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DanB 08-20-2007 10:27 PM

Injury at Skyway
Just wanted to report on an injury at skyway tonight-

Friend of mine from work who came down to watch was on the scene and had this to report-please add or clarify if you have more info-

Newer rider (unknown) launched and proceeded to kite north of the beach towards the rocks.

Jumped and/or lost control and landed / dragged into rocks.

The kite went across the road and landed in the median. Kite was recovered -no reports of traffic accidents as a result.

Rider sustained multiple injuries to head, pelvis and shoulder. Ambulance was called and was taken to bayfront.

My friend gave his board to Randy and Randy was going to try to work out getting the riders truck somewhere to store.

Rider did not appear to be from the area. The rider gave us a phone number to call of a friend- we called and left a detailed phone message.

Please add any additional details and/or comments.

TampaBay Noob 08-20-2007 11:48 PM

Geez...Good thing that kite didn't cause any accidents. There'd be more than one person heading to bayfront tonight. I heard one of the guys at the skyway saying this "new kiter" asked Randy about taking lessons but Randy was busy and couldn't accomodate him. Sounded as though the kiter went out to teach himself? This is just what I heard, so take it for what it's worth.

Unimog Bob 08-21-2007 04:54 AM

Dan, was this the grey and red Monkey kitethat we saw by the rocks? That one looked like it only crossed the frontage road before it was brought under control. There were at least four very green riders mixing it up with everyone else, all with larger kites up. I had to leave early, but the situation looked like a ticking time bomb ready to go off when the East wind switched on. I did my riding way out by the tip of the sand bar. I hope who ever it was is OK and makes a full recovery. I also hope a few of the other newcomers got a good look and learn a lesson. I'd hate to lose our access over stupidity


Erick 08-21-2007 06:06 AM

I saw the rider (I’d never seen his face before) being dragged out of control towards the rocks near by where trees are. His Monkey kite eventually crashed against the fence and threatened to relaunch several times, the rider seemed to be badly injured at that time because he was not making any efforts to regain control of the situation. I was standing at the beach probably 60 feet away from the incident and the wind was approximately 17 knots. Luckily, the driver of a mini van stopped and grabbed the kite, I belive at that time the kite was already in the middle of the side road. I couldn’t imagine the kite relunching at that moment it would have been catastrophic and most probably would it have end up in the middle of 275. According to Randy the rider inquired about lessons earlier and also after the incident he was shaking and couldn’t move one of his arms also appeared to have a severely lower back wound. Three ambulances and a police car showed up at the scene minutes later. Not a pretty sight at all.

Skyway Scott 08-21-2007 06:39 AM

Bob. Quicker than I thought.

BigR 08-21-2007 06:58 AM


newbies riding at the sketchiest launch in town at night?

The sun was definitely still up, lets not spread disinformation if you weren't there

Skyway Scott 08-21-2007 07:02 AM

I hope he is not hurt too bad, sounds like otherwise. I too feel bad, but honestly, am somewhat pissed. I was just telling Bob the prior night this was coming real soon.

Listen guys, this is just my opinion, but one that I feel strongly about and hope to convince others to see my way. I know Steve and some others already agree, but I wish more would act out against "cowboys" trying to learn on their own.
If you see a guy who is obviously clueless (I don't know if he was, 'cuz I wasn't there) trying to do stuff on his own, don't hesitate to point him out and tell others and then as a group say "hell no, you ain't riding" or "hey, get the hell off the water" in a firm but informative/caring way.

It's one thing to be nice to new riders who are struggling with the basics yet go out aways from shore, do the right thing, and aren't totally clueless.
It's a whole other ball of wax to tolerate a "time bomb" and allow him to jeopardize his own health and our riding spots.

I wasn't there, so I have no clue what this guy looked like or if it was obvious.
I noticed there were a couple FHP officers just hanging around Sunday night watching.
That spot (SW) is one that could be closed the fastest, imo, because it is property of D.O.T. and we had a kite about 4 years ago go in the road. We were told point blank that the next kite in the road would be the last.

What kind of board was he on? I know a guy that showed up earlier with a particular brand board asking about lessons and had already purchased a board and seemed very gung-ho.

Sad story and hope he is not hurt too bad. I really do believe this is one area (totally clueless guys showing up.. if this was the case) where we need to agree to ban together and say "no ride today, buddy" regardless of the naive guy's "rights".

Does this sound reasonable? I personally have zero problem approaching a clueless guy and politely telling him no way. If he then attempts further kiting, it simply won't happen if I am there because of the obvious and inherent threats.

BigR 08-21-2007 07:20 AM

There were at least 4 other learners there, maybe two were taking lessons from Randy. The others seemed on their own.

It was'nt obvious at first that this guy was a hazard. That's the thing, a new guy shows up and doesn't kook out until he is in the water way away from you with his board ( too far to yell at ). Out of the 3-4 newbs out there he was the only one that kept going downwind off the "ledge" from where you can still walk back upwind from.

Skyway Scott 08-21-2007 07:52 AM

Yep, sounds like you are spot on Raul.

It sounds like this kiter launched and got out in next to nothing winds, was messing around in the light stuff and as soon as the wind filled in (moderately quickly, as always on these easts) he had a pretty big kite up and got whacked pretty quickly. Doesn't sound like this could have been stopped.

Unimog Bob 08-21-2007 08:13 AM

I think part of the issue is you can buy a kite and get a lesson right at the skyway. This is not a good beginner spot! If you are under close supervision by a good instructor maybe, but to get one or two hours and a new 15M kite and expect to ride there safely is insane!!! There is some implied permission that it is a learning spot if you got a lesson there. If you can't confidently water start and go directly upwind you have no business riding at any skyway launch unless you are under direct supervision.

I admire Randy and Cindy for working hard to create a successful business. I see them both as friends, since they don't post here I'm going to try to talk to them about encouraging their customer to practice and develop their skills at other sites. I can't imagine what kiting would be like if we get banned at the skyway, but unless we change the way it is being used it will be and soon.

Oh, and having a certificate doesn't make you a good instructor and teaching is about more than making money. Having the knowledge and skills are much more important, and more so to genuinely care about the student and creating a positive outcome.

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