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RickI 05-22-2008 03:52 PM

Accident at Hobie Beach Wednesday (5-21-08)
I heard a bad accident happened at Hobie Beach yesterday but received little information beyond that. Can anyone provide details about how the guy is doing and what happened?

kent 05-22-2008 08:31 PM

Yep, who would have figured. Rick, it is very important to allow people to see posts from the tread attached. I called this out back in December. Remember that a student from a Pompano instructor was injured while being "taught" at Hobie Beach.

This new injury at Hobie was also a student. I understand that the student will make a full recovery, but that is beside the point. Rick, all Florida kiters need to stand up and defend our beaches from these illegal schools. All of these guys are very nice, etc., but they do not respond well to nice suggestions and warnings.

This latest injury was the last straw. I strongly urge any rider that witnesses schools teaching at Hobie to inform their students directly that they are in danger and that they should seek alternative instruction.

Schools were to help the developement of the sport, help us to preserve access, and teach new riders safely. Miami is a hot bed for these under cover schools teaching with out insurance in dangerous locations.

I hope that Paul Menta, someone from PASA, or IKO reads this post. It's time to call out the certified instructors that are obviously not qualified to teach.

Does anyone know exactly what school was responsible for this? I'd sure like to see a response from these guys to expain why they feel that Hobie is a good location for teaching. We need apologies and agreement from these guys that they will NOT TEACH AT HOBIE BEACH EVER AGAIN. Anything short of this is totally unacceptable.

Rick, please do the tricky stuff you do and toss my words up from the earlier post with the NPX give away for photos. I think that it is quite timely.

I'd like to see a few others weigh in on this. As I am obviously heavily invested in this industry, representing the largest brand in the world, but I must assume that others want to be able to continue to ride in Miami. How do we make this stop?


RickI 05-22-2008 09:28 PM

I've learned some more information regarding what happened at Hobie Beach yesterday. A student had just gotten up on his board in onshore winds approximately 150 ft. from shore at around 4 pm. The student and instructor had been standing in fairly shallow water, I would assume inside the out of bounds swimming area buoys. This has caused issues with sheriff's deputies in the past. Low tide was approximately at 4:51 pm.

He was riding downwind toward land in very shallow water. The instructor reportedly yelled at him to stop. The student continued to ride shoreward until his board/fins struck bottom. He fell over and may have downlooped the kite dragging himself at speed towards shore. I understand the kiter wasn't dragged on to the shore. The water was only inches deep in this area. He apparently dislocated his shoulder in the impact with the bottom. The instructor reportedly attempted to reset the shoulder without success. The student was taken away in an ambulance.

I don't know what sized kite the guy was using, how much instruction he had or how he is doing currently. It would be good to confirm the time and wind characteristics as well. I doubt a helmet or impact vest were in use but if they were it would be good to know that. If anyone can supply more information I would appreciate it.

kites4food 05-22-2008 11:42 PM

Hobie incident....
Ken here. I work with Skybanditz Kiteboarding in Miami.

Lots of hear-say and assumptions about this minor injury. A guy fell off his board in the shallows. His kite did not hit the beach. He did not hit the beach. The water was deep enough that other riders were riding in that area. His fin happened to catch. he fell on his shoulder which popped out of socket. Wasn't even a hard fall. No looping kite. No blood. No broken bones. No one tried to re-set anything. We just called the paramedics who took him to Mercy for an ex-ray. By the time I got to Mercy to check on him, they were almost ready to release him. Within an hour, he was back at Hobie watching the 25 other kiters doing much more dangerous things than him.

So before anyone calls out the lynch-mob, let's get the facts and put things into perspective.

The kiter who got hurt at Hobie was a rider who had taken a few lessons several months back. He was riding self-sufficiently, but not fully upwind yet. He bought his gear at the kite shop, and showed up at Hobie to get back into the swing of things. At first he asked for a few pointers on the spot after he had set up his gear. Once he realized all the dangers of Hobie, he asked for someone to come out and keep an eye on him...give him some intermediate guidance. Without which, he might've gone out on his own at this unregulated, last resort beach that EVERYONE flocks to on the westerly winds. He was very responsible to ask for guidance. There were several riders out there that I wish were taking a few more lessons.

In my opinion, if there is ANY beach in Miami where there should be someone willing to guide the intermediates and beginners who can and will ride at such a beach, it's Hobie.

As for the libelous accusations and attempts to damage our school's business, I hope that cooler heads prevail over the mafia attitude. One student, who left his initial 3 hour course smiling and satisfied two days ago, called back today to ask for a refund. Why? Apparently, someone got ahold of him, told him what a bad school we are, and promptly sold him a Cabrinha kite. Pretty low. This formerly happy customer was ready to buy his gear from us, after which he would have been entitled to two free hours of setup and tuning instruction (standard with every full setup we sell). Now he's got a kite that comes with a free giant warning label. Which is safer?

Listen guys, I'm not out to damage anyone's business here. I would hope that everyone in our small community who smile at each other over a beer will offer each other a little respect. Saying anything that is not completely true against another's livelihood is dirty and illegal.

Big Kite Miami and 12 KITE were at Hobie that day. Christophe and his instructors were teaching a girl at Hobie a few months back. Her kite ended up in the trees and she almost got hurt. Jazz and Christophe and my girlfriend ran to the trees to Help her. No big deal, But we don't hear about incidents like that. And riding at Crandon is business as usual with beach-side antics and kites in trees. Every advanced rider I know has shown off at some point or another and broken the rules to push the envelope. We should do our best to promote safety, but we have to realize that this is the nature of our sport. This isn't synchronized swimming. So Put the noose away... Quit with the threats. Free wetsuits for Narcs enforcing rules that don't exist?! If I had my camera, I could've gotten my next NPX order for free! Kent, I respect you and your business tremendously. But I do not look to you as the dictator of our community. I cannot take orders or threats regarding how I live and work. I will continue to teach in a safe and responsible way. You may not agree with my teaching methods, but live and let live. In the 10 years I've been riding, and the 4 years I've been teaching, this is the first student under my care who has needed so much as a band-aid. So, is Skybanditz really such a threat to the safety of our beaches?

