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Old 01-04-2008, 05:23 PM
Kite Safe Kite Safe is offline
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Default “Safety” at Crandon Park, Key Biscayne, FL.

I have been observing during the last few weeks the new “measures” taken at Crandon Park to improve safety, for riders and bystanders, and I would like to share with the community my thoughts about what I have seen.

First, for those who are not completely aware of what is the current protocol at Crandon Park, here it is:

When you walk into the beach through the northernmost entrance at Crandon Park you will likely be greeted by a receptionist-like person who will inquire if you have IKO or PASA certification, and if you have liability insurance for kiting. He or she will explain that they are the organization/school commissioned by the county to supervise and enforce safety at that particular spot on the beach (according to them the only location in Miami Dade where people are permitted to kite), and that they will ensure all riders are certified, have insurance and, most importantly, follow safety rules published on a board displayed on the beach access (no jumping nor tricks near shore, launch in a specified area, designated teaching area, use of helmet, etc) . In the event that you are not certified and don’t have insurance, they will provide certification on the spot ($30.00) and sell you insurance for the day ($10.00) or for the whole year ($89.00). Once you understand the rules and regulations and comply with the requirements (provided IKO or PASA certification or got certification with them), you will receive a flag (for the day) to put in your kite, and you are free to kite.

Being a Safety First kind of rider, who despite enforcing agencies or not on kiting sites, always followed safety guidelines, I thought initially that these measures could only do good for the sport and for our local riding areas, making them safer and securing them as riding spots in the future.

Unfortunately what I have seen is almost the opposite of what the regulatory organization/school promotes, and here are some facts observed during the last few weeks.

- Recently I witnessed a friend who despite his proficiency in kiting (riding for over four years now) had never bothered to get an IKO or PASA card. Well here we were at Crandon and now was time for him to do it and this is what happened: As stated before the receptionist asked him for his Certification and Insurance. After the receptionist briefly explained what I mentioned above, he paid the fees and asked what would the certification encompass. According to the reception person, an instructor would check out his gear after it was rigged, verify that he was wearing a helmet and had a leash attached to one of his lines. The instructor would give him some general guidance, launch his kite and observe him during launch and riding, in order to see if he complied with all the rules and was qualified for riding. To his surprise, when he finished rigging his kite and asked for his instructor, the answer was that the instructor was kiting, but that he could go anyway. A fellow kiter launched his kite and he went on riding without ever seeing or hearing from the certifying instructor. He got his IKO card after his ride and he is now certified without apparently anybody ever checking to see if he even had a line leash, could ride, could rig, had a helmet, etc.
- Few weeks ago, I saw an instructor from this school perform pre-launch instruction and launch a student in the sand in the middle of the experienced rider staging area. In that specific instance, because the sand was so crowded resulted in the instructor launching the student’s kite (with the student attached to the bar) almost 180 degrees to an onshore wind, resulting in the student being catapulted 10 feet forward and landing on her head. Luckily another kiter managed to grab the student’s kite and no one got injured.
- On a busy day at Crandon more than half of the riders in the water don’t have the flag on their kites. I saw no action from the organization to enforce that. I can only assume that these were people that didn’t want to pay the certification and insurance fee for some “mysterious” reason.
- Riders with and without flags on their kites were performing jumps, tricks and risky launches less than 30 feet from the sand and right in the middle of the staging area. (again I saw no action in different days from any member/employee of this enforcing organization/school)
- Maybe 10% of the riders were wearing helmets. (no measures by the enforcing organization/school were taken either)

So, I then wonder what is the real purpose of this commissioned organization/school staged at Crandon Park. Riders that they have approved to ride on that spot are not complying with their own organization/school’s rules, which apparently they don’t seem to care nor enforce. Their own instructors are creating dangerous situations for their students and experienced riders. Their certification process looks like a pay and ride ticket instead of a real verification of skills and safety equipment. Unfortunately I have seen no improvement on safety and organization at Crandon Park since this new situation appeared. On the contrary I see more riders per square meter, more students mixed with the experienced riders, I see more danger... On a windy, sunny day during the weekend it may look like a fair to an innocent bystander with all the colors and kites flying. To a kiteboarder who actually knows what is going on and what the potential dangers are, it looks like an accident waiting to happen.

On the same safety note, in regards to the incidents at Hobby Beach that happened on the weekend of December 15th. I wonder, why this agency is not interested in doing the same thing there...

