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  #21  
Old 06-26-2009, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Huntersirg View Post
Kiteboarding is not a crime!
AGREED!

So what about a sign like this. I pulled this from a vid from a kitesurfing location. I mean if we have to have a sign with 10+ ways asking us
how to behave, why not 1 simple sign for non-kiters?

"The Cooler"
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  #22  
Old 06-26-2009, 10:45 AM
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I feel like I am on a merry go round and I can't get off.

Gotta agree with Scott 1000% (unimog bob)

#1 issue in kiteboarding is poor examples set by veteran riders
(I too have been guilty from time to time)

Forums, signs, self-policing all can have a positive impact, but none will have more impact than the good and bad riding habits that veterans display at their local spots.

On another note I have seen self-policing be effective, however, it can all get thrown out the window if riders that know better don't police themselves.

It's human nature to learn the hard way. That will always be the battle IMO.

I ride Sunset and I hope that this will be a wakeup to us all that ride there to step up and lead by example. Mistakes get made, but if we choose not to learn from them, then we have no one to blame but ourselves for losing this jewel of a spot.

I think the essence of what Scott is saying is make the signs if it makes you feel better, but you better be ready to back it up. Be careful what you wish for.
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  #23  
Old 06-27-2009, 06:45 AM
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Can the local shops help us out by sharing this info with the students in their "intro to kiteboarding" classes? Steve-O?

When I was in Wrightsville Beach and asked the local shop about riding locations (there were only a few), the shop spent about 1/2 hour with me discussing the launch areas and what all the rules were. They made it very clear that if I broke these rules that I was risking THEIR ACCESS.

Then when I hit the beach, the local riders explained these rules AGAIN (but of course I ASKED, like most experienced riders would).

If we are PROACTIVE instead of REACTIVE, we hopefully shouldn't have any more problems.

What if:

1. FIRST, the shops/instructors explain the rules and the REASON for these rules.....
2. PLUS we all lead by example....
3. AND we watch out for new riders/non-locals and politely explain the local rules to them...

Hopefully we shouldnt' have any more issues and can PROTECT OUR ACCESS!


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  #24  
Old 06-27-2009, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Todd RT View Post
Can the local shops help us out by sharing this info with the students in their "intro to kiteboarding" classes? Steve-O?

When I was in Wrightsville Beach and asked the local shop about riding locations (there were only a few), the shop spent about 1/2 hour with me discussing the launch areas and what all the rules were. They made it very clear that if I broke these rules that I was risking THEIR ACCESS.

Then when I hit the beach, the local riders explained these rules AGAIN (but of course I ASKED, like most experienced riders would).

If we are PROACTIVE instead of REACTIVE, we hopefully shouldn't have any more problems.

What if:

1. FIRST, the shops/instructors explain the rules and the REASON for these rules.....
2. PLUS we all lead by example....
3. AND we watch out for new riders/non-locals and politely explain the local rules to them...

Hopefully we shouldnt' have any more issues and can PROTECT OUR ACCESS!


It is definately within our best interest as a business to keep access open to the sport. Just for that reason, I think we take that responsibility more seriously than most. We do not advertise galore all over the internet to come to Tampa Bay and ride. We don't really want that for our local scene. Tampa Bay is the best kept secret and we would like to keep it that way. Furthermore, we have designed a 3 hour lecture for each student to take them through the basics of riding a spot, which include detailed insight on Sunset Park and East Beach. Emphasis on launching kites in the water vs. on land, keeping a good safe distance from the beach, not riding in swim area, ect. is all covered. Lots of time is spent on the reality of bans and what can be done to prevent them. Again, a great deal of detail is being spent on these topics. I can't think of one kite school that is going to this length to educate their students about these topics. Our students don't even see a kite until after 3 hours of instruction. I think that is unheard of in the industry. Quite the exception and not the norm unfortunately.

I will however, post a riding map of Sunset Park for any visiting kiter to inform them of that space. Sunset is unique in that if you kite there, you will definately be sharing space with the public unlike many other flat water spots around the greater Tampa Bay area. However, be careful what you wish for, as posting a riding map will only push folks towards that location. Its a double edge sword IMO.

With all that said, your 2nd and 3rd suggestion will go along way as well. If we all work together, then we can hopefully spot potential problems from turning into bans.

Like I said earlier, I am not perfect and have made my share of mistakes, but I can only improve and try to set a better example as each session passes. By the way, I offered to put together an informative handout for everyone to have and distribute as needed, but it did not get much response. I don't think something like that could hurt. Thoughts????
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  #25  
Old 06-27-2009, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
3. Don't be afraid to be a dick if needed. Get your point across!!!
Just wanted to clarify as I did say "if needed". Yes be polite and respectful, but if you feel your point isn't being taken seriously, then you might need to step it up.

What sucks is if you are the one to try and explain the rules to someone, and riders are off in the distance breaking these all over the place, then who looks like the dick??? Maybe that is the reason why folks are afraid to self police, and why self policing isn't as effective as it could be. Just something to think about.

