The Hawaii Senate Committee on Water and Land deferred a proposed bill this afternoon that would have banned windsurfing and kiteboarding within 200 feet of swimmers and surfers. According to the bills sponsor, Senator Les Ihara Jr, the move "effectively dismissed it from further consideration".
Senator Ihara says he introduced the bill at the request of a constituent.
SBC Kiteboard contacted the senator to find out more and he informed us, "while the legislative idea in SB 2091 seemed worthy of consideration, many valid concerns were raised about the bill even before the hearing. As a result, I suggested to the committee chair prior to today's hearing that unless the concerns were adequately addressed, it may be wise to terminate consideration on the bill."
Hundred of windsurfers and kiteboarders from around the world flooded the Committee with emails and letters when word of the bill spread the day before todays hearing.
Thankfully clear heads prevailed, and the rights of windsurfers and kiteboarders have been protected for now.
Kiteboarding and windsurfings safety record with other user groups has been extremely good. Was the desire to keep windsurfers and kiteboarders off of "surfers wave's" the motivating factor behind this latest attempt to limit windsurfing and kiteboarding? Very Likely. One thing is clear, we as kiteboarders will always need to work together to protect our rights to fair access.
A big thank you to everyone that made sure their voices were heard.
We at SBC Kiteboard believe that the oceans are one of natures greates