Kite Safe.
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Old 01-05-2008, 07:58 AM
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kabo123 kabo123 is offline
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Location: marathon, fl
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Default money

the real reason for all the reg. money and to keep honest people honest. there well always be people that dont care and do what they want.
buttsex Cam

Last edited by kabo123; 08-11-2011 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:48 AM
The Kite House The Kite House is offline
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If i would have said all that, would be bias.....glad someone else see's it.

Been working with Crandon officals since 99.....pretty much gave up, all just a money thing for the school....have some great photos as well.
Again, get taught in crowds, you think its safe. There is 0 regulation there. I wonder who is liable now.....IKO....PASA....The School or Crandon Park?

Used to be alot of fun there. I still ride on the outside with mike...i go by boat and stay away, miss seeing the crowd that used to be there. Whats the parks stance on this now? The school from what i know is subcontracting from another vendor.

P.S. i dont want to be a school there, incase anyone is many riders, onshore winds, students hiting the beach?
Aloha Paul Menta
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Old 01-08-2008, 10:23 AM
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ricki ricki is offline
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Thanks for the update from Crandon. Sorry to hear about some of your observations. The greatest problem we have had at Crandon from the start has been the weaker aspects of human nature. Seems like little has changed aside from some intervening procedures. The usual trigger to action by Park Management is kiter crowding and complaints from other users and guards. From what you are describing, it seems like something may be triggered in the not too distant future. I wish folks well down there and hope they can exercise reasonable restraint and compliance to avoid the continuing cycles of ban and conditional reinstatement. It can be easy to avoid problems if we give a damn and try. Not sure if we are there yet.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:33 PM
miamikiteboarding miamikiteboarding is offline
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Location: Key Biscayne,Miami fl
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Default crandon park? better, nicer and safer than ever.


I think it’s necessary to address this post not only for kitesafe, who just here simply act as an agitator against the new "protocol" , but mostly for the riders community, to explain at once the status in Crandon park and mention real issues in the Miami riding community.

Well obviously Kitesafe, you are not a regular rider in Crandon park.
cause if u were, and if u are as objective as u seem to be, according to the details u put in ur stories like u just did , you would know that every thing is quite well under control at Crandon, contrary as your descriptions, and the first ones happy are the riders themselves.
Nobody have actually heard or seen the stories you came up with ??? Allow me to be skeptical about yout truthfulness, as it appears that you haven't even read the new signs put up , as none of them mention to wear the helmets any more . In fact , i wonder if you ever made it really to the beach or if you simply relate stories that were told and amplified to you by others, and you , simply pass them on with no clue !? personal anger maybe ?

We knew there will be some unhappy folks that will just look for any single details to amplify and exaggerate and debate on for hours , so they can expel their anger or frustration through long write up to others for complaining about the new "protocol" in Crandon .

However let’s be clear at once and for ever:
Crandon park has the same rules than always ! For those who ride for a long time they Know !

Why this change? the park had realized from long ago that self-reinforcement by the riders or the schools themselves was not working on a daily basis , in fortiori , on a 20 kts sunny Sunday !

So they asked us, professional instructors, to reinforce those rules as we are a Legit Kitesurfing instruction business carrying all insurances, permits, certifications, and paperwork that the county requires to do business on their property . Period.

But Crandon is still ( and will remain ) a public access to any rider level 3 who is able to understand the safety precautions the park authorities implemented, and apply them.

And You are sole judge to decide whether or not you want to boycott the beach because you disagree on the “reinforcement system “ or simply understand that some areas require more attention than others . and we should be happy to still ride in Crandon after all those years !
Ask riders like Ricky Iossi or Victor , who are real fellow riders who committed for saving riding access in Crandon park in the past years : Insurances, streamers, sign-in and level 3 were already mandated. Nothing we invented.

Now let's be realistic and cut right away those sterile debates about "how it should work " because as usually the ones who talk more about it, are rarely the ones that do much for it, or want to take action for ...
As always it’s much easier to bark and criticize things we don’t like instead of bringing constructive solutions that involve real efforts.
And once again this Kitesafe Gentleman is just another one who never came in person to us to address his Safety issues or complaints about the system, which would have been smarter, because he is right , there may be some safety issues some days like in any day of any kiters, but if we missed them, he is allowed to complain to the school in charge directly then at least we know what he talks about , and maybe he has better ideas or suggestions to offer , which we are open to.

And so far in Crandon, riders have been given us their feedback from the very first day , that’s why things are working great and everybody is happy.
So maybe Kitesafe, once he swallowed his bitterness or whatever anger or frustration he vows against MKB, should come more often on the beach, introduce himself, and help us doing better with such relevant critics and be part of the community instead of trying to break it apart.

