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Old 05-19-2010, 04:35 PM
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Default Miami-Dade Cty. issues ASM permit to operate Kiteboarding Concession at Math. Hammock

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Adventure Sports Miami 305.591.3922

Adventure Sports Miami collaborates with Miami-Dade County at Matheson Hammock.

Miami-Dade County issues ASM a permit to operate concession at Matheson Hammock Park for Kitesurfing, Windsurfing, Kayaking, and Stand Up Paddleboarding


May 15th, 2010

On the heels of beach closures and threatened riding access across south Florida, Adventure Sports Miami has obtained a permit to operate a concession by Miami-Dade County at Matheson Hammock Park in Coral Gables to better manage the popular water sports venue.

Recognizing the need for revised kiteboarding guidelines and better enforcement of safe riding practices at Matheson, ASM has worked with several knowledgeable kiting consultants to construct new riding guidelines and a process for rider certification at Matheson. Similar to requirements for riding at Miami-Dade County’s Crandon Beach Park, the County has asked that individuals wishing to kite at Matheson be certified to a minimum level of proficiency as outlined by IKO or PASA level 3 certification (or equivalent). Certification examinations will be readily available for a nominal $15 fee at Matheson Hammock by appointment or daily on a first to come basis. Riders that already posses level 3 certification will simply need to present their card at the ASM Matheson concession, review the rules, and sign a waiver of liability to receive their riding streamer. Early morning riding is still open to certified riders and a self service streamer check- out will be available in the a.m. during normal Park operating hours.

ASM will also offer a special “ticket to ride” card for a $40 annual fee to qualified certified riders. (Purchase of this card is not required, nor are there any access fees to kiteboard at the Park.) In addition to including certification, “ticket to ride” card holders will have full access to onsite air compressors for kite inflation, discounts on ferry services to Stilltsville and other Biscayne Bay area riding locations, free access to the on-site rider retrieval vessel, and reduced rental rates on kayaks and SUP’s. Additionally, “ticket to ride” participants will be able to take advantage of special pro clinics focusing on strapless riding, racing, and freestyle.

“Having been one of the first kiteboarders in the state, I’ve seen a lot of changes in our sport, both good and bad. I’ve seen needless accidents and witnessed the unfortunate closures of Crandon Beach Park, Virginia Key Beach and Hobie Beach to kitesurfing. Fortunately, we were able to negotiate access to Crandon, however other venues remain closed. Kitesurfing access to Hobie Beach is now prohibited largely due to runaway kites, unaccredited transient instructors teaching in unsuitable conditions, and reckless riding that can threaten others. Activities like these can hurt people and lead to beach closures and reduced riding access. As most closures are primarily due to our apparent inability to “self police”, it’s no doubt that beach and park directors on both coasts are taking a closer look at kitesurfing and are looking for viable solutions to these issues. In this case, I’m happy that we were able to offer a viable option.” - Kent Marinkovic, President “Pryde Group Americas”.

The objective at Matheson is not to unduly restrict access, but to provide a safer, more enjoyable riding environment that is SUSTAINABLE and less congested. Reducing riding and instructional pressures at the popular North launch is a goal and providing better access to the South launch and offshore riding and teaching areas will help to reach it. We are committed to maintaining kiteboarding access at Matheson Hammock and substantially improving the riding experience in the park as well as in the areas of Biscayne Bay and beyond.

As summer is fast approaching and the end of the “windy” season is near, local riding pressure at the Matheson will be naturally be reduced through out the early transition to the new management of the venue. While amendments to instructional activities at Matheson will take place gradually though June, commitment to rider certification, education, and enforcement of the new riding guidelines are of utmost importance and the staff at the Matheson water sports concession will take this responsibility seriously.

Preliminary riding guidelines will be posted in the coming week and will be followed by an open riders meeting to discuss future changes and to have any questions answered.

For general inquiries, comments, and suggestions please send e-mail to info@adventuresportsmiami.com.


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