I only started writing on these forums to promote a local get together of area kiters. We get about 40 people together once a month to watch videos, share stories, have a drink, and give away free food and kite stuff. (Funny enough that I never see ANY of you there.) As I got on the forums, I realized all the angry gossip and mudslinging and self congratulatory circle-jerking that goes on here. I really don't want to be a part of that, but since a student from my school got a bump, and the mud's coming my way, I'll just say my peace and leave it at that.

kent 05-23-2008 08:18 AM

Ken, your point about providing guidance at this beach is very good. I totally disagree however that anyone should be taught by any school at this location. It is dangerous and these actions will close this location for all of us. In truth, the same could be said of Matheson. However, no one is pushing for you guys to move out because the service you provide is needed. Matheson, while not a great learning location is just acceptable. Hobie is a far cry from being acceptable.

Hints and suggestions haven't been enough to discourage schools from teaching at Hobie. What needs to be done? What will educate the schools to stop teaching at Hobie? Time after time we see idiotic actions coming from instructors. Skateboarding and flying kites in the Matheson parking lot are 2 very good examples of such actions. Ken, it's called common sense and it needs to be exercised. I can't remember the last time that I heard of any other school at Matheson doing this. As stupid as these 2 things seem, teaching at Hobie is just as bad.

Please do not teach at Hobie Beach anymore. This is a smart and reasonable request that will likely help to extend the longevity of our riding spots. This request might even keep you out of a lawsuit by an unsuspecting student that happens to fly across the causeway, or from a parent of one of the children that are playing in the 6 inch water just leeward of your student. Think about it.

I'd be happy to discuss this with you and the rest of the instructors to come up with a set of workable guidelines that are self enforced and agreed to by all. You are right, no one should be the dictator of any particular riding location. You should be able to conduct your business in the manner you want to as long as it doesn't interfere or jeopardize our riding locations. As you are at the beach daily, be the ambassador and not the problem. Thanks Ken.


RickI 05-23-2008 02:47 PM

This is an important topic, one that needs to be seriously discussed. To get anywhere productive, I think we need to work at it as Ken and Kent are trying to do. To that end and to avoid things getting dragged out into left field to where nothing useful will be resolved,

I would like people to use their actual names in this thread.

Reasonable respect and restraint would help as well, also as shown by Ken and Kent. Too many important discussions over the years have been deep six'd by anonymous postings. Sorry to move your post mudslinger but that is why it was done.

Kiting was scheduled to end at Hobie Beach a couple of years back along with bather access by government order. Not sure what happened to that but I am relieved that we have a reprieve.

Kiting had a very bad reputation with authorities at Hobie. The label they tied to kiting is nothing any activity or group would ever want or likely survive for long either. Poor kiting behavior and lots of avoidable incidents and accidents created this impression. We need to take steps to reverse this perception.

Lots of accidents have happened at Hobie vs. other launches. Why is this? What should experienced riders do to avoid having problems like these? Why is it a bad idea to instruct at this beach? Are there worse conditions than others here which increase the hazard to kiters? Is it possible to teach here and stay out of the out of bounds swim area?

mudslinger 05-23-2008 03:05 PM

Lots of talk and no action, Francisco
I really want to know the last time all these loud mouths that love to attack other people have been to Hobie beach to ride? The time that we have spent teaching and Riding on these various locations from Crandon, Mathesson and Hobie beach give us the real world experience needed not only to teach a successful lesson in an easy and comfortable environment considered to be Crandon Park.We can conduct a successful and safe lesson in Matheson (intermediate area)a place where Cabrinha has an interesting history , but i will not get into that.Finally we have successfully and safely coached many students in this (advanced ) location known as hobie beach.

Let me take you back to a little history,in hobie beach years ago another member of the Cabrinha team was in hobie and got hammered all over with seven meter the Recon days, this unfortunately was the precursor of the fatal accident that later happened in Matheson.No more history for now.

The service that we provide is not only an essential part of the industry it is what has prevented many more accidents in all these locations.The other service we provide is being Kite patrols the job that nobody wants and we do it and have done it for years in Crandon and all the other parks when they use to be free from this underlying force of Cabrinha (mafia status wannabe) , hope they would grow up and concentrate on all those kites that have been selling saying they are the safest in the world and come to realize that accidents still can happen , by the way the guy that had the accident was flying a Cabrinha kite I am sure he felt super safe since its a Cabriha.Some advice, next time you are in you office with air conditioning feel like opening your mouth there are people working in the field to make the safety of the sport a reality not selling kites that seem to be the safest in the world but without guidance they are just just as vulnerable to accidents as any other brand or person. Sincerely the mud slinger firing back at the people who should concentrate in their own life instead of focusing on others have a nice day, by the way tell you little slave Oliver to go and put some cocoa butter in his mouth cause it stinks!!!!

The Kite House 05-23-2008 03:54 PM

Before i coment as a professional, he is an unprofesional response as a rider:


"a place where Cabrinha has an interesting history ,
'but i will not get into that"

Ifyou are talking about alexs death **** you! Me and you will speak about this in person, trust me.
You are a prick to bring something up like that as he was not being taught! Very wrong and he was a friend.

Now my question for you rightous instructors who are all pro's

Please inform me of the following:

1]where are your ocupational licences to teach at hobbie and mathison?

2]what insurance company do you use?

3]With all the kids and people around what kind of ethics do you have to teach where you have seen many people hurt? Its known as a dangerous place, why would you teach someone there?

So Fransico and others please answer these questions, as i will ask the same of the people who govern these areas. This is getting old, dont know why so many people have turned a blind eye. NO this is not helping the sport.

