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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2002 7:39 am 
Dear Phree,

I'm not Anonymous at all but I do share his point of view.. so here I'm Greg, I'm a french chap !!! do you want even my family name, back ground, sexual habit and so on.. then you can have at http://www.christophertasti.com

I'm not a pro and very far from it, I'm what people would call an intermediate, at least compare to all the people I'm ridding with (whom are most of all pros..) and I fully agree that pros and us are definitively not the same riders.. even if you see on pictures that most of the pro have no leash but a release system, who do you think does the R&D on safety system.. pros.. and I can guarantee you that most of the pro in both world tour and pkra are VERY concerned with safety.. and all of us have been very very affected by not only what happen to Silke (who one was one of us) but by every single accident which happen to any joe six pack kiteboarder !!! pros have even more risk on the water than us (amateur) for one very reason : they do spend a lot more time than us down in the water.. and they need to push all the time their limits to improve their skills.. never forget that if they want to carry on as a professionnal athlete, they definitively need to take care of their body, which implies taking care of their safety.. but this to be said, they have a lot more experience than us the joe public, they have better understanding of the riding situation and they can better foresee what's going on..

so please don't fire on the pros without even knowing or living with them !!! they are not the bunch of inconsious you seems to believe (some are, but certainly not the one you could believe, take example of Seb Catellan, he is certainly one of the craziest kiteboarder in town.. he does things you would even not dream in your worst nightmare, he can be portrayed as an insane guy.. and I can guarantee you that he is far from being that inconsious chap !!! otherwise he would be ALREADY dead !!!)
this to be said, please leave the pros alone, let them do their job and enjoy to see pics and videos at which we all dream and wish we would be there

until then, take care, fly high and be yourself... kiteboarding is not an attitude, it's a way of life !!!!

cheers


Greg
greg@christophertasti.com


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2002 9:11 am 
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what happend is destiny, but it wouldn't stop me from going out.
But we should calm down and think more about what can happen in certain situations.
"distance is your friend" should guide us all to avoid bad situations. Then we will have more relaxing sessions out there.
Kiteboarding is an extreme sport, but IMO very controlable and if you anticipate a lot you will never get hurt.
It is correct that we can do the extremest sport in the world, never have an injury but go over the street and a car runs over us.
You never know.

The pros have to push it every day and do a great job in developing not only more performance but also safety.
At least every rider should have a quick release, this should be a must. And it doesn't affect the riders style, but gives them a chance if thing are going wrong.

Toby


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2002 6:38 am 
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Dear Bob and Greg,

Am I just being paranoid or are you guys busting my balls?! :roll: In any case, I'd like to thank you for keeping things above the belt and not turning Kiteforum into the Flame Forum like we see elsewhere.

Take good care and keep having fun!

:cool:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2002 8:59 am 
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Quote:
In any case, I'd like to thank you for keeping things above the belt and not turning Kiteforum into the Flame Forum like we see elsewhere.


Thank you John for these words.
I hope it will stay this way, since there is no sense in writting anonymous BS and attacking someone from the kitecommunity personally.
But discussions are very important, so let's keep them serious.

Toby


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2002 3:22 am 
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Hey everyone. I see there are some pretty pissed people on the forum lately. I just got back from Cabarette. Awesome event. Amazing kiting. And yes as most of you studious kiters noticed no one at all wears a safety or helmet etc. There was alot of talk about Silke and her accident and after hearing from people who were there and watched it happen I think that the distances, time and forces involved may have prevented any safe escape for her sadly. I think that yes it is important for all the top riders to set a great example for others in all aspects of safety however as with all extreme sports it is up to the participants to determine their comfort zone and safety standards. I don't tell you how to drive or for that matter cross the street, both of which involve a far greater possibility of injury or death than kitesurfing. However I do respect your opinion and encourage you to set your own safety standards. I am sure however that by using such an accident to get you on your soap box is dissapointing to me and as the response you got indicated most other people too. If you saw or sailed anywhere near the level of the competitors you might understand how dificult it would be to be safetied to your gear and with the new manouvers it would be extremely dangerous to have a safety line to tangle yourself in. PS the guy who died in PR was wearing a safety leash on his kite and board and was a great swimmer and very comfortable in the water, aswell as being a great kid. Looking forward to more awesome kiting in the Gorge next month.
Aloha Royce.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2002 5:09 am 
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From what I have read and seen use of safety gear in other extreme sport competitions such as white water kayaking, hang gliding, parapante and even wakeboarding came only after enough casualties occurred. The excessive number of avoidable accidents and perhaps some lawsuits eventually prompted key parties to require the use of logical, minimum safety gear. It became abundantly clear in these activities that skill alone was not enough to reasonably assure safety. This conclusion has yet to be reached by many in kiteboarding. Once the safety gear requirements came about, the competitors adapted and otherwise got used to it and resumed competiting. The public, emulating the competitors and through other factors started to use safety gear by extension. As an obvious and predictable consequence, accidents resulted in fewer and less severe injuries.

