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 Safety at Oxwich Beach

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Sporty

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PostSubject: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sat May 26, 2012 5:54 pm


Without a doubt, safety is at the top of my list when kitesurfing (very closely followed by having fun of course) You'll see me at the beach looking like a figure from a Govenment Safety Information Film, with my helmet, floatation device, etc...

Anyhow, what's the score at Oxwich? I was very dissapointed today when I took my family out for the day there today. There is no seperation between the kiters and general swimmers at all. I took my kids out for a bodyboarding session and we were buzzed closely by kiters traveling in front of us and behind us, not leaving any distance for safety. One of my kids was very concerned and eventualy left the water for that reason. When I went out on my kite, I kept to the left of the beach where there were no swimmers. I have to say that the majority of kitesurfers were doing the same, but there were a few travelling right to the right hand side of the beach. I don't mean the guys who were out at the back on the right, safely away from swimmers, my gripe is with the guys who were right on the shoreline dodging kids and concerned parents.

I do not know if there are any regulations in place, but even if not, it's quite easy to see that the right hand side of the shoreline is busy with kids at this time of year. It seems like common sense to me and it doesn't take much of an effort for us to move down the beach a little. The last thing any of us want is an accident, or a ban on kitsurfing at this beach. Had it not been for me actually being a kitesurfer, Mrs Sporty would have been on the phone on Monday morning to convey her concerns to the council. I wonder how many other parents are tonight thinking the same!

I fear that if we do not self regulate ourselves at this beach, we may eventually lose our right to use it....or worse! Lets face it, the beach is huge, and it doesn't take that much effort for a kiter to travel across it, but it's unfair to expect the general public to travel down the beach to avoid us.



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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sat May 26, 2012 6:05 pm

I totally agree with your above comments, but unfortuntaely Oxwich is a private beach and you will find there are no regulations on any water craft, especially Jet skis, speed boats etc. However the local paper would have a field day if a serious accident occured which would have implications for other Gower beaches. It is a bit irresponsible with such a big beach, as you say Sporty some common sence should be used.
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sat May 26, 2012 6:13 pm

Hmmm, I didn't realise it was a private beach Ian, I suppose that may limit what regulations could be imposed.

I saw our sport from a different perspective today, and to be honest, it wasn't a pretty sight. People who complain about us, in light of what I saw today, would be quite reasonable in their concerns. There were guys doing jumps right in the middle of swimmers. OK, only a couple of feet high, but.....well, draw your own conclusions.
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sat May 26, 2012 6:27 pm

On a day like today it was obvious that the bucket and spade brigade would be out in force. That is the reason I didn't go to Oxwich today, it's not helped by the fact that it's one of the only local beaches that work with that wind direction so it's always going to be rammed as people head from all over, Bristol and beyond.

We need some signage for general beach users and kiters at this beach and some self imposed zones for kiters or it will be lost. I will mention this situation to Mark from SWWKS to see what can be done.
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sat May 26, 2012 6:43 pm

Cheers James. I'm sure that kiters who do dodge the swimmers do not intend to cause distress, but I suppose as I've gotten older I can see the danger where once I did not.

The thought of kites re-launching with lines wrapped around young limbs is too horrific to even think about.
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 3:19 am

have a sesh down at sandbanks.more muppets than the muppet show!!!!ive kited for 8 years and yesterday was one of the worst case's of why we should be kept away from the spade brigade.they have an area set up down there with flags not big enough but still an area to launch and land.i watched as the RNLI tryed in vain to get the spade brigade out of the area with most people telling them to string two words together and go forth.shocking affraid these people are there to help.i got taken out by a falling kite whilst coming in on a wave and got taken out by the same guy whislt trying to land my kite.quick chat with the guy to put on the right track packed up and watched.2 x rescues 17m kite crashing onto a family!!40 kites laid on the beach in about a 40 m area.chating with the life guard we've never seen it that busy there.not sure what the moral of the story is,but this sport is growing every weekend with dickheads wanting to join in.SAFTEY will be the one that fucks it for everyone.make kite course longer and more expensive to detur the muppets if that works or give the RNLI more powers to kick the cocks of the beaches.bang on sesh though 20 mph sun sun sun.hope to see you lot next weekend.peace out Cool
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ade

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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 3:29 am

Right on.......and dickheads with out INSURANCE
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 4:30 am

