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Brian360 06-23-2009 06:50 AM

Sunset Beach FYI

We had a furious patron call Tarpon PD and FWC regarding kiters kiting in the swim area. Two kiters were kiting well onshore near a few kids in the swim area. It's bad publicity for us to get complaints and if it goes on we'll be banned from kiting there. If anyone rides here, launch and land on the northside, and stay out of the swim area. The launch spot on the north side has no swim area, the swim bouy ends around 150 feet from where we launch at, giving plenty of space to launch/land and ride out to the north. So far this is really the first time we had a major complaint to where FWC came to talk to us, hopefully the last. Enjoy the wind.


Danimal8199 06-23-2009 09:23 AM


Thanks for posting about this.

This is a very VERY important subject.

With the ban at honeymoon and other parks, and city rules in places like Dearfield Beach (I believe thats where it is) and many other places where the hammer is coming down, is there any reason to piss anyone off when we have the entire area to ride in?

Think about the damage you do to the sport and the access you can lose before you launch and ride.

At sunset it is a small launch but unlimited riding.

Don't launch by a small child or family standing or sitting on the beach. The water is 90 degrees out there, walk out into the water and safely launch away from people if you must.

and above all, don't get the cops called by riding in swim zones, crashing on someones head, riding to close to people even if they are outside the swim zones, and use common sense if you have it.

Good job Brian and others who follow the rules up there.

I know there are some new faces there but I encourage the experienced riders to positively encourage these other rides to follow the rules.



Todd RT 06-23-2009 09:35 AM

I guess the time has come that we have to 'self police' @ Sunset Beach.

With all the newbies being told that "it's a great place to learn", we need to be sure that they are being safe. Yesterday's problem was a newer rider. I guess I should have said something to him on a previous day, it's just not an easy conversation. But NOW I understand the importance of these kind of chats.

Unimog Bob 06-23-2009 01:50 PM

It is unfortunate what is going on. This stuff has been going on for years, and it can be frustrating. I am surprised we haven't lost more beach access. I think we have just been lucky.

Steve, in all fairness, it's impossible to compare EB to any of the Gulf Beaches or most other places we ride. EB receives very little beach-goer usage. It's sort of mucky, etc. So for the most part, when we kite there, there are not many non-kiters there for us to interfere with.
There are zero swim zones at EB. Much of the Gulf Beaches have a marked swim area.
In addition, EB is probably the only spot that has future access nearly guaranteed.It will be damn near impossible to lose access at EB (hopefully).
EB is the opposite of most other spots. SPB, for instance, is crowded as hell with beach-goers and has no guarantee of continued access.
So in my opinion, yeah, send 'em all to EB and keep them away from spots that are in jeopardy. I mean that. It makes sense to me.
Do you actually think EB is in jeopardy? It's not.
Any place along the (Gulf) beaches is fair game to be lost though.
Those of us who constantly say "go to EB, it's the best" say it to keep new riders from jeopardizing other spots. I always thought that was pretty obvious.

Back to the problem of riding too close to beach-goers. One suggestion is that all instructors (as role models) agree to follow some minimal riding guidelines (not excessive, minimal). Riding 100 feet from shore for starters. Once the locals see that all the instructors are taking this seriously, it'll be easier to convince others to respond and be responsible.

The opposite is that if instructors pay no attention to basic standards, it's unlikely anyone else will feel obligated to.

Danimal8199 06-23-2009 02:48 PM

The thing that is so simple about sunset park is that the swim zone is so small and not even near the launch site...

I don't know if the person that did this reads the forum or not, but it is just an easy concept and if you want to be able to continue to ride, long term that is, everyone has to do their part.

Basic stuff, check your lines, use a safety leash, don't ride by swimmers (even if outside the swim zone), don't jump close to the beach, use common sense, if you have a question don't be afraid to ask.

Unimog Bob 06-23-2009 03:21 PM

Does seem simple. A basic principle that overpowers common sense (for some) is the "mob see me" concept. It's simple too -- some ego driven riders will go out of their way to get as close to people as possible so they can be seen. After all, for these types, if they weren't seen that day, they didn't ride. :rolleyes:

Seen this principle play out for years now. I don't even know the layout of Sunset but would bet this guy did this to be seen.
I see this out by PaG often. As opposed to riding North about 200 yards (where there is no one, literally empty) many prefer to ride "in the action" among the bathers. It's unreal.

Danny, rule out common sense. We are talking ego here.
Many riders ride just to be seen.

Sorry to come off so negative, but this, and always will be THE problem in this sport. No solution to it, except maybe laws/fines.
If I am off base, someone explain to me why anyone would ride close to people? other than to be seen. I can't think of one reason.

Whitey 06-23-2009 10:44 PM

The young new rider that caused the cop call was not alone in riding in the swim zone yesterday.

However I did talk to him and his mother and they did not know the rules. They know now, and completley understand. He was out there today and acted like the swim zone was a sure case of the swine flu.

There are others that are regulars at sunset that need to be advised of the situation and obviously do not read this forum, as they were riding right thru the swim zone today. Lead by example, and if you see someone riding in there make a note and have a nice talk with them when they land, this is a very manageable situation, as everyone there has to launch and land thru a 45' space.

The "small group" at sunset was 23 kites yesterday! Close to that today.

Danimal8199 06-23-2009 11:15 PM

Whitey, Thanks for having a talk. I believe I have talked to this kid about other issues as I was once a newbie and he does not come off as the "screw you i'll do what I want type", so I'm glad that situation was remeded.

It should also be noted that 3 florida deaths from swine flu have actually originated in the swim zone at sunset park! :)

As far as the small crew, I didn't get out until about 5:45 today and there was still a "small crew" there! Glad to see everyone making good use of this summer wind!

Huntersirg 06-23-2009 11:34 PM

This is all good info but in reality not many people are on these forums. The best way would be to get some signs at these spots (sunset, honeymoon) so there's none of this oh I didn't know. I ride both these spots from time to time and would be willing to donate towards some signs or help build some if it will help us keep our access.

RickI 06-24-2009 04:01 AM

Good suggestion. Guidelines aren't rocket science, they're easy to put together. Best advice, just do it. Getting permission to put signs up from authorities can be a major undertaking at times however. One solution is to put them up and take them down when the wind's on. Pain but it may beat having no signs. The FKA will put in $50. for signage once you've got the info to put on them. Good luck, sorry to hear about the complaint.


Originally Posted by Huntersirg (Post 40942)
This is all good info but in reality not many people are on these forums. The best way would be to get some signs at these spots (sunset, honeymoon) so there's none of this oh I didn't know. I ride both these spots from time to time and would be willing to donate towards some signs or help build some if it will help us keep our access.

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