Access Threatened At Anne's Beach, Islamorada
The Otherside posted this on Facebook. It looks like the guys contributing to a significant part of the problem are instructors and people riding too close to bystanders, again. These have been the main complaints in many other launch areas by the authorities that we have had to deal with over the years. If you want to teach, you need to do it right, in a place and way not to threaten the very sport you are trying to bring people into. People considering professional instruction owe it to themselves and to their future sport to select quality teachers, with occupational licenses, insurance and the rest. Many instructors have taken lessons offshore, away from land and crowding when possible. This is a good trend, benefits the student, access and is one to be supported. Ideas on selecting kiting instruction appear at http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=937
Also, we need to support good kiting businesses in the Keys. The ones that pay for insurance, occupational licenses, rent, etc. to be in business. They in large measure protect OUR access to ride there much of the year. If they were gone, our access might well be flushed with it. So, be sure to stop by, say hi and buy gear, book lessons, sea taxi, whatever. This is important.
Good launches are few in SE Florida, even more rare in the upper Keys. Please help to keep this special spot open.
From Facebook and the Otherside:
"Kite season is starting in the Keys, and its going great! The Otherside has started taking more and more lessons off of a boat instead of Anne's beach to get away from crowds.
We love all of our visiting kiters, but I feel like I have to get some stuff out. We understand that we've got one of the best places in the country to teach kiting, that's EXACTLY the reason we moved here! We pay the high rent and tax to live and work here, and be a full service school and shop.
That being said, every windy weekend now, we're noticing more and more instructors teaching at Anne's, and even out on our flats (some were students not long ago that took lessons on those same flats!) This is obviously out of our control. BUT, what is going to happen is that the lack of responsibility of some of these kiters and instructors is going to lead to major closures here, like a lot of you have dealt with in your home towns, being the reason you are here.
Watching instructors with their students 20 feet from shore with bathers directly downwind is not good. What many of you don't know is the amount of work that our LOCAL shops have put in to keep kiting here. I cannot continue to defend our beaches so that others can come here and abuse it."
"Anyone that knows us will tell you that we are very open and welcoming, and many of you have crashed on our house or in our yard at some point. Now, not only are you taking business from us, but jeopardizing the very thing that you've come here to enjoy.
About 6 years ago, local authorities came to the beach with a cease and desist for us, only to find out that we were a legit Monroe county business, paying taxes and doing everything legally. Most of you are not, and will be hearing that very same story soon, please don't ruin the keys for the rest of us, both on a business and personal standpoint. You may have no idea how close we are to losing all kiting here, and the dumb things that I've seen happen over the last 2 weeks or so are starting to seal that coffin.
This responsibility should go somewhat to the students also. KNOW who you are taking a lesson from. If you got hurt, or worse, hurt someone else, is your instructor or school insured? Are they qualified (certified doesn't necessarily mean qualified, but that's a whole other rant)? Are they putting you in danger?
Sorry for the rant, but this is something that needs to be addressed, and Facebook is just the first step.
Last edited by RickI; 12-09-2013 at 12:32 PM.