I will be in miami on weds and will glady answer any questions for public record or private to my coments.

Again, please answer my questions before i ask others.

Any one who would like my phone number can pm and i will answer what ever is needed.

kent 05-23-2008 04:55 PM

It's good to have comments by both partners of the school in question. Francisco, I couldn't agree more, we need good beach ambassadors like you and Ken to step it up. If you do, this would be greatly appreciated by all. The days of relying on Tim to police the area to keep it open for all are over.

It's funny, I do remember the good old days at Crandon when you were there keeping an eye on things. As I remember someone was removed from the park and banned from teaching there partially due to a physical altercation. I also remember the patrol days at Hobie as well. It ended the same way, altercation with police intervention. The term ďkite mafiaĒ coming from your mouth is ironic. I am hoping that Kenís well constructed words about cooler heads prevailing will help you to avoid history becoming your future again.

This has nothing to do with brands as you seem to imply. Because my business isn't one that can be roll up and closed overnight, I am very interested in protecting our riding locations. Both you and Ken seem to have grown your business nicely over the last year and this is a good thing as it benefits my business as well. In truth, I wish you the best of luck. Additionally, Big Kite Miami, and Camillo's operations have flourished. Although neither of these schools uses Cabrinha, I have nothing but respect for Miguel at Big Kite Miami and Camillo. Miguel in particular has always conducted himself professionally and is an asset to our Miami kiting community.

Why is Hobie a bad place to teach?

#1. No safety barrier. In truth even being able to kite at this location is sketchy, let alone teach.
#2. Heavy traffic. As this is the only location in Southeast Florida to ride in any Southwest to West winds, it is very over crowded by kite riders. Secondly, on weekends in particular there are way too many beach goers on the causeway. The wind is on shore and any runaway kite or kiter poses tremendous risk to these innocents. Lastly, when I say traffic, I mean traffic. I have personally witnessed 3 people hit cars with their bodies at this location, not to mention that girl that fractured her skull and lacerated her liver on the wooden posts. This area requires the highest concern for kiters and spectators safety.
#3. In Miami, both West and Southwest winds are gusty and unpredictable. It is a challenging task for any rider to handle these conditions, let alone a newbie taking instruction. Any qualified instructor should recognize this and act accordingly.

In the future, I would strongly recommend allowing Ken to be the spokesman for your company as your comments about Alexís death truly allow others to peer into your nature and see the total lack of respect you have for this sport. Alexís death is partially responsible for my concern for your students learning at this location. All of us have made mistakes both large and small, we need to learn from these errors and not propagate an environment where by we perpetuate bad kite behavior.

Once again, I kindly ask that you refrain from teaching at Hobie Beach as it is unacceptable on so many levels. Like all other issues this too will blow over. Letís make the right decision and do the right thing. As I said in my previous post, to avoid uncomfortable instances such as this in the future I think that it would be good to gather the shops and schools doing business in Miami for an industry meeting. Letís shoot for mid-week after this holiday. We can meet at Berries in the Grove to hammer out some guidelines that are acceptable to all. Let me know if this work for you and weíll schedule a meeting.



mudslinger 05-23-2008 05:59 PM

who is Paul Menta ?
I think you are in no position to question me or my business , grow up mister kite house

gomogli 05-23-2008 06:20 PM

actually paul he is right, you are in NO position to question his business, since he is teaching out of his truck...........""how can i ripp you off today", oh and thanks for all you efforts in the kiteboarding industry again my little greasmonkey.......

mudslinger 05-23-2008 06:22 PM

funny what jealousy does , Fabio

kent 05-23-2008 06:41 PM

ok, before Rick has to close this thread like most of the Tampa threads...

Why don't we get together on Wednesday night at 8:00 at Berries in the Grove to get something constructive out of this. Creative ideas only and leave the gloves at home.

At this point, I'd think that one representative from each school would suffice. Given the posts above i'd recommend the following:

Schools: (if I missed any let me know)

Sky Banditz: Ken
Pro Waves: Camillo
Big Kite Miami: Miguel
Kite House: either Paul Menta or Brendon
Miami Kiteboarding: Christophe
South Florida Kiteboarding: Stephan
12 Kiteboarding: George


Adventure Sports Miami: Kent
The Kite Shop: Either Juan or Morgan
Liquid Sports: Jim

I'll contact all of the entities above and make the invite on Tuesday. In order for this to progress smoothly, I'm buying the beers. You're on your own for the food, the margins are slim in this business. Please, if you are serious about protecting our access, PM me with your acceptance. Thanks.


Kent Marinkovic

RickI 05-23-2008 06:50 PM


Originally Posted by kent (Post 33251)
ok, before Rick has to close this thread like most of the Tampa threads...

Why don't we get together on Wednesday night at 8:00 at Berries in the Grove to get something constructive out of this. Creative ideas only and leave the gloves at home.

At this point, I'd think that one representative from each school would suffice. Given the posts above i'd recommend the following:

Schools: (if I missed any let me know)

Sky Banditz: Ken
Pro Waves: Camillo
Big Kite Miami: Miguel
Kite House: either Paul Menta or Brendon
Miami Kiteboarding: Christophe
South Florida Kiteboarding: Stephan
12 Kiteboarding: George


Adventure Sports Miami: Kent
The Kite Shop: Either Juan or Morgan
Liquid Sports: Jim

I'll contact all of the entities above and make the invite on Tuesday. In order for this to progress smoothly, I'm buying the beers. You're on your own for the food, the margins are slim in this business. Please, if you are serious about protecting our access, PM me with your acceptance. Thanks.


Kent Marinkovic

Guys, I think Kent is on to something here, preserving access is important to all of us. Sounds like discussion and progress. * Lets try to avoid personal attacks, it will force me to move them or shut down the dialog. * This is too important to do that, so let's use some restraint and keep the productive talk going. I would love to make the meeting but unless it is on Thursday, I won't be able to.

