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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2002 3:28 pm 
I debated about reposting this here as it caused more than a little heated debate in another forum. However, it is a problem in South Africa and Florida and I suspect that it may be a problem in many other parts of the of the world. We need to work together to maintain our access to this great sport, even if it means changing the way we ride, a bit. That said, here goes...

I had wondered if this phenomena occurs in other parts of the world and I see
that it has visited South Africa and Florida in the USA at least. We all
need to work these things out because if we don't someone else will, likely
in law enforcement and/or the judiciary. Incidents and accidents will always
happen in this sport. If we have enough avoidable ones, we can start to kiss
our access goodbye and go golfing or something. Personally, I am saving golf
for my 60's or perhaps later.

I am constantly impressed by the willingness of experienced, good riders to
totally ignore regulations, kitesurfing guidelines, advice and simple good
sense by coming too close to shore, bystanders, other kiters and each other
to pop jumps and tricks. Here we have had several yanked off the water near
shore by lofting and subsequently slammed into parked cars. Have these
experiences moved the better riders further offshore as a group, sadly, no.
The rush and self-gratification of showing off your moves to people at large
is apparently just too overpowering. That and apparently over-confidence and
denial that things will REALLY go wrong, dominate. This is ignoring all that
has already gone wrong of course to good riders, strange. Many of these
folks are intelligent, reasonable people under normal circumstances, stranger
still.

I feel that the two greatest threats are well intended but untrained newbies
who have avoided instruction and/or careful study before going through the
learning curve, hundreds of times with a full sized traction kite. The second
serious threat to access is by the riders who are most able to assure that it
stays open, the capable experienced riders. They threaten the sport by
setting the stage for incidents and accidents through irresponsible riding.
Not using leashes upwind of others, coming too close to others, jumping close
and upwind of others, riding the edge too close to others.

As far as I am concerned, go offshore, well offshore and pop 90 ft. jumps, do 1500 degree rotations, do those most insane, gratifying extreme moves ever known, just do
them without putting others and access to this sport at risk.

You are very capable of doing it, more than most. Do it for yourselves, you
probably don't want to be forced to go golfing either. Don't wait for enough
incidents, bystander incidents and beach closings to form a big enough 4 x4 to
get our attention on this. Fly responsibly, while we still can.

Rick Iossi

> This is clearly a territorial issue mostly present in those parties who
> feels that they have progressed and are better than someone else / and or
> needs to show off.
>
> At the end of the day you have to use common sense. Don't go showing off
> your skills in a bay where there is mostly beginners, and if you are a
> beginner don't go kiting in a crowded area with lots of pros.
>
> But even if you have been kiting for months, kiting in a area where there
> is
> lots of riders is a different story altogether, and the only way to learnis
> to go out there and do it.
>
> If a accident happens after someone who is more advanced than me speeds
> towards me and sees I cannot move out of the way and there is a collision
> it
> is the guy who is more advanced's fault.
>
> If you are a pro and go kiting in a beginners bay without respecting other
> people/ kiters, it's like speeding through a road where there is children /
> elderly people.
>
> EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT TO BE IN THE SEA. BEGINNERS AND PRO's ALIKE! NO ONE
> OWNS THE SEA! So even if people have to be slightly more aware of beginners
> when they are in the water, so be it. Rather than trying to terrify
> beginners, why don't the so called advanced riders rather help the
> beginners
> out?
>
> That's the last from me on this topic.
>
> Support your local kitesurf association !


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2002 5:25 pm 
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If the people are putting others at risk then eventually something will go wrong and you spots will be closed. Its up to the top riders and instructors at your spot to ensure people behave to expectations. Make a flyer with the rukes as agreed upon by the people that have been kiting at the local spot the longest and put it on everyones cars and post it for everyone to read. If something happens at your spot its not the person who caused the accident. Its yours and my fault for not stopping them earlier. Most people doing the stupid thiongs either are too stupid to realise it and need you to tell them or know its wrong but hey if no one says anything then why not? Tell them today and save your spot fro tomorrow.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2002 6:19 pm 
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Location: World (KF Admin)
we ALL have to ride more cautious.
this includes pros, advanced, newbees, instructors and other people doing sports on the water. Specially the windsurfers try to push us away and riding too close and sometimes they don't accept the rules on the water. They also have to anticipate more or due to a lack of information about kitesurfing they don't know, we have to tell them.