It gets frustrating for me because we are out on the water all year round come rain, snow or shine. When the summer arrives the life guards turn up and start pushing us around and the bucket and spade lot will stand and gorp at you without thinking they should maybe get out of the way.
The whole concept of the sport for me is about freedom to express yourself and go where you want, if I have to stick to certain areas full of kites and have my ride taxed by a beach flag I would rather not bother.
If "everyone" is going to a spot on a sunny day I will try and find somewhere else to go, as the sport is getting more popular and the weekend worriers show up at the lightest gust I stay at home and drink beer.
Rules are for fools, be free and let rip.!!
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ade

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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 5:25 am

FOOL ! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 5:44 am

It's nice to dream that we should be free to kite Andy and it should not be about being taxed or forced into one spot but sometimes we need to be clever which means thinking of the other beach users too. When I first saw this post I assumed the worst and thought that some kiter had taken someone out on the beach because I think it's an accident waiting to happen. I read that a kiter was dragged across the rocks at Oxwich which suggest some beginners out of control which is a scary thought given the amount of regular beach users yesterday. I'm not blaming the kiter as we've all been there but that sort of thing needs to happen where there are not a load of kids in the water.

We have self regulated zones at Porthcawl and Aberavon, Llangenith etc which, for the most part work and do not restrict us too much and we need to do it Oxwich before an accident occurs which could lead to serious aggravation on ALL of our beaches. Some clear signage is not going to ruin the beach for anyone really as it's been pointed out that it is a massive beach.

In the mean time should we get anymore winds that force people to go to Oxwich maybe a little common sense should be applied and we can encourage other kiters to go the the east end of the beach rather than kite amongst the kids.
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 6:17 am

I'm hearing you James.! I'm bored of this lush weather now and want it mingin again so we get the beaches back. Feels strange but I'm looking fwd to Autumn / Winter already.

Thanks for the constructive feedback Ade Very Happy

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ade

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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 7:43 am

No probs Any time mate Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 7:46 am

Most beaches there's plenty of room out back, but the majority of kiters seem to want to bust their moves within a few metres of the beach. May be they feel safer there? Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 7:59 am

Flatter water.
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ade

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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 8:14 am

Can't swim
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 8:22 am

Good out back for a surf but I like the flatter water on a TT
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 1:46 pm

we have spoken to the pen rice estate that operates oxwich.
they don't seem to be remotely interested in any signs or zoning . as long as you cough the 2-3 quid to park they are happy.
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 2:19 pm

Untill some shit happens....

Maybe some voluntary zoning should be applied on days like yesterday, just some common sence really. All kites to stay up in front of the dunes and not aloud in front of the car park, unless beyond the surf line?
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 3:37 pm

That sounds a good plan Marc. We'd need a good visual flag spiked into the beach or sand dunes. One like the ones you have when you set up your van perhaps? I personally found it safer to be right up the beach as it was too congested with kiters even without the families on the right hand side.
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 3:44 pm

Sounds like a plan......
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 3:57 pm

It was a simple plan like this that was applied to Rest Bay and Aber, however on a day like yesterday who's gonna ploice it?

It needs everyone to understand the consequences and respect the self imposed zoning, I get fed up having to continually "advise" people to move up the beach at Rest and Aber

......and don't even get me started on people launching their kites up by the rocks (inc so called experienced riders) and then walking a mile to the waters edge! Evil or Very Mad
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ade

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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 4:09 pm

For u it must be very frustrating u see it day in day out
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 4:21 pm

Yeah, It's a good idea Marc. Perhaps as WW suggested, a Blast flag marker. Free bit of advertising too. When I'm there I do not have a problem keeping an eye and moving it as the tide shifts. If the bucket Brigade see the flag, it may encourage them to stay on the right too. Not that I am in anyway sugesting that "These are the rules!", but just a help on the rare days that wind direction/sun/season all combine as they did on Sunday. I'm sure it doesn't happen that often.

I just want to say again though, the MAJORITY of kiters were being considerate and keeping left, so some self policing already in evidence.
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 4:27 pm

Or a swwks flag
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 4:29 pm

Who?? Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 4:33 pm

Exactly........or have I got the spelling wrong Embarassed ........ Forgot the c
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 5:12 pm

Best kind of flag would be a simple kite on it, failing that I have a very nice huge Epic feather flag! Idea

Maybe even a sign at it's base stating where to kite.....even a black board would do, so it could adapt to the day/spot
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 5:14 pm

ade wrote:
Exactly........or have I got the spelling wrong Embarassed ........ Forgot the c

Yup you got it, dont foget the C's
Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Sun May 27, 2012 11:07 pm

Laughing Those c's.............flag & blackboard seems a good one Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 1:14 am

Nice idea about a flag but it's not much good if Marc or Blast aren't there. Self policing is something that everyone should get involved with.