Sorry, Oliver had to move your post too.

RickI 05-23-2008 09:54 PM

Again, lets try to avoid personal attacks. It is a shame to move posts.

I was just thinking how much we've lost in Miami so far. Poor riding practices were almost universally the cause of kiters getting tossed out from ...

1. ALL of Miami Beach, technically.

2. Virginia Key Beach

3. Crandon, a bunch of times, back again.

4. We were very close to being booted out of Hobie years ago and again two years back.

5. We worry about Matheson Hammock, have done for years. We're still there hope it stays that way.

6. Kiting is allowed or used to be allowed in quite a few State Parks. We never had a chance to be banned from Bill Baggs Park. They just asked around and said, forget it.

Am I forgetting anything?

We need to do things differently if we want to stay around, believe it. That is schools and riders at large alike.

The Kite House 05-23-2008 10:49 PM

thanks fransico for answering the questions , you are completly illegal.

again, illegal and i see no reason you should be there teaching.

See ya next week!

mudslinger 05-24-2008 02:42 AM

Here we go again
I am all for a meeting for good guidelines that the community has a say in it not all of you that are nervous and backed against the wall and feel that you have to call a meeting now to try control the market, I will let you guys talk all you want until you make sense call me and I will let you guys know what is really going on in Miami sincerely Francisco

gomogli 05-24-2008 08:06 AM

ONCE AGAIN, as usual the SCAMMER doesnt want to attent the meeting.........everybody knows he is the illegal operator........HOW CAN I RIP YOU OFF in full force again............its pointless to try and deal with a guy like this......lets just all hope he leaves the city one day

Bye Bye Greasemonkey

BigR 05-24-2008 08:47 AM

What are you gonna do when they shut down kiteboarding @ Hobie cause your student hit a 3 year old?

teach in the caribbean?

serious question...........

miamikiteboarding 05-24-2008 11:44 AM

Christophe from miamikiteboarding.

Inititally the topic here is about "illegal teaching at Hobie ", then it obviously turned to "Illegal teaching simply". and it is getting interesting cause each of us as to put cards on the table, and the one who hide his game must be a cheater.
unfortuantely the reality is not a game, it's quite more serious than just words spread on a thread. it's a concern of all and by all.

So first and before all, If ANY OF US TALK ABOUT BUSINESS WHEN MENTIONNING KITESURFING INSTRUCTION, THEN THEY MUST ABIDE BY THE LAW THAT GOVERNS IT. In any country , businesses have regulations. All of us knows it. At fortiori in Miami.
No kind words, commitment, skills, long experience in the field , quality and amount of teaching etc ... can justify of not playing the game according to the rules: it is not only unethical, it's also a lack of self-respect for yourself and your business that you seem to value so much , and mainly it is illegal.

how can you not foresee that u expose urself and ur personal asset to a lawsuit ?
how can you not provide students with coverage in such a considered"higly risky sport" ?
how can u know that even ur local plumber is insured & licensed when charging you for a service, and not assuming that you fall to the same state laws ?
how can u speak about respectable business when engaged in an activity without even fill-in the admistrative duty that it involves.
SUre it cost money , but if u make some, play the game right. like we all do.

Now , as far as Hobie Beach:

Hobie beach is dangerous riding spot for all of us , yes we know. But we want to keep it , as the only access to ride in SWW for those u don;t have boats.

Anybody who has comon sense: rider, teacher, or simply any open mind bystander , and obviously every student , can realize , Hobie beach is not a place to throw Body dragging session with an on-shore wind @ 15-20 knts just 60 yard from shore, and it was a sad reality again this past wednesday , thusrday and each time someone teaches out there.

How can u not consider kids, cars, trees and other cars driving at 60mph just behind ? or just consider that a student may not control its kite on time , and crash it a bit to far. ? what can u do when u are 40 m away from him?

there is no point of trying to justify , talk , compromise on this: it is simply suicidal attitude.

SO when allowing to teach there, you show irresponsible sense to others, riders, public, park rangers, u show bad example to ur students who will likely come and ride here with their own gear but still with approximative skills, and actually do no good of an advertising for ur school to teach right here !

People are no fool. Very soon, those post and words in the forums will spread throughout the community , and school or instructors associated with the hobie beach teaching, will simply loose huge credibility.IT IS NOT A TEACHABLE LOCATION. period.
Use a boat or body drag to the sandbars out. but don't stick right there.

So Hobie beach business doesn't do any good in a long term AT ALL. the bucks u make today , u will loose many more in the futur as students will seek alternative and more responsible instruction.

and each incident can shut HOBIE for good.
How can you not think that U may be the one closing the beach for the rest of all us , even the one u taught in the past ?

it is short thinking and irrespectfull for riders, students, and bystanders close by.

If u were to get the proper tool to run a business such as : license , permits, insurance , and certification, you will learn that teaching at Hobie will never be allowed. simply ask the rickenbaker causeway management, their office is right by the road. check it out in person.

I also think that illegal businesses are only still running because none ot their client is really aware of their status. Maybe things will change very soon thanks to this type of issues lightening up on the forums and spreading through words of mouth.

Understand here. Nobody want to shut down anybody's business , especially Instruction.
The sport grows and NEED instructors. But when the industry, equipment, and general organization are working towards more safety, those careless approaches from certain instructors are taking our sport backwards . It is regression !

Those instructors have certainly proper teaching skills. ( so much time teaching after all) , it will do better to your community to use them wisely in a smarter way.

To answer Ken : i never taught this girl at Hobie, she went on her own, after we warned her. and just helped her removing the kite from the tree once we witnessed it . like u did help this guy last thursday i guess.

