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Old 05-21-2010, 05:50 PM
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Default Matheson Meeting Announcement & Rules

This just in from Kent of ASM:

"Matheson Kiteboard Meeting
Wednesday, May 26th at 6:00 P.M.
Matheson Hammock Park – First Pavilion (next to lake and before park toll both)

Hello Kitersurfers,

Please take a look at the proposed new guidelines for kiteboarding at Matheson Hammock Park. Your input is greatly appreciated so feel free to send comments and suggestions to: info@adventuresportsmiami.com.

Together with Miami-Dade County's Service Area Manager for Black Point, Homestead, and Matheson Hammock, Jeff West, and in the Matheson Hammock Manager, Deallo Johnson, ASM will be hosting a Matheson Hammock kiteboarding riders meeting at the Park on Wednesday, May 26th at 6 P.M. The meeting will be located at the first pavilion on the right after entering the park. We will be discussing the timeline for transition, proposed rules and enforcement, certification process, the “ticket to ride” program, and will be available to answer any questions pertaining to recreational riding at Matheson and rider’s future needs “wish list”.

Local shops, industry members, and instructors are encouraged to attend, however for discussions pertaining to future commercial watersports activities at Matheson, please schedule an appointment with Adventure Sports Miami by emailing info@adventuresportsmiami.com. Instructors wishing to teach in the park are also invited to apply.

Let’s please put our best foot forward to thank the Mr. West for his support of kiteboarding, and introduce ourselves to Mr. Deallo Johnson. A large showing of local riders would be an excellent way to thank the Miami-Dade County Parks. With out their vision and support, access at this scenic venue would surely be in jeopardy. See you there."

and

"Matheson Kiteboarding Rules - May 21, 2010

General:

1. Beginning Kitesurfers must obtain adequate instruction by professionally accredited kite instructors; and
2. All individuals intending to launch and/or land a kite at Matheson Hammock Park must obtain appropriate certification, provide acceptable proof of same and display corresponding streamer. Streamers are issued at the Matheson Watersports concession.
3. No kiteboarding instruction is allowed except those authorized by and designated to do so by the Matheson Hammock Concession without exception.

Certification / Streamer guidelines:

1. Orange Streamer: Signifies beginner taking lessons who must be accompanied by authorized and certified kite surfing instructor. Also riders that are post lesson, i.e. practicing body dragging / kite skills after receiving certified instruction. All orange streamers are only allowed in the official instructional area identified on the Matheson Riding Map. All riders shall extend right of way to kites displaying orange streamers.
2. Blue Streamer: Signifies experienced Local rider with Level 3 IKO or PASA certification.
3. Green Streamer: Signifies experienced Visiting Rider with Level 3 IKO or PASA certification.

4. Kite responsibly and at your own risk. You are solely responsible for the welfare and safety of others who may be impacted by your kiting. NEVER ride with inappropriate gear or beyond your abilities, launch in storms or excessively gusty conditions. Be aware of changing conditions, land early before hazardous weather arrives and remember “distance is your friend”.
5. It is the responsibility of all Matheson riders to inform others of the riding rules at Matheson and help to encourage all kiters to obey them.

Launching and Landing:

6. Launching or landing is only permitted in “launch and land zone” as identified on Matheson Riding Map.
1. Launching: When launching riders must maintain a “safety buffer” between themselves and land of at least 50 ft. and more as dictated by conditions.
2. Landing: Riders must dis-board when entering the “Launching and Landing Zone”. Upon dis-boarding communicate with a landing assistant and proceed toward the landing zone with the kite low. Be prepared to safely depower your kite at all times while launching and landing. All Matheson riders are encouraged to competently assist other riders with launching and landing without delay.
7. Incoming kiters wishing to land kites must allow launching kites to proceed first.
8. The use of a kite leash is mandatory.
9. Grounded kites must weighted sufficiently. If left unattended, lines must be wound on bar to avoid entanglement.

On the Water:
10. Riders choosing to either walk offshore to launch kites or that are walking in with kite in hand MUST wind lines on the bar. Bars cannot be left trailing behind a kite as entanglement can occur with other riders resulting in injury to one or both parties.
11. Riders on Starboard tack (right hand forward) have right of way over Port tack riders (left hand forward).
12. Riders that are jumping must keep clear of all others and have no rights regardless of their tack.
13. Riders must not pass with in 2 kite line lengths of any other individuals in the water including but not limited to kayakers, windsurfers, swimmers, boaters, and fishermen.

Kent Marinkovic
President
Adventure Sports, Inc."


MORE about the new kiting concession at:
http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=9657

Last edited by RickI; 05-21-2010 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 05-23-2010, 02:08 PM
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Kent,

I think it is great that kiteboarding in Miami is finding ways to insure access for many years to come.

On that note it amazes me that there have been no responses to this thread positive or negative.
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:25 PM
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Considering past events at the launch, accidents, guys getting stuff out of cars with kites flying, congestion, lessons mixed with riders, it should be a great improvement on things. Many thanks to Kent and all the folks at ASM for doing this.

