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RickI 05-22-2008 02:52 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 07:31 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 08:28 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 10:42 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 07:18 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 01:47 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 02:05 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 02:54 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 03:55 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 “kite mafia” coming from your mouth is ironic. I am hoping that Ken’s 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 Alex’s death truly allow others to peer into your nature and see the total lack of respect you have for this sport. Alex’s 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. Let’s 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. Let’s 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 we’ll schedule a meeting.



mudslinger 05-23-2008 04:59 PM

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

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