I'm all for a meeting , not sure a bar is appropriated though, as voices tones may rises. a Room somewhere . In KB , i can look for it .

your opinion.

last question to paul : Is Francisco still PASA certified ?

kites4food 05-24-2008 02:27 PM

From the Reasonable Bandit
I've always wondered why Miami is lacking a group organization or effort to speak as a unified voice on behalf of kiteboarding in the area. Reading a thread like this explains it all. Other areas have associations with enough power to affect airport construction and flight patterns. We can't even agree on the right way to pick our noses.

Why? Obviously anger is above reason. But, there is a reason for everyone's anger....Pretty deep, right? I just made that up. But think about it. Anger is healthy. If you feel someone has wronged you, you get pissed. Look at all the emotional buttons that have been pushed.

1) Oliver sees us at Hobie. Boom. He's pissed. Reaction? He Yells, "I'm calling Kent to get you guys shut down".

2) Kent gets pissed. Boom. He puts out a bounty for photos of teaching and riding dangerously. He influences others to bad mouth the schools that he feels violate safety rules

3) Ken gets pissed. Boom. He calls Kent a Dictator employing mafia techniques.

3) Francisco gets pissed. Boom. He brings up the history of Alex's death, implying that Kent is throwing stones in a glass house.

4) Paul gets Pissed. Boom. He's coming up to review everyone's credentials and crack a Yeungling bottle over Francisco's head.

So the anger is flying. And honestly, as childish as it may seem, Anger is often justified and healthy. Sure things should be said diplomatically, but anger will always win over diplomacy. And I would rather have honest anger than false smiles and handshakes.

Although you may like dealing with me more, I am not the spokesman for Skybanditz. I am half of a partnership that was started by Francisco, the explosive grease-monkey. So again, you don't get to dictate that he doesn't show up to a community meeting. In fact, since the real effort here is to get Skybanditz in line, I would think you should want to deal with both of us.

Kent, I see the positive intention of the meeting at Berries. But two things to consider: Is this the urgent moment to line up all the emotional buttons and pour some beer on top? I think there needs to be a cooling off period first. Secondly, I've been to a meal at Berries with you before. I hope you don't take it the wrong way, but you're like Jesus in the center of the table leading every conversation. We need a collaborator more than a charismatic leader. I say that as a joke, but I don't think that we could expect you not to try and lead the entire meeting just as we cannot expect Francisco or Paul not to speak their minds.

What's the bottom line? You want us to teach how and where you want us to teach. Paul wants everyone to do the due diligence and paperwork that he has done. Christophe apparently wants us to Body drag students out to the Hobie sandbar! But you know what? We are all independent businesses and competitors. We don't work together or agree on everything. And to think that we will is naive. I could start a movement to pressure EVERY retailer in the area to ONLY sell kites to card carrying Level III operators. Sounds safe to me! I could say that anyone selling a kite to someone who has not had instruction is like giving a car to an unlicensed kid, or an airplane to a blind man. Well there is no law that says you have to qualify your clients so I can't make you do it. So then maybe I should pressure EVERY retailer to offer 2 free hours of lessons with every full kit purchase. Skybanditz does it because we don't want our customers to get hurt on the gear we sell them. But you know what? Your business is none of my business. And yes, you may do some things that I think will jeopardize the sport. But I'm not the law, and neither are any of you.

Why don't we take a break for a week. Kite Nite at Cheeseburger in Paradise is the first Thursday in June. Everyone is welcome. Everyone can talk. You can even fight in the parking lot. Food is Free.

The Kite House 05-24-2008 03:05 PM

Ken, please dont say i will want to hit franciso over the head with a bottle, i did not say that. I will confront him on these issues, as i dont feel it is good to do it here, as i didnt apreciate his coments. I feel when i really have something to say, i am better off in person, people then seem to be different.

Anyway, there is a real problem there and i think its time its adressed. This hurts my bussiness as well, as it gives people a fear. I spend alot of money each year on licences and insurance to go acroding to the law and teach safe as possible, thats why we go by boat. As far as i know miami kiteboarding is the only other school licenced to teach, them being in crandon. You have to admit, there is some pretty scary people teaching. SO what do we do? Well if no one will listen and argue we could go with the letter of the law.

I really feel as a bussiness person and an instructor that we try to give our students the safest enviorment possible, this is when they learn. Yes i could see taking someone who has now learned to ride safely to an enviorment that is not friendly to guide them through the steps if learning there. I do not agree to teach them someone on shore where the smallest mistake can result in the parking lot. So where does it all go, do we go meet with local and county officils and blow the whiste on if they are allowed to teach? We know there not. This is the end of the season, but i can tell you it will not continue for the next. This all scares me and represent to the rest of the public in the sport.

Also there are many other people, so fransico is not the target. Camilio, Big kite miami and more. Fransico is just the one who puts his foot in his mouth, he should think before he speaks, would get a better reaction, plus looks very poor for business.

Anyway, i am off to go kite with some people who are really stoked to do it.

gomogli 05-24-2008 03:54 PM

Here is to you my little Genius!!!!!

1. You guys are ripping of people

2 You guys are always in the middle if something bad happens

3 You guys are illegal

4 You guys have NEVER EVER done anything for the sport

5 And then you wonder why NOBODY ever shows up to your partys besides your paying(threw their noses) customers.....

6 Way to go SKYBANDITZ Enterprise, everybody that knows whats going on ,knows that you guys are a JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7 Keep Bodydragging your customers at Hobie Beach right into the EMERGENCY Room........

gomogli 05-24-2008 04:01 PM

i think you mean teaching out of the trunk of your car wherever, whenever you can cut corners and doing it illegal..........

Way to go...............

We will make sure we spread the word about you guys from now on.....and contact the approbriate authorities about you guys, thats a promise, and remember YOU GUYS are the guys making money not me, or the other riders that just want to maybe its time for you guys to move on.....wherever.....

RickI 05-24-2008 10:24 PM

Hey Mudslider,

Interesting commentary and on the lighter side too. Please add your complete name to the post so that I don't have to move it, OK?

We're doing this one in the light of day with actual identities as you can see in posts above this one.

