the permit, the City will issue a laminated kiteboard identification card and an identification streamer. To apply in person, subject to application approval, applicants will receive a permit, ID card and streamer at the time of application.
If applying online, applicants can choose either to have the permit, ID card and streamer mailed or picked up in person at the Customer Service Center.