NOW TRULY the only sad thing I can feel of , is to see a so called "safe kiter" trying to bring up some irrelevant critics on safety issues or logistic setup, on the kitebeach spot which lately is, from far , the safest kitesurfing spot in Dade county.

Instead let me bring up REAL questions about SAFETY ISSUES :

And I’d like to know what Kitesafe thinks about other spots that suffer safety violations everyday , where riders launch straight out from parking lots…
or where So-called “instructors” charging fees to teach kitesurfing without any licenses, permits, no certification and no insurance, are multiplying on the same spots , throwing numerous beginners with kite in their hands, knowing so little or nothing about safety tricks and kite power, but just enough to buy a kite , and after let them practice on their own, “swamping “ in the already crowded spots that we all share. Not even mentioning safe distance to the shore !
Simply wait until 1 student or 1 bystander get injured and you will see all those “EZ Cash-pockets instructors “ vanishing into thin air, but too late for the rest of the riders community : the ban will be in effect on the spot , and maybe extended to the county, if the media help.

We take kitesurfing seriously , and running a school is even more responsibilities than only riding. The first one being: Operating a LEGAL BUSINESS with all fees, liabilities and licenses that it involves. Especially when teaching an Extreme watersport.

Let’s address this issues first and you will see how much space we free on our congested riding spots. Not only space but also uncontrolled kiters all over the place.
We have limited kite spots in Miami, the last thing we want is to loose one. No ?

Close follow up with students taking lesson is the only way to provide quality teaching , and build a safe rider .
Other options for safe practice is to take Boats to sandbars like we do at Miamikiteboarding since 2001 or the Kitehouse more recently .
Of Course, it involves costs and insurances once again, But when you pretend offering quality service to customers and really mean it , you do what it takes.
Meanwhile it is also a strategy to help freeing spaces considerably on the spots for the rest of the community.

That 's why we refuse to teach from Hobie beach for instance. The worst and most dangerous kite spot with onshore winds usually associated with squally weather during a front, car, trees, kids, no beach, High traffic right behind. Even though it takes only 100 yards to walk away from the beach to make it safer , but as long as riders and especially unconcerned instructors show the bad example, then obviously Incidents will still happen . But it's not us, we are too busy ensuring safety In crandon .

“Kitesafe” man, if you are so concerned about safety, I’m surprised you haven’t posted a long write up on why Hobie beach is so dangerous ? because this is a real topic worth talking about objectively.
This will be a smarter way to help your kite community to ride safer and inform your fellow kiteboarder of real dangers scenarios. ???
FYI the site should have been banned a long time ago, you were not even kitesurfing by that time, when a girl get injured badly out there. The County still wait for the ordinance to pass to put the No-Kite signs out there.
But guys make sure that if a kite flies over the causeway and creates a car accident as it almost happened 2 weeks ago, expect the kitesurfing scene to change dramatically in Miami. Media helping.
And then all of us will need not only a certification card level BUT ALSO the individual kite insurance to pull out a kite on the county’s beaches from now on; if they still allow our sport.

That’s why I wanted to take the time to reply this post in detail too .
and I have to thank Mr Kitesafe, whose poor foresight vision, ignited my reply , as he only sees the small part of the iceberg that may sink the kitesurfing sport in deep shit sooner or later.


If you already know about it, or if u feel u don’t care, or u had enough reading already, then I agree , don’t force it . I’m sure sbdy will read it for u. meanwhile u can go riding.

Here is what i think, for being a kitesurfer learning, riding, teaching in Miami from the very beginning when the sport appeared here, in 2000, and pretty much for as long as Mr paul Menta, who knows exactly the very particular safety problems related to Crandon, as a County Public beach , which has nothing to do with "politics " (??) but simply liability and high risks involved due to presence of swimmers and bystanders everywhere =

SO Crandon was closed for this season ! we saved it . It was either a ban or a re-opening under strict regulations and limitations. They imposed us the restrictions and mandated us to apply them.
Now Crandon is up and open to all riders. We made it become from a "tolerated status" to "officially a kite spot" and therefore all improvements we could with it:.

THE FEES ? Liability is the key thing : if anybody get injured on the beach , somebody will have to pay for it? Not the park, they are too aware of the risks , so they ask each kiters using the facility to carry a Kitesurfing liability insurance . that's it.
The cheapest insurance we found was the one IKO offers which is valid worldwide for $89/year . You can get it online by yourself on their website.
We printed out the form then riders can fill-it in on the beach and ride the same day . Once again hassle-free.
So u need the IKO card to be covered with this insurance, (as early as level 2 by the way). Anything wrong so far ?