This is a sensitive topic. Given that we are talking about preserving access, livelihoods and a productive discussion, people need to give their full name and use reasonable restraint in this thread to avoid having their post moved.

Thanks for your cooperation.

linhster 05-25-2008 12:56 AM


Originally Posted by Mudslider (Post 33284)
Hobie has been, is and will be a major accident waiting to happen but it is in no way Skybanditz's fault...

As an outsider (non-operator in Miami area), I and many other riders do depend on the information on this forum to help me make a educated decision to:

-launch and ride locations that is not my "home" area. I think that it is a very important resource of information that we (many who do not live in miami) relied on to help us when we visit the area.

-learn from people that we TRUST to offer us the safest (as safe as the sport can offer) environment to continue to develops our skills in the sport.

I am puzzled at why with the fact that this area has been dangerous to anyone that is not an advance rider that anyone would still teach there. Sure you will not stop anyone who does not use common sense or understand how dangerous the sport is to them or other, from riding there. What can be prevented is that inexperience riders are not guided there by a local rider/instructor with experience.

With that said, I do believe that your actions speak louder than words. So if "Hobie has been, is and will be a major accident waiting to happen" then isn't it obvious to not continue to teach there?

Linh Nguyen
A concern kiter!

The Kite House 05-25-2008 10:18 PM

Not sure i am clear on this, but just explain to me:

locals guard the beach from newbies? Now, the acidents that have been heard of in the last years have been riders or people being instructed. I belive the spot is very intimadating to someone who knows nothing.

I dont care about competion, it is good for business, how can you show what service you have, but when you have people teaching someone illegal and having mishaps, acidents, well thats bad for the sport and business. Sorry this is the world and says you need to play by the rules[so does the state]

so i dont agree with the reasoning about that. Should be no teaching period there....i dont even ride there anymore.

So the local riders can matain riders and if you make it as a no teach zone, then i think these others wont teach there, they give the misconcecption its safe to do so. Make it so, jsut make it a no teach zone period, if you do this you dont need the state or officals, i am sure these others will feel the presure and stay out. They already have the "other spots"

P.S i guess if i was a real dick and was only worried about having competion, i would have gone to authorities years ago and had them all shut down. My goal has been to offer a better alternitive than the rest and really if thats what they do, well thats there liabilty to deal with. I would say remember this:
With no insurance or licence if someone gets hurt while being instructed and trys to sue, the instructor has nothing so they go to the next and in reality all of the spots will just be shut down. Trust me look around the rest of the USA and world, its already going on. Its eaiser to just get rid of all of it than try to regulate, so i think that should be our worrie besides the fact of a student ending up in the parking lot.....i guess.

RickI 05-25-2008 10:37 PM

Sorry for the slow comeback, far from the Internet for most of the day. Mudslider, the requirement for providing names was put in the sixth post and repeated a few times. All this was up well before your post. Oliver was identified on the first page. Some of his posts and Francisco's were moved early on in the interest of keeping things focused.

I've been using my name on posts for seven years? It is amazing what you can get done out in the open without a concealed identity. It is less amazing how screwed up things can become when there is no attached identity or accountability in topic people are passionate about.

Anyway, I didn't perceive anything so amiss in your posts to bar you from wanting to be associated with what you wrote. If you change your mind, I would be happy to move them back. I would request that you not post under this topic without your name. Rules again, but society would be a mess without them.

Back to the topic, please keep the constructive comments coming. Hobie has had problems for many years. It would be good to iron some of them out, finally.

OttoNP 05-27-2008 04:23 PM

As another outside, Nick from MI. I look around these forums as well when I travel. Rick gave me some great tips last time I came down to Florida.

I haven't seen this spot, but from what I read I also don't understand why anyone would teach there.

There are several schools in my area and there are definite spots where none of them will teach at.

Also, from this thread I can definitely tell which schools are responsible and which aren't...

BigR 05-27-2008 05:24 PM


but from what I read I also don't understand why anyone would teach there.
because without a boat there are only two places where kiteboarding from land is not restricted by govt officials in Miami ( not counting Crandon ). These are Hobie bch and Matheson hammock. ( There is also a third place but I'll never tell anyone so don't ask ). Unfortunately the next kiting spots are South @ Homestead bayfront park which is quite a ways or North @ Miami bch 87th ave.

IMO, the instructors should just get a jetski and problem would be solved by teaching in open water. This would also give the student a much higher quality lesson.

kent 05-27-2008 06:28 PM

Sorry to have been out of touch on this subject for a while. I got stuck in Bimini this weekend waiting for a weather window to make the crossing home.

Ok, wow the Hobie subject got the attention that I was looking for back in December. It's out in the open and everyone with the exception of Skybanditz agrees that Hobie is not a good location for teaching.

Christopheís comments were excellent and right on the mark. MKB has jumped through all of the legal hoops and seems to be doing very well.

Ken, WOW deity status, I wasn't aware that you were so in awe. Iím sure that even if we disagree on acceptable practices and teaching locations that we can arrive at some mutually agreed upon guidelines for teaching and riding in Miami. I donít see anyone but possibly Francisco that may be too emotional to discuss this openly and in person. If Francisco is cool headed enough to contribute, Iím sure that we would all be happy to have his input. I think that having all of the local industry entities attending is important. If as Ken suggested there are ideas that schools can provide to local retailers to increase safety and preserve riding access at our local areas, we are all ears.

While we should agree on acceptable teaching locations in Miami, this is only one of the guidelines that we as riders should try to arrive at. Given that all of the schools and shops asked to attend this meeting frequent our riding locations often, it would be a good idea to review riding guidelines at each location. Participating in this sport and working in this industry for longer that just a handful of individuals, I have seen the negative repercussions of not having guidelines that local riders can agree upon. South Florida is an epicenter for this sport and the problems that we face here now will be faced in other regions shortly. Each of us needs to take responsibility and ďpoliceĒ our locations. This is where I am ad odds with Ken and Skybanditz. Your business is my business and mine is yours. We can arrive at and agree on some basic guidelines that will be mutually beneficial to everyone that enjoys riding in South Florida.