A thought about the lack of comment. It may be related to why these new procedures are necessary in the first place, rider apathy. Apathy can be at the root of access problems in many areas. Let someone else deal with it, well fortunately it looks like someone will and they are putting a lot of thought and effort into it as well.
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:30 PM
troubleshooter troubleshooter is offline
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A weekday meeting at that time in Miami traffic is impossible. Are there other options?
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:21 PM
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I hear you, I am still planning on coming down from two counties away, baby willing. Miami traffic is tough! A summary of the meeting will be posted for those that can't make it. Comments, concerns, ideas can be posted here or sent directly to ASM.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickI View Post
Considering past events at the launch, accidents, guys getting stuff out of cars with kites flying, congestion, lessons mixed with riders, it should be a great improvement on things. Many thanks to Kent and all the folks at ASM for doing this.

A thought about the lack of comment. It may be related to why these new procedures are necessary in the first place, rider apathy. Apathy can be at the root of access problems in many areas. Let someone else deal with it, well fortunately it looks like someone will and they are putting a lot of thought and effort into it as well.
Not sure why you guys are so surprised with the silence around here....
The "apathy monster" has been running wild around here for what, 4 years now?
Our launches in Tampa Bay definitely show the overall lack of care or concern by anybody to do anything the past few years. The only rule established here is to protect your own image and don't say nothin' about nothin'. In that regard, we've had massive success.

My thought on the new concession:
Personally, I think its the best option for that area, and once again proves the need for standards and instructor training, such as IKO or PASA. I would have preferred to see a more industry neutral, collaborative solution myself, but remain hopeful the respect for quality instruction grows as a result of this.
I can also see the other side of the coin, where some people might view this as a silent backdoor takeover of a riding spot by a retailer, and if you're not in the ASM fan club, you're outta luck (and/ or out of a job), but once again, I am in support of regulation down there and wish them the best.

One might also logically forsee a run by other retailers to stake their claim at other spots, which raises this question in the back of my mind:
Had I done this at Ft. Desoto several years ago when things clearly started going downhill in our area, would you guys be as congratulatory?
No response necessary because I'm 100% certain of your answer, and yes, I did look into it, decided I wasn't going to be "that guy", and subsequently chose to focus my efforts on other ways to help the sport.

In closing, I would like to again give props to Kent for stepping up to help restore access, and to say to those who are "too reserved or refined" to call out a kook, unqualified instructors, or stand up for your spots:
"Look on the bright side, at least you didn't damage that squeaky clean, alias internet forum public image of yours...Nice streamer, BTW, it matches your dress."
I look forward to seeing how this plays out.
Un-apathetically and always truthfully yours,
-KTB
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Old 05-24-2010, 12:58 PM
kent kent is offline
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Thanks for the comments. Regarding the meeting time, in an effort to insure that all feel welcome, we made the decision to hold the meeting in a public area as apposed to ASM. Additionally, we were also trying to make the meeting convenient for Park staff as well and therefore 6 P.M. was as late as we could start. I agree that traffic at this time is horrible, but this is the best that we can do for now.

While we hope to have a large group on hand to show our appreciation to the Matheson officials, anyone that’s not able to attend will easily find all pertinent information online and at the concession trailer.

Regarding the management of this venue, I highly doubt that any non-interested party would have volunteered to manage the venue with little potential to re-coup costs, etc. Additionally, as the trailer must be there 7 days per week (windy or not) this might not have been too attractive to many groups. As only a small handful of instructors have even bothered with getting certified to teach, it's a stretch to expect that they would have obtained the proper insurance, captains licenses, permits, etc. to become a long-term and successful management entity with in the park. Aside from the organization required to do this properly, the implementation of management at this venture required a significant start up cost. Computers, generators, compressors, trailers, automobiles, and boats all needed to be purchased in order to accomplish our mission. There is a financial risk involved, but to our organization it's worth it. We have more invested in the industry than any other entity in Florida (and likely the United States). Preserving access is vital to all that we do and it's a responsibility that we take very seriously. All recreational riders that want to continue to ride great spots like Crandon Beach Park and Matheson Hammock will benefit by these efforts.

In short, the issue remains that "self policing" of the venue has never worked. Just in the last week, 1 kite flew into the kiddy pool (this was a beginner taking a $39 lesson that ended up getting away from his “instructor” and had to emergency release his kite), and 1 rider that found himself down wind of the normal riding venue decided to climb the rocks with his kite in the air and walk though the kiddy pool exiting to the north (this can NEVER happen). Saturday was the final straw that could have (or may have) broken the camels back. A rider that clearly wasn't ready to be riding on his own kited through the no kite zone and then fell resulting in dragging over the rocks directly to the east of the launch zone. He landed in the parking lot, hit the side of Francisco’s truck (resulting in a dent), and then hit another car resulting in a larger dent. This necessitated 2 police cars and an emergency trip via ambulance for the rider. No word on his status yet, but broken arm and foot are likely according to those that were closest. A similar accident resulted in a fatality at this park not long ago. The guidelines presented would have prevented all of these incidents.

