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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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Old 05-21-2010, 07:12 AM
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Some information provided to comments on kiteforum:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MKM
Understanding that there may be misunderstandings and/or questions regarding the press release, we will do our best to answer questions and / or provide more information when needed. In looking at most of the previous responses, simply reading the release would suffice.

Responding individually:

Donchin: I’m not sure what part sucks. I’d assume that preserving riding access at Matheson Hammock, keeping riders from getting dragged through the parking lot, and providing a retrieval vessel to assist riders continually drifting into the seawall to the east would all be good things. I’d also assume that despite the expense associated with helping to manage this venue, the continued free riding access with less congested riding conditions would be appreciated by all riders.

BBong02: What fees are you referring to? If you already have level 3 certification, there are no fees for you to ride. See release again.

Laughingman: I tend to agree with you regarding both organizations. We did however leave the door open if any new entity that steps forward to provide similar accreditation. At this point, there are really no other viable options.

Habi: Agreed. The Caribbean does rule! However, Miami is a high profile riding destination with very few accessible locations left. We must protect the remaining locations for everyone. If it means tightening safe riding guidelines and insuring that riders meet a minimum level of proficiency before launching at a venue, this is a price that most would gladly pay. Additionally, Matheson has largely run over by transient kite instructors leaving little room for actual riding. We are hoping to provide a less crowed venue that is more enjoyable for all.

Fred: The examination takes around 15 minutes. If riders are already certified they are good to go after reading the rules and signing a waiver of liability.
and

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickI
If you want flat water, there are the entire Keys, large areas of the Intracoastal north of Palm Beach County in several areas up the state. If you don't mind some waves, the ocean from Jupiter virtually to the Georgia line, is also good for beginners. Then there is the west coast, large areas there too. That is a VAST area, far larger with less density of riders and problems than Matheson. I would say Matheson is an area NOT recommended for beginners up to this point for lots of good reasons. If you want classes or coaching pending getting your Level III cert, there will be instructors at this launch. Also there will be sea taxi runs out to the flats and a truly huge area with even better riding conditions than Matheson.

IKO and PASA level III requirements have been in place at Crandon for over six years, minimum proficiency requirements (pitifully unenforced at one time) for NINE years. In congested, contested areas like metropolitan Miami with a shrinking list of kiteable launches, it only makes sense to do something like this.

Lots of activities have certification requirements for fixed venues, diving, hang gliding, paragliding, sailing and more. The kiting cert programs could be better to be sure, but for now, what else is there? It would be good to take a hard look at the program here and see if it can incrementally be beefed up. They're reforming how to run a designed launch in a contested area, why not take a wack raising the bar on cert. requirements over time? Could be the start of some needed reform in that area too.

It isn't 2000 anymore, we have as many ban threats as ever and a lot more kiters. In contested areas like Miami time to phase out the wild west days and bring something on that will keep us on the water. Big thanks to Kent and the folks at ASM for creating this program for the kiting community. The expenses are MAJOR (boats, office trailer, boat trailer, dockage, large passenger van, insurance, full time staff, monthly permit fees to the Park, etc.) but they're doing it because it needs to be done to keep the place open and for the future of kiting here. With that in mind, I would say cut them some slack to get this complex baby off the ground between now and the fall. There will be time for constructive input as it proceeds.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:04 AM
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Some shots of the ASM Concession in operation at Matheson. Even when there is no wind, there are still fun things to do. I understand things are going pretty well all around. Well done guys!



















Photos from:
http://www.facebook.com/video/video....1703193&ref=nf
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:07 AM
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Feeling the after effects of your last go to session a bit to deeply? Maybe some yoga would help. Check this out:
















Photos from:
http://www.facebook.com/video/video....id=79211703193
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