The Ministry of Transport is looking to make it mandatory for kiteboarders to wear PFDs in Canada. We propose that PFDs should be a choice by the kiteboarder and not mandated.
It is the opinion of many kiteboarders that PFDs increase the risk to kiteboarders because they:
1. make body dragging to your board difficult
2. can interfere with the use of quick release safety
3. can result in more line entanglement
reduce mobility, so can limit a kiteboarders ability to depower kite and board
Furthermore they are not deemed necessary because both the board and kite offer more than enough flotation (and certainly more than a pillow style PFD that is certified on many vessles) to allow for kiteboarders to self rescue
The current proposal by the Ministry of Transport:
Sailboards and Kiteboards
219. A sailboard or kiteboard is not required to carry on board life-saving appliances, vessel safety equipment or firefighting equipment if
(a) the operator is wearing a personal flotation device of an appropriate size that is not fitted with an automatic inflator; or
(b) the operator is engaged in an official competition at which a safety craft is in attendance and carrying on board a personal flotation device or lifejacket of an appropriate size for the operator that can be donned in the water.
The Ontario Kiteboarding Association is a volunteer based non-profit association established to promote responsible kiteboarding and preserve kiteboard access in Ontario. The Ontario Kiteboard Association’s central goal is to build a membership base of kiteboarders that works together and builds a healthy kiteboard community. Membership is optional; kiteboarders are encouraged to join and to contribute to shaping the future of kiteboarding in Ontario. The more we share, the more we can learn from each other and if necessary react to an issue with a single organized voice representive of Ontario Kiteboarders.
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