Hopefully Rick can help us to construct an agenda so that we can move forward with protecting these locations ASAP. My intent for having the meeting as early as possible is to avoid a ďbanningĒ now and to keep unsuspecting newbieís (or pros) from slamming into cars at Hobie Beach. This situation has gotten totally out of control and with Crandon being closed on the weekends we have an emergency situation. Ken, Iím hoping that you can see the need for a timely response. Iím hoping that Berries isnít too intimidating for anyone, and Iím sure that as adults we can keep voices and tempers at a human level. This will be a very positive meeting as well as a necessary one.

Rick, Iím hoping that you can attend. Iíve contacted most of the schools and shops and have received a very positive response. See status below.


Rick: Iíll contact him today. Iím sure that he will make it if he can.

MKB: Christophe will call me back this afternoon. I am sure that he will attend.
Big Kite Miami: Not sure if Miguel is in town, but I left a message and Iím sure that he will attend.
South Florida Kiteboarding: I talked with Stephan and he is all in. Will confirm via email tonight.
Pro Waves: I talked with Camillo and he is in. Thursday evening after 7:45 is good.
The Kite Shop: Juan and Morgan are out of town until June 4th. Iím sure that Christophe can speak on their behalf as he handles their lessons.
Liquid Surf and Sail: I talked to Jim today and heís in.
12 Kite: I think that George was leaving to head back to Hatteras today. Iíll check.
The Kite House: Iíll buzz Paul. He is usually very proactive on these matters. If Paul can not attend, Iím sure that Brendan will.

There will always be accidents and some will be unavoidable. The incident at Hobie could have happened to any rider there, it was just compounded by the fact that this individual was taking a lesson in this location. Way too many riders are jumping in close and landing with in feet of swimmers. Given the fact that the injury was small and no 3rd parties were hurt, this is another ďget out of jail freeĒ card. Letís use it to our advantage.

PS. Contrary too your post, I have not ďinfluencedĒ anyone to bad mouth your school. I am now aware of the situation that you refer to. Apparently, an ASI employee was attempting to sell a customer a kite. To determine the best kite for the rider, our employee made inquires to determine the riders level and to insure that he had had lessons. Despite the fact that the rider had some experience and had taken lessons, the customer stated that he knew nothing of his secondary release, self rescue, or set up. At the end of the conversation, after taking stock of the situation, the employee asked who instructed him. Of course as you know it was Skybanditz. Both the customer and sales person smartly agreed that more quality instruction was warranted and thus the situation you referred to. From my stand point this is your issue and not mine. We all have bad days in our businesses where by we provide sub par service. Believe me, we have almost as many of those days as the good ones during the season. It sounds as if you did the right thing by offering another free lesson. Iíd have done the same.

PSS. Ken, my offer to buy the beers was simply a peace offering and not a ploy to increase violent behavior. I hope that this will not be the net affect. Think calming thoughts. I hope to see you at Berries.

The meeting will be at Berries on Thursday, May 27th at 8:00 pm.

Kent Marinkovic
Adventure Sports

Steve-O 05-27-2008 09:39 PM

Steve-O here from Tampa Bay Florida....Watersports West

I have been following the situation and realize any popular riding location could and/or will have this same dilemna. As kiteboarding becomes more popular...tough decisions will need to be made. I wish you all well in your meeting and hope that the outcome is positive and in the best interest of the longevity of the sport.

We certainly have our share of drama here in Tampa Bay, but we are definately coming together and beginning to share common goals. There will always be those that work against the grain, but hopefully a strong majority will move things forward.

You might note the kiters of Tampa Bay have formed an association called Tampa Bay Kiteboarding Association.

This is a member driven group with the sole purpose of perserving access, promoting safety, and offering community service. It is in it's infacy, but well on it's way to becoming a template for others to follow. Feel free to check out our progress over the coming months as we feel an association by the riders for the riders is the only way to go.

Good luck fellow Miamians!!!!

Danimal8199 05-27-2008 11:23 PM

Steve-O beat me to it...

I have been riding here just over a year (in Tampa) and have seen alot of drama, you can find it on this forum, and heard about alot of it at the beach.

There have been many hot discussions on here but TBKA is moving things in the right direction and I'm sure anyone involved in the formation of this group in our area would let you pick their brains on things.

We too have sites that some feel should not be used for lessons and argue about basic rules, where to put signs, what can we do or not due, calling people out on the forum and so on.

People here, even the ones that get into heated discussions are really starting to come together and things are taking off.

Check them out like Steve-O said.


RickI 05-27-2008 11:26 PM

Hello All,

Yes, I will be at the meeting on Thursday. Sorry you were stuck in Bimini Kent. I can recall having to fly back more than once years back. I've been eating this unusual wind up in the Abacos. More to come in an overview.

TBKA 05-28-2008 12:52 AM

Thanks for the support. TBKA has a plan worth discussing that self regulates, solves plenty of other problems, and rewards safe kiting and good deeds in the community in the form of more events, clinics,exhibitions, etc.
This will work anywhere and support is growing.
I would love to get their input and happy to share info.
Good luck at the meeting.

Steve Sadler
(813) 389-3683

kent 05-28-2008 03:35 PM

Ok, we are on at Berries in the Grove. Ken's right, it can tend to be a bit loud in the outside area so I contacted the manager and he will give us the inside area for us to meet quietly.

See you at 8. Thanks for your participation Rick.


miamikiteboarding 05-29-2008 12:44 AM

berry's KITENITE !
mkb is in tomorrow. of course.
Lets get a general shot of all things and turn it in smart and as high as we put our expectations and passion in our sport from the beginning , like we all did for years, right ? !
Beers should celebrate the outcome and not be a reason of the outcome.

see you tomorrow.