I fear that things will soon return to business as ususal, it is human nature after all. Once enough avoidable or potentially avoidable accidents have occurred, change should come to kiteboarding as well. Making a reasoned, responsible choice to move in this direction now, in the absence of more accidents is probably asking too much. We have asked some of the competition organizers at any rate, haven't we.

So, personal choice will govern until more accidents and associated consequences occur. At some point safety reform should also come to kiteboarding competitions and spread by the example of leading riders to the rest of the kiteboarding community.

On a positive note I am seeing more signs of individual, non-competitive riders choosing to use safety gear based upon the accidents that they are hearing about. That is something to be grateful for as the evolution of this sport takes its natural course for better or worse.

Rick Iossi


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2002 7:35 am 
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It's clear that there are many varying opinions on the evolution of safety standards in kiteboarding. Our sport is starting to go through some major growing pains and we are being torn in two different directions.

On one hand, there is a groundswell of increased safety awareness and trends towards higher standards. Current and future aspects of this trend may lead to less injuries and deaths.

On the other hand, we want to keep things more free and not have so many rules and regulations. After all, who doesn't want to be free?!

Here is a freedom we can all agree on: We want to protect the freedom of our access rights and not lose more kite beaches. In the next years, the shear number of new kiteboarders will increase exponentially. As our numbers swell, so will our access problems. Whatever reasonable actions we can take as a kiteboarding community to protect our access rights should be discussed and seriously considered. Of course compromises will have to be made. Who knows what these will be? Time will tell. In the meantime, let's keep discussing the various aspects with an eye towards our common goals.

We're lucky to have so much diversity in our opinions about the necessary evolution of safety in kiteboarding. This is the place where compromises start. Real change takes time but unfortunately, time seems to be working against us in some ways. That's why people are being proactive and trying to get out ahead of anticipated problems associated with the exploding popularity of the sport.

So let's keep talking and not get mad and storm off into our separate camps and cast stones at one another. We're all kiteboarders and our sport is going through some growing pains. They'll likely get worse before they get better but hey, that's a natural part of evolution. In the meantime, let's stay on the same team and work together to protect the freedom of kiteboarding.

:cool:


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2002 2:09 pm 
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The following comments are not meant as disrespect or to be critical of these riders. The level of skill that the top tier pro riders command is astounding and worthy respect. Further more upon meeting several of these leading pro riders, I have found them to be likeable, intelligent and largely low key individuals.

My reason for making this posting is to try to address the reputation for infalability in pro riders and even advanced experienced riders are popularly conceived to have. A common opinion is that these individuals don't make serious mistakes so they can replace safety gear that the rest of us might need with skill.

I was privaledged to see several riders in the top tier in Cabarete, compete previously. The normal effortless execution of complex tricks in sometimes challenging conditions was commonplace. In those past competions I saw two of the top five riders in the Cabarete event lose kite control several times. In light to moderate unchallenging winds and 1 to 2 ft. seas, I saw both individuals drop their kites on the ground or water five times. These kites were not stalled by lulls. One of the riders was dragged across the sand a short distance and dropped his kite two more times within the hour. We all have uncharacteristic bad days at times. The other competitor was unable to relaunch his kite twice in relaunchable wind conditions, as it drifted towards some bystanders. At another competiton one of these riders caught his kite in a tree by coming too close to shore and not focusing on things around the kite.

So my point in this is not to question the skill of these top riders which will far exceed anything that I will be cabable of in this lifetime, but to try to pop the bubble of "infalability." We all make mistakes. Most of the time dealing with them is no serious problem particularly for the best riders in the world. If you lose control of your kite, lines are on the ground/water or a runaway kite is released, bad things can and will eventually happen given enough time. Silke's accident was a very sad example of how things can go wrong even in a field of very skilled competitors.

None of these guys use leashes and I agree past leash systems would really dampen the style of the competitors and put them and potentially others at risk of injury. There is serious need for design development improvements in leashes, we all agree on that. Some new systems have been released and others are under development. I think we all need to backup skill with safety gear because we all make mistakes at some point.

Rick Iossi


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