Greece: still a great place to kitesurf

Hellenic Coast Guard revised its recent decision about the use of kitesurf as a recreation activity in Greek waters.

The newly revised decision (a part of it has been attached) is now logical and functional and gives kitesurfing the freedom that it deserves in line with international human rights and international sea law.

The worldwide kite community is expected to respect the new decision and fully support its implementation.

All kiters visiting Greece for kitesurf should be aware of the new legal frame.

Greece is a very popular country for summer holidays. However, you must always give priority to and respect the swimmers and sunbathers and follow the local rules of the spots you visit.

The international petition has been suspended since the Hellenic Coast Guard Authorities fulfilled the overall proposals.

A. General Terms And Conditions

1. Kitesurfing Area Requirements:
a. KS area must not have islets, reefs, fishing nets, or other obstacles.
b. KS area must be away from airports and especially from landing – taking off flight paths. Civil Aviation Authority shall take all the needed actions, if needed, to solve local conflicts.
c. KS area must be at least 1 nautical mile away from ports, marinas, and fishing shelters. This distance may be reduced to 500 meters because of the specificity of the Greek coast, which is decided by the local authorities.

2. During KS, the following equipment must be available:
a. Helmet
b. Hardness with hook
c. Appropriate knife for cutting flying lines in an emergency
d. Impact Vest
e. Quick release system
f. Lease system
g. Wetsuit (for the period 15 of October until 15 of May)

3. User's responsibility is to secure the kite on the beach and have the lines on the bar when not kitesurfing.

B. General Prohibitions

Kitesurf is prohibited:

1. If the User is under 16 years old or doesn’t know how to swim. By exception, younger people may kitesurf after the consent of the guardians, also stating that the child is able to swim.
2. Within crowded beaches.
3. Before sunrise and after sunset.
4. Closer than 200 meters of rocks, islets, reefs, anchored ships, and buoys indicating underwater activities or fishing nets.
5. Within ports, marinas, and fishing shelters.
6. When adverse weather conditions prevail at the risk of lightning.
7. Beyond 1nm of the beach.
8. Under the influence of alcohol or toxic.
9. When the Wind direction is offshore, and there is no motor sea vessel standing by in case of an emergency.
10. When Wind Speed is above 8 Beaufort, and there is no qualified rescuer with a motor sea vessel standing by in case of an emergency.
11. Closer than 200 meters of swimmers/sunbathers.

C. Special Requirements For Owners

1. Kite take-off will take place only when there are no physical or other obstacles within 100 meters of the user during this procedure.
2. Kitesurfers are not allowed to get closer than 200 meters to floating buoys that indicate limits of swimming areas.

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