I know I preach stuff to my students all the time, and in the same breath someone is off doing something completely crazy. I taught in the public schools, and rules don't really work if there is no punishment for those that break them.

Sure cops come out and pounce on one guy. But is that going to change the behavior of others??? Part of me believes nothing will change and eventually we WILL lose access, part of me hopes that we can change.

This I do know.....I can only control what I can do and others that work with me. Hopefully our actions will effect the sport in a positive way and we can only hope others will follow.

Be on the lookout for www.kitesafe.net a website solely dedicated to safer kiting and protecting access.
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  #26  
Old 06-27-2009, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-O View Post
I will however, post a riding map of Sunset Park for any visiting kiter to inform them of that space. Sunset is unique in that if you kite there, you will definately be sharing space with the public unlike many other flat water spots around the greater Tampa Bay area. However, be careful what you wish for, as posting a riding map will only push folks towards that location. Its a double edge sword IMO.
Yes Steve-O as you mentioned It's a double edge sword.

Being a local at SB I strongly disagree about doing any advertising regarding this location
We will self police the spot ourself.

Last edited by Gui; 06-28-2009 at 02:13 AM.
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  #27  
Old 06-27-2009, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Whitey View Post
Hell I didn't know I was considered a vessel (once under way, powered by the kite) until a County sherrif showed me in the code book.
Nobody has mentioned this but I consider this info from Whitey the most important piece of information in this thread.

WE ARE VESSELS therefore we are prohibited from swim zones, period.

We have been arguing this point for years... now here the county sheriff just set us straight yet again. The coast guard and beach police did the same thing about 9 months ago when they threatened to fine us at T.I. if we rode through the swim zone after we launched. In fact they told us we could not ride through the swim zone period, even to get out past it. If we wanted to ride we had to launch outside the swim zone (further down the beach). Seems someone earlier (around TI, PAG or Sunset) had royally pissed someone off and the police were notified. We had just arrived so it was not us.

If you are still riding through swim zones you are seriously jeopardizing our access.

-tom
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  #28  
Old 06-27-2009, 11:53 PM
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If you are still riding through swim zones you are seriously jeopardizing our access.

Just thought that should be stated again.

Was out at IRB having a nice sunset session after work today. God was it beautiful out there. Anyway, saw a rider a couple 100 yds up the beach tacking about 10 feet from shore with kite over heads. Went up to see who it was and it was a rider I regularly see from Sunset Park. Was so bummed. He looked at me and gave me a big smile as if I was going to stay and sesh with him, I however just took off and went about a mile south. Couldn't really address the problem there, but I will address it next time I see him at Sunset Park. I hope he gets it. One rider at a time I guess will be my approach.

Couldn't imagine not being able to get off work, drive 5 minutes down to the beach and not being able to ride ever again. That would really be a dark day for me personally.

It is so blantantly obvious to me now what I must do.

Is it obvious to you????
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  #29  
Old 06-28-2009, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-O View Post
I will however, post a riding map of Sunset Park for any visiting kiter to inform them of that space. Sunset is unique in that if you kite there, you will definately be sharing space with the public unlike many other flat water spots around the greater Tampa Bay area. However, be careful what you wish for, as posting a riding map will only push folks towards that location. Its a double edge sword IMO.
Nope... didn't wish for that bro. My point was... if you're going to tell people it's a good place to ride and send them up there, you guys could help us by explaining the rules. Sounds like you are.

Personally, I wish we could go back in time 2 years when SB was THE "secret spot".
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  #30  
Old 06-28-2009, 08:51 AM
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Alright then. I think an understanding has been struck. Keep in mind Todd that most folks that ride Sunset live near the place. Call it their local spot if you will.

Any new riders you see there for the most part started the path to kiteboarding by seeing kiteboarding at Sunset. Those same folks have never heard of Watersports West. In their journey to wanting to get into the sport, they find us. It is only natural for them to want to use the spot as they learn.

Kiters too often forget that it is the kites themselves that drive people to the sport, certainly not a shop.

Yes, however you look at it, the sport is growing, and "the secret is out". Sunset is a classic example of that growth.

If there is one place that I have faith that a group of folks can work together to keep a spot under control, it is Sunset Park. I have not witnessed such a tight knit group like the "Sunset Crew".

Let's keep doing what we are doing and set an example for others to follow.

1. Keep communicating about issues and find solutions
2. Treat each other with respect
3. Not play the blame game

You have my word that you can rely on myself and the others that teach up there to work with you all to preserve that space. Brian, Doug, Sarah, and myself will do everything in our power to preserve access there. We will set a good example, we will make sure our students understand the "rules", and we will be the first to get our hands dirty if need be. If you would like us to do something, just ask.

With that said, I would like for you all to consider how you as locals ride the spot, and consider what kind of effect that riding behavior has on others, especially new and/or visiting kiters.

If you would like a sign up there, come together as a group, decide what you want on it, and let's get it approved, made, and installed. If there is one place that I can see a group coming together and making this happen, I believe it is "the Sunset crew".

Whatever, you all decide, you know I will support.
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