RickI 05-29-2008 09:50 AM

Looking forward to tonight's meeting and working something out with regard to Hobie. Lots of us have fresh recollection of past incidents and accidents at Hobie but I wanted to repost the following from another thread from March. It would be good to avoid more problems like these.


Originally Posted by RickI (Post 30031)
It looks like conditions will be ripe for accidents at Hobie Beach over the next couple of days. Strong winds are forecast 15 to 25 mph Friday (are already blowing 15 to 30 mph as of Friday am*) and particularly for Saturday, 20 to 30 mph and likely much higher in squalls. There is a 60% rain chance for Saturday alone with a strong cold front passing over.

NO INSTRUCTORS should be teaching there and sensible kiters should avoid the area. I understand a student was injured recently in a squall in the area and was well offshore.

NO KITEBOARDERS should be launching or riding much inside the swim buoys. Guys jumping nearshore are not only breaking the law they are begging to eat someone's bumper or shattered windshield, AGAIN.

Just because you are flying a flat kite doesn't mean you are automatically safe from squalls. If that is all you have ever flown you may not believe that as much as someone who came from C kites. Dealing with squall gusts can be complex, your reactions and systems can fail, many things can and have gone wrong.

How many kiters have been lofted into cars and timber posts at this beach over the years? I can think of at least five but there likely has been more. I can still remember chilling stories of the lady kiteboarder from California who was lofted into a timber post screaming in agony with kidney damage and fractures in a similar SW wind 6 years ago last month. Kiteboarding Magazine tastefully included a photo of the injured woman on their back page at the time. That was years ago and too many people haven't gotten the idea yet. For that reason alone two shocking images are reproduced below. I apologize to the rider, her friends and kiters that were there that day for showing these here.

I remember a guy getting ripped off the water and blown into a car flying 15 ft. away from me in less than a 32 mph gust. If any one of them struck head first they could have easily been taken out.

Why is Hobie dangerous?

- Southwest to west winds are gusty due to land shadow from the western shore a short distance away and are onshore.

- Southwest to west winds come with fronts and powerful squall lines frequently with dangerous gusty winds.

- There is virtually NO beach or reasonable safety buffer onshore. The timber posts and parked cars are feet away.

- There is a four lane high speed roadway, Rickenbacker Causeway, a short distance away.

- Riders have foolishly launched and landed on or near the shore and ridden too close to shore out of bounds swim areas marked by buoys for too many years.

- Too many easily avoidable accidents have happened here. We need to improve this situation, now. Don't ride there in these conditions.
Illustrations of past loftings
The winds at Hobie Friday morning (3.7.08), WITHOUT squalls and a 5 to 10 ft. buffer from timber poles, cars and more. The guy that was lofted into a car in front of me was out in winds little stronger than this.


kent 05-29-2008 11:25 AM

I have confirmations from most of the shops and schools in our local area. Ideally, it would be best that for the first meeting we limit participation to industry members so that we can have a good amount of input, but still get something done. After we can agree on some guidelines, we can have an open meeting to allow other local riders to share ideas and to express concerns.

A few important points have been brought up with respect to tonightís meeting. It would be nice to appoint a moderator... Rick you have been nominated by several people. What do you think? Basically, we just want to keep the meeting moving and avoid a total bash fest. Ideally, it would be good to allow each person 2-3 minutes to present some points or address concerns. This could be done in an orderly fashion would allow good input from everyone. This might help us to get some good topics on the table for further discussion.

I'll be stopping by Berries before work to insure that the room is suitable for us. I believe it is as they said that they would close the doors and it should easily hold our small party.

For now I think that we will see:

Jim D.
Todd G.
Garry M.
Brenden or Paul M.
Josh S. (Nautical Ventures)

I can't believe that I forgot to invite Tim so I'll buzz him today.

The room we are in will accommodate this list above and possibly 2-3 more so it might be best to limit your crew to just a few. If you want to bring an additional member of your team that can provide good input, do so, but it will limit the oxygen in the room.

I agree with Christophe below. Let's keep it positive and focuse mainly on keeping our locations open. Sure there will be some topics that are confrontational but need to be discussed.

I had good conversations with both Ken and Francisco yesterday. While they have taken some fire on the Hobie issue, this incident could have happened to any rider and has happened to a few. While I too would urge everyone to stop teaching at this location, the schools are only 1/10th of the problem at Hobie and therefore we need to see what kind of teeth we can put into what ever guidelines that our local area riders arrive at.

I'll be bringing a hand out with important topics that Iíll be bringing up in my 2-3 minutes. A few of topics appear below:


Best method to encourage riders to avoid this area in general.
Best method to encourage schools to agree not to teach here.
Verbiage and guidelines for safe riding at this location. Can be posted on this site and presented at general meeting.

I'd like to see better enforcement of the current guidelines as it seems a bit out of control at times.
See clarification on the validity of the required insurance to ride at this location.
Gather a "state of the union" regarding being able to increase the total number of riders at the venue.

This place is also totally out of control at times. We need to present the guidelines again at a general meeting.
We need agreement from the very frequent riders to help advice rule breakers to stop. I.e. jumping inside of buoys, flying kites in the parking lot, etc.
We need to define acceptable areas for schools to teach at this location. Most of the time they handle this issue ok, but with more riders coming daily, it would be good to more the teaching farther away from the riders. We have seen students hooking kites there every day.

Miami Beach:

Taking a look at what the real rules are. At this point, I'm not even sure. We also need to let everyone know about the swim buoys, etc. This is a great section of beach for down wind rides, but it can end pretty quickly.


The future of teaching and riding: boats, insurance, certification, etc.


RbGar 05-29-2008 12:29 PM

get the flank steak, it;s the only good thing at berries. wow, i hope you boys can get that place straightened out, sounds like a real mess, good luck- JB

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