Alun, do you think we could get a sign up at Oxwich easily?
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 1:52 am

James
I have asked several times .
They have so far refused I will try again
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ade

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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 2:05 am

Is it because they have to pay for it?
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 2:22 am

I don't think so . Last time we had a very busy day I approached penrice estate who own the beach . They said that they didn't see a problem an they didn't want / need anything
I didn't want to lay it on too thick as the next thing will be its that dangerous , no kitesurfing .
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 2:27 am

That's right Wink , that's not the sign we need
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 2:33 am

I think the Epic flag managed by Blast would be the best idea. I'm prepared and I'm sure of one other who would take the management of this when Blast are away. Let's be honest though, the chances of the mix of weather occurring often on this beach is rare? Lots of us new it was going to be tidy days before. It then that the blackboard and marker flag plan could be rolled out? If that were to be acceptable then it is only a matter of who should take responsibity on the day.
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 2:44 am

We can't keep putting it on marc's shoulders
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 2:50 am

Ade you are of course dead right. The problem is, and this is only my feeling, most of the rest of us have work that does not involve the beach and family pressures etc. Generally if it's on on a beach Blast is there. It's tricky
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 3:10 am

SWWKS......c
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 3:33 am

I know what lmao, lol, ffs are short for! What the heck is SWWKS?
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 3:43 am

Bksa do u know that one Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 3:56 am

He knows BOGOF Laughing

It may just upset things too much to "officially" erect signage, so maybe an unofficial discreet sign?
Just something to back you up if your "suggesting" to someone "where they should go"
That's all we did at Rest Bay back in the day?

Maybe from the last building in the car park, the disused loos, or as I mentioned earlier the end of the car park would work, this would be especially for days like yesterday but hopefully everyone (responsible ones at least) would start to spread the word
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 4:04 am

You get the front free ? Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 4:15 am

Hey Marc we could chip in and buy you a day glow hat, vest, whistle and a badge to take control of the beach.?? Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 4:52 am

You forgot the all important clip board and attitude!
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 5:09 am

If the owners don't want a sign then so be it. It should be obvious to all that the east end of the beach is less crowded and better to kite at, maybe common sense will have to do.

The SWWKS is the local BKSA club that covers the south and west Wales area: South & West Wales Kite Sports. I am the treasurer and I'm sure that the club would sort out a sign if the owners of the beach want/agree to it.
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 5:46 am

This is something that is all too familiar.

As a land kiter too and being involved with SWATK (South and West Associaition of Traction Kiters) it's even more regulated.

We, and only one other club, have access to the weston windzone at Weston Super Mare, it's not a fantastic flying site but it has been fought for, hard. It's properly cordened off with permanant beach groins and plenty of signs warning bucket and spade brigade of kite sports, still people turn up with a picnic blanket and park themselves right in the middle of the zone.

Point is, the general public don't see why it a good idea to try to avoid the kitiers, and the kiters shouldn't be there. Westward HO! in Devon is another prime example.

Getting back to Oxwich, SWATK members are insured to fly on a beach so long that isn't banned and a risk assesment has been carried out by a committee member. Our site assesment states that we should set up at the north end of the beach, ie, in front of the dunes and not the car park, this is obviously to avoid conflict with the general public.
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 6:10 am

Okay! I do know BOGOF! SWALK too! Shocked

My last suggestion is a blackboard at the pay station saying:

"All Kiters Please Only Kite In Front Of The Dunes"
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 6:24 am

Don't worry wiz , it woz ment for me Very Happy , Marc need a set of keys to your house to pick up flag &blackboard when your away..............& the odd kite Very Happy ............James , good one
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 6:34 am

Alun is going to speak to the estate so we'll see what happens.
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PostSubject: Re: Safety at Oxwich Beach   Mon May 28, 2012 9:20 am

Was certainly a busy old day that's for sure... If the club can do anything to improve things obviously we will do what we can, I'll speak to Alan and see how things stand....
I was well down the other end of the beach with students so didn't see what was happening up the other end... But I did comment to Marc when we first turned up how it was already like a scene from a course on how NOT to do it. Definitely need zoning if possible. Then when teaching (well out the way) we were constantly getting buzzed by people riding way too close for comfort.
Think we do need to start getting a little real and take responsibility for own actions and not just think along the lines of great no zones so sod it....
Think idea of one person being responsible for putting something out is little unrealistic and definitely don't think should fall on Marc or Blasts shoulders, need something permanent in place so be it one kiter or thirty then zones are in place. Obviously as a club we can promote safe use and a common sense approach to the spot.
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Safety at Oxwich Beach
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