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popeye 09-30-2007 10:12 PM

Jakester, tell your wife not to worry :) This sport is not as dangerous as a lot of people like to make it sound. Sure you can get hurt, but you are more likely to get hurt on a motorcycle or even a skateboard. 99% of the time, if you pay attention to the weather and use common sense, you are not going to get hurt. I've been riding for almost 3 years now and have had only one injury (which was not all that serious). As with anything, if you drop your guard and take unnecessary risks, you are very likely to get injured.

A lesson at the causeway? Oh boy, I hope that is not true. That is quite possibly one of the worst locations for a lesson I can think of. Most of us would not even consider riding out there, except for a few diehards who are stuck in tampa I guess.

Gui 09-30-2007 10:20 PM

Please Do Not Spread A Rumor

Originally Posted by jakester (Post 23951)

What I Didn't Quite Understand, Is That It Appeared As Though This Small Group Was Involved In Some Sort Of Lesson. One Guy, Who Appeared To Be The Most Knowlegable Of The Group (maybe Instructor?) Kept Waving The One Kiter Away From The Power Lines. Why They Were At This Spot With These Wind Conditions Is Bewildering To Me...


bryanleighty 10-01-2007 09:20 AM


Originally Posted by Gui (Post 23957)

I agree that we all need to not jump to a conclusion..

Gui.. do you know more of what happened?

Todd RT 10-01-2007 09:38 AM


Originally Posted by bryanleighty (Post 23923)
does anyone know him or know if we can find out how he is?

I was thinking about this last night. I wish we could send him a card or a message or something. It would be cool if he knew we were ALL thinking of him!!

popeye 10-01-2007 03:01 PM


Originally Posted by Gui (Post 23957)

A witness suggested it looked like a lesson was happening at the same time (among some other riders) ....

Sean B 10-01-2007 07:54 PM


Originally Posted by popeye (Post 23984)
A witness suggested it looked like a lesson was happening at the same time (among some other riders) ....

That would be a false assumption.

Steve-O 10-01-2007 09:17 PM

The accident has affected me greatly. On behalf of the staff at Waterports West we hope Chris a speedy recovery and our prayers are with him and his family in some tough times ahead.

Chris and his mom got some gear from us back in the early summer and headed to Lake Michigan to spend time at their summer home. They had already made plans to enroll Chris in extensive kite camps at Broneah Kiteschool. Late summer Chris called me and said he had a great time and was enjoying the sport to his fullest. He was staying upwind, doing powered transitions, and already perfecting his jumping technique. We all know kids learn quickly.

Assessing risk in this sport is the key to kiting safely. With time it becomes easier. Chris was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I have personally been to the north side of the Dunedin causeway and would never consider kiting there. The risks are too high for me personally. If the wind is north I go to IRB. If it is Northeast I head south or out on the boat. It is tough for the north county folks to ride a Northeast as the options are very limited.

I educate my students especially North County folks about the Causeway and DO NOT recommend kiting the north side of the causeway due to the proximity of the power lines. If you have never been there, imagine East Beach having power lines just across the street. They