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Old 05-27-2008, 05:28 PM
kent kent is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 430

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
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:39 PM
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Steve-O Steve-O is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: largo
Posts: 1,043

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!!!!
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:23 PM
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Danimal8199 Danimal8199 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Clearwater
Posts: 634

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.

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Old 05-27-2008, 10:26 PM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,690

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.
FKA, Inc.

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Old 05-27-2008, 11:52 PM
TBKA TBKA is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 124
Thumbs up

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
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Old 05-28-2008, 02:35 PM
kent kent is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 430

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.

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Old 05-28-2008, 11:44 PM
miamikiteboarding miamikiteboarding is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Key Biscayne,Miami fl
Posts: 186
Wink 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.
MIAMIKITEBOARDING - Miami's First School

Christophe Ribot
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:50 AM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Location: Florida
Posts: 8,690

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 View Post
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.
FKA, Inc.

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Rick Iossi
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:25 AM
kent kent is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 430

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.

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Old 05-29-2008, 11:29 AM
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RbGar RbGar is offline
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Location: Lake Okeechobeee
Posts: 82

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

Last edited by RbGar; 06-02-2008 at 11:18 AM.
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