After learning of Saturday's accident, I made the decision to move the trailer to Matheson to allow riders to get used to the idea and to check the spacing required for the operation for a final time. I sat and watched riders the entire day. While some meager attempts were made to inform people of the "no ride" zone directly to the east of the launching area, people didn't have any real authority to enforce it. Riders were walking with their kites high above their heads only 2-3 feet from parking lot and curbs. The same girl rode back and fourth though the zone as did many other riders. The Park has repeatedly asked that this no be done. They not only wish to avoid getting riders hurt, but also those that are walking on the path around the kiddy pool (keep in mind that the Park is for ALL, not only kiters). While watching on Saturday, I witnessed 4 separate kite wraps, 2 of which happened in the "no ride" zone. One kite wrap happened only half a kite lines lengths from the parking lot. With our management of this venue, potentially disastrous incidents like these will not happen. Reasonable riders that are simply looking to enjoy riding at Matheson will have no problems with the new guidelines or the enforcement of them. Those that are only interest in showboating meters from the parking lot or those that are unwilling to abide by the reasonable guidelines presented should probably ride elsewhere. We can not allow the actions of a few to endanger any individual or threaten our riding access in Miami or any other location for that matter.

Lastly, while no one wants to be “that guy” (just ask Tim or Lock, who thanklessly undertook the task for several seasons resulting in continued access, when closing the venue was probably easier for the County), clearly someone has to be as our riding access depends on it. We have come a long way with respect to equipment, etc., but we have never been able to jump the "self police" hurdle. The new management of the venue will be better for all recreational riders regardless of which shop they like or which brand they choose to ride. Give us some time to work through the initial implementation as there are sure to be a few bugs. After things are running along, let us know about the things you like and please inform us of those that you don’t. Matheson is YOUR beach so let’s all help to protect it. Hope to see you Wednesday night.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:06 PM
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To all that read this.

All I am saying about the silence is this.....

People make announcements/suggestions on here and the next thing I know there are 10000 views and a stream of threads with all kinds of opinions. In the end, more lines get drawn, and no progress is made.

There have been many suggestions on this forum in the past regarding signs, streamers, associations, rules.....the list goes on.

Clearly, by using the forum as a tool to try and regulate has its limitations and personally I haven't seen much progress over the years in any type of organized front. The Tampa Bay mentality has been very much defensive and not offensive.

I think the folks in Miami have finally realized that if they are going to ride for the long haul, that they must get on the offensive and make it happen.

Props to Miami Kiteboarding and ASM for taking the leadership role that is required to maintain access is S. Florida. With that said, it should be a reminder that this is no guarantee. If there is any question about that, I am sure Neil of Tiki Beach can elaborate on that subject.

I look at it this way. If I have to pay a yearly fee to be able to ride, that is a small price to pay. With that fee I am guaranteed access, someone is going to police the place for bad riding practice and insure quality certified instruction....then sign me up. Considering it cost an average of $75 per day to fly down a snowy mountain, "a ticket to ride" is such a small price to pay.

My only real complaint about this entire process is the certification process that will be required to ride spots. I say this because I have a friend that I taught to kiteboard that lives in Ft. Lauderdale. He wanted to ride so I sent him to Crandon Park knowing he needed to get a card. Long story short, he set up his kite, did one tack, and got his level 3 IKO card. He did not have to demonstrate much of anything to get certified. I sincerely hope that is not the norm and only the exception. I lost alot of respect that day to the adminstration at Crandon Park and their list of rules and regs. I hope that ASM can stick to their guns and not just give out cards and charge $$$ for access.
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:45 PM
greg meintjes greg meintjes is offline
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I would happily pay $75 a year to not have to be the guy who goes up to and talks to the kiters who are acting like jerks or riding in an unsafe manner. As for the certification, process I have found out that it generally does not take too much time talking and interacting with someone to determine if that person is a competent rider and able to be self sufficient when kiting or someone who is not. There are thousands of kiters out there that have no cards or certificates but are good competent kiters and I am sure that Kent and the guys will have a way to distinguish who is capable or not.

I wish them all the best with this as with all the problems they have up there this is a good thing for kiting. I just hope and do not think this will ever be necessary in Key West.

Greg
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:43 PM
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Great work Kent and ASM! I'm fully in support of the plan. I mostly ride at Crandon and what Cristoph and his crew have implemented over there has been working great. The "rules" are nothing new, just common sense things that everybody should be doing anyways. The only difference is that now there will be some means of official enforcement. I have seen many times at Crandon employees of Cristoph roaming the beach to make sure that kiters have their streamers, and calling people out if they do things that are idiotic. Self policing doesn't work b/c during during my precious riding time when time off from work actually corresponds to wind, I want to be on the water riding, not confronting riders acting unsafe. Matheson's launch is way smaller / more congested than Crandon's and there is much more potential for rider and bystanders to get hurt. Some semblance of official enforcement has worked well at Crandon and should stand to improve the situation at Matheson as well. I will be happy to pay a yearly fee to Kent and ASM for this service - not only to preserve the access, but also to help keep people safe. Now all we need is to get all the rocks off the beach and to truck in some sand. Matt.
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