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Old 06-17-2006, 01:27 PM
Eagle Eagle is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: St Pete
Posts: 154
Default Area Launch Site Hazards

WEST SKYWAY
If you are unfamiliar with the West Skyway launch site, also known as the "backside of the Skyway", check out the spot on a low tide to identify multiple hazards in the water before attempting to ride here. Speak with the more experienced riders at this launch site who can provide assistance and point out the areas to avoid.

There are remnants of an old boat hull which is partially submerged at low tide and completely submerged at high(er) tide and you want to avoid this at all cost. A large portion of the boat hull was relocated to deeper water, a section still remains and should be avoided.

The wreckage is marked with a homemade buoy consisting of an old crab trap buoy and a milk jug. The buoy is connected to the hull with q-line. Its the only buoy in the immediate area and is pretty visible. There is a large area of white sand surrounding the wreckage and it stands out among the sea grass.

Watch out for the oyster beds around the mangrove islands, sharks in the deeper water and the middle aged men lurking in the bushes.

This launch site is not recommended for beginner riders and should be avoided until you are a competent and experienced kiteboarder.

There is a very limited area to set up and launch a kite. Kites and people have been damaged at this launch site. There are many other SAFER options available in the area for beginner/intermediate riders to progress their skills.

Sat photo of the site and more info here: http://www.tampabaykiteboarding.com/westskyway.htm

CYPRESS POINT
A heads up for kiters to use caution at this launch site due to large concentrations of oyster beds located on the grass flats and along the mangrove shoreline.

One of our locals found one the painful way so please take the time to become familiar with this site before you ride here.
Remember that oysters are beneficial to the health of the bay, so avoiding them will prevent injury to you and damage to them.
Broken glass and a variety of man made items are scattered throughout the shallows and along the beach so protecting your feet would be a wise choice.

Take a look at these aerial photos of the launch site marking areas to use caution and/or avoid.
http://www.tampabaykiteboarding.com/...ypressmaps.htm

EAST BEACH

A variety of hazards here including metal signs, cars, road and bystanders not to mention slippery algae along the shoreline which makes transit into the water a potential hazard. Very little room on the beach, plenty of room on the water, might consider water launching the kite or walk a distance away from the shoreline when launching.
Set up and launch your kite in the area with the most space, launching the kite towards the end of the road or near the mangroves is a bad idea. If you donít know where to launch your kite please ask one of the experienced kiters for assistance.

This is by no means a complete list of all the hazards present at local launch sites, update the thread with new pertinent info and please use common sense when kiteboarding on our area beaches.
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