Windsurfing Launch Access at Kanaha Beach park

It’s been awhile since I posted about the proposed plan to enlarge the swim zones at Kanaha thereby effectively limiting windsurfing launch access.

What’s the problem?

The state is preparing to install three sets of buoys at Kanaha Beach Park to designate expanded swim zones that will exclude all vessels and watercraft, such as kites, canoes, windsurfers, surfers, and standup paddlers. About 3500 feet of shoreline currently open to any use will become exclusive swim zones.

So what? Why should I care?

This represents a huge increase over the swim zones currently in use (orange), as you can see in the map below. Any vessel or craft that attempts to enter or cross the expanded swim zones will be subject to increased enforcement.

Of all the user groups, windsurfing stands to lose the most. Implementation of swim zones A and B as presently described in HAR 13-256-130 would eliminate the majority of the shoreline access area that windsurfers have traditionally used. Other groups are likely to be impacted as windsurfers react to the reduced access and move to other areas. The 1988 swim zones would make windsurfing less safe and cause more conflict with other user groups. Kanaha is arguably the finest place in the entire world for family windsurfing, so the loss of adequate safe access has far-reaching implications.

What’s the Latest:

A community focus group has been meeting to address new rules for Kanaha Beach Park on Maui’s north shore. We’ve had 3 of 4 scheduled meetings. The first one was basically an introduction to the situation, each other, and our goal as a group. The second and third gathered input on issues, needs, concerns, and goals of the various stakeholder groups – Swimmers, Fishers, Windsurfers, Lifeguards, Canoe clubs, Kiters, Vegetation / Malama Maui Nui, Divers, Governor’s office, Surfers / SUP, DOCARE / DLNR, DOBOR. In the fourth and final meeting, on May 27, we are supposed to develop recommendations to the DLNR (state Department of Land and Natural Resources) for new rules.

A website, Kanaha Watch, has been set up to share information with the public about possible changes at Kanaha Beach Park regarding DLNR placing additional swim zone buoys and is the best, most accurate source for the latest updates on this process.

A couple of threads on the iWindsurf forum here and here also may be helpful to those with questions.


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