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Old 05-21-2010, 07:12 AM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
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Some information provided to comments on kiteforum:

Originally Posted by MKM
Understanding that there may be misunderstandings and/or questions regarding the press release, we will do our best to answer questions and / or provide more information when needed. In looking at most of the previous responses, simply reading the release would suffice.

Responding individually:

Donchin: I’m not sure what part sucks. I’d assume that preserving riding access at Matheson Hammock, keeping riders from getting dragged through the parking lot, and providing a retrieval vessel to assist riders continually drifting into the seawall to the east would all be good things. I’d also assume that despite the expense associated with helping to manage this venue, the continued free riding access with less congested riding conditions would be appreciated by all riders.

BBong02: What fees are you referring to? If you already have level 3 certification, there are no fees for you to ride. See release again.

Laughingman: I tend to agree with you regarding both organizations. We did however leave the door open if any new entity that steps forward to provide similar accreditation. At this point, there are really no other viable options.

Habi: Agreed. The Caribbean does rule! However, Miami is a high profile riding destination with very few accessible locations left. We must protect the remaining locations for everyone. If it means tightening safe riding guidelines and insuring that riders meet a minimum level of proficiency before launching at a venue, this is a price that most would gladly pay. Additionally, Matheson has largely run over by transient kite instructors leaving little room for actual riding. We are hoping to provide a less crowed venue that is more enjoyable for all.

Fred: The examination takes around 15 minutes. If riders are already certified they are good to go after reading the rules and signing a waiver of liability.

Originally Posted by RickI
If you want flat water, there are the entire Keys, large areas of the Intracoastal north of Palm Beach County in several areas up the state. If you don't mind some waves, the ocean from Jupiter virtually to the Georgia line, is also good for beginners. Then there is the west coast, large areas there too. That is a VAST area, far larger with less density of riders and problems than Matheson. I would say Matheson is an area NOT recommended for beginners up to this point for lots of good reasons. If you want classes or coaching pending getting your Level III cert, there will be instructors at this launch. Also there will be sea taxi runs out to the flats and a truly huge area with even better riding conditions than Matheson.

IKO and PASA level III requirements have been in place at Crandon for over six years, minimum proficiency requirements (pitifully unenforced at one time) for NINE years. In congested, contested areas like metropolitan Miami with a shrinking list of kiteable launches, it only makes sense to do something like this.

Lots of activities have certification requirements for fixed venues, diving, hang gliding, paragliding, sailing and more. The kiting cert programs could be better to be sure, but for now, what else is there? It would be good to take a hard look at the program here and see if it can incrementally be beefed up. They're reforming how to run a designed launch in a contested area, why not take a wack raising the bar on cert. requirements over time? Could be the start of some needed reform in that area too.

It isn't 2000 anymore, we have as many ban threats as ever and a lot more kiters. In contested areas like Miami time to phase out the wild west days and bring something on that will keep us on the water. Big thanks to Kent and the folks at ASM for creating this program for the kiting community. The expenses are MAJOR (boats, office trailer, boat trailer, dockage, large passenger van, insurance, full time staff, monthly permit fees to the Park, etc.) but they're doing it because it needs to be done to keep the place open and for the future of kiting here. With that in mind, I would say cut them some slack to get this complex baby off the ground between now and the fall. There will be time for constructive input as it proceeds.
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