But one thing I have to add:
our sport shouldn't be judged by accidents happening and maybe because of this be banned. What about snowboarding and skiing?
So many accidents happen and very often someone is running into someone else. Why doesn't anyone critisize this sport more?
We have to keep an eye on the media, since I think they just want the bad news from us. They should do more reports about it to tell the people about the risks and the fun of it.

Of course, the kiters themself have take care to avoid accidents and not compare with other sports. This just came to my mind! :smile:


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2002 9:38 pm 
Royce and Toby, thanks for your input. Royce, your comments are logical and should work. Unfortunately, my experience to date has not supported that logical, reasonable approaches involving preparation of guidelines and voluntary compliance, will necessarily work adequately. That may not bode well at all for our sport but time will tell.

My experience has been, even with some of the local leaders in the sport, to acknowledge the guidelines and even help to prepare them and then to discount or ignore aspects when it comes to their riding. Some have even personally been involved in these accidents but still they don't change, they can handle it!?

I talk with riders, say we are about to be banned here and would you please stay outside of the swim area to help to avoid that from happening, which is required by law anyway. They agree and comply, for a short while and then are back at it again. I would suggest that this is an American personality quirk but lots of these guys are from Europe and Latin America as well as from the USA. I suspect it is a human nature problem involving self perception in an "extreme sport" or something equally bizarre. From that I wonder if other areas around the world have the same self defeating phenomena going on. If enough riders get onboard with enforcing the guidelines it is my hope that peer pressure will compell the more experienced guideline abusers to comply. What have other folks experienced out there with compliance with kitesurfing guidelines?

Rick Iossi


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2002 1:30 am 
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Sorry to hear it. It's too bad that youre top guys would set a bad example. Without them helping to patrol the rules you're in for a hard fight. Perhaps the best thing that can happen is to get the local governing agency (swimming area police)involed before they simply throw you off the beach. Don't let them ruin it for everyone. A few citations issued will certainly staighten up the locals. We have a great relationship gere with the DLNR. They came by and told us the rules and what the fines were and when everyone heard how serious it was they all started to follow the rules. SAdly it sounds like something bad will have to happen before they get the picture there. Maybee you could take your friends and find a new spot and make sure the rules are clear for everyone from the start. Good luck. R


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2002 8:19 am 
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Hi Royce,

what exactly did the DLNR tell you?

Greetings
Toby


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2002 12:13 pm 
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They said that anyone seen sailing through the swimming areas or close to swimmers would be liable to the same fines as jetskis and boats: ie up to $500 fine and confiscated equipment until after a court appearance to explain yourself. If there is a reaason to go through the swimarea, ie broken gear or emergency, make sure your kite is in your hands. They never enforced it but gave a few notorious ridders a good scare. I think though more than anything the top riders here love their sailing spot and enforce the rules in large groups.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2002 2:53 pm 
Thanks for the ideas. I hope that it is only a matter of time and persistent pressure to bring most folks onboard with these simple but essential precautions. I suspect that scuba diving, hang gliding even snowboarding went through similar evolutions. Some of the lead riders are very responsible, unfortunately not all are, yet. The area in question (Miami), has at least four jurisdictions involved at four of the key launches. This is a highly populated area with lots of cross user pressure for these beach and water areas. We have successfully completed negotiations with one jurisdiction and managed to get a ban reversed there. Now I guess we need to try to prempt bans in the other three jurisdictions. Things have been moving in that direction for a while. I think I will go kitesurfing, 40 miles away up the cost where these issues largely don't exist, yet!

Rick


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