Now u can get the PASA individual kitesurfing insurance for $600/year, i believe.

For those who ride in Crandon , you know that the swimming area is just adjacent to the riders corridor. So do we really have to explain why we should respect the boundaries ? FYI , no riding is allowed in SOBE during life guard Hours within 300 feet from the beach , why should it be different in Crandon .
SO obviously if you can’t make it upwind on an NE wind, you end up in the swimming area.
That's why again IKO or Pasa level 3 is mandated.
Now we check unknown riders out to make sure they not only stay upwind but also know the self rescue procedures, because equipment failure happens, and know the right-of-way rules for others kiters around.
This process may take time, my instructors don't work for free so we set a fee for the IKO level 3 check out which includes the Card ( that we must buy in Europe BTW ) , and soon each new certified rider will also receive a skills check list on a chart.

Now for KITESAFE man right there, if ur buddy paid the certification and he didn't have an instructor checking him out for 15min , then it's a mistake and not suppose to happen that way , so send him back , i will personally check him out myself . and if knows everything , that should not take more than 10min. FYI, most of the riders we knew already in Miami didn't have to go through the certification, process and get their IKO card straight, so they can buy their own insurance and ride in Crandon for free again.

LAST RULES but not least: the NUMBER of riders> the lifeguards imposed 25 kites up: No choice.
The numbered streamers was the only system we found efficient with the sign in sheet, and we manage to have everybody riding even in a 20 kt sunny sunday.

Our trick ? we offer a Taxiboat to stilltsville on weekends for all intermediate kitesurfers who still need practice after their lessons. As a school we want to see our students riding among us later , and be part of the kitesurfing community , so We simply give them an alternative and others options to keep on riding , safely and uncrowded. AND keep crandon un-congested for local riders.

And we also know all the sandbars around, since we were actually the very first school to use a pontoon boat and teach on the flats far out, when Mr paul menta at that time was trying to add up a franchise of his Key West school in …Crandon park (.) …talking about business !?


So far :
The life guards gave us a huge positive feedback: no kites into the swim zone anymore, area under control, no kites flying on every side of the beaches, no beginners-intermediate drifting down to the beach.

The park : they haven't brought any issues , which is usually a sign of good compliance to their rules.

The riders: well, everybody comes and ride, drop their IKO card, take a streamer, sign in , go on the water , return, get back their card and leave Happy.
On weekends they even bring their kids and family on the beach again, they seem to feel safer, as it seems more controlled.

I'm not aware of any major incidents such as the catastrophic and well detailed kitemare scenarios related by Kitesafe who on my mind has simply enjoyed the over-exaggeration of a messed launch he may have witnessed that day

That’s it .

For those who know me, you will forgive and overlook my frenglish. For those who don’t , now you know.

See in you on Crandon beach , with a smile to the girls, we specially hired to take care of the riders sign-in , and make it works for all.
MIAMIKITEBOARDING - Miami's First School

Christophe Ribot
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:25 AM
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BigR BigR is offline
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in Miami from the very beginning when the sport appeared here, in 2000,

I think it appeared there a little before that in 1996, but keep up the good work!
You don't direct ostriches, you herd them
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:04 AM
Brui Brui is offline
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I was visiting Crandon the other day, the system or "protocol" that Christoph/miamikieboarding seems to be effective and is a good idea to have insurance, you never know.

Keep up the good work.

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Old 01-16-2008, 01:19 PM
The Kite House The Kite House is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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explain this to me, not sure i follow?

"Here is what i think, for being a kitesurfer learning, riding, teaching in Miami from the very beginning when the sport appeared here, in 2000, and pretty much for as long as Mr paul Menta, who knows exactly the very particular safety problems related to Crandon, as a County Public beach , which has nothing to do with "politics " (??) but simply liability and high risks involved due to presence of swimmers and bystanders everywhere "
Aloha Paul Menta
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:13 AM
miamikiteboarding miamikiteboarding is offline
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Posts: 186
Smile politics?

don' understand your question neither ...?
MIAMIKITEBOARDING - Miami's First School

Christophe Ribot
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Old 01-25-2008, 11:40 PM
The Kite House The Kite House is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 175

looking for an answer to your politics not involed, dont get that

You came in 2001 to be clear so explain, dont ask questions, i want to know why you say there are no politics. i will call you out on this one, want to know, why you sugest that?
Aloha Paul Menta
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