As the number of kites on the water rises annually, the risks also increase for other harbour users. Poole Harbour hosts traffic from large shipping vessels to paddle boards and everything in between. It has therefore become necessary to designate specific areas for the various leisure activities, reducing the risk of conflict between vessel types. Currently there are areas for ‘jetskis’ and water skiing as well as those ideally suited for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Kitesurfing in Poole Harbour

Harbour Master Captain Brian Murphy has become increasingly concerned which has led to extensive dialogue with local kitesurfers. He says; “Kitesurfing has been enjoyed in Poole harbour, at Whitley Lake, since the sport began and has grown in popularity ever since. With that comes ever-increasing density and greater risk. All activities in the Harbour have to be risk assessed and kite surfing is no different. This is a high-risk sport, especially at busy times, and further control measures are necessary to allow this sport to continue in Poole harbour. We want to work with kitesurfers to ensure their safety and the safety of others is a priority to all.  It has to be a team approach.”

The Poole Harbour Commissioners-led initiative with Poole Harbour Kite Surfing Club as well as local training schools has resulted in the development of a ‘Code of Conduct’ which can be downloaded from the Poole Harbour Commission website .

Other control measures will continue to be put in place. Poole Harbour Commissioners are monitoring activity in close partnership with the local kitesurfing community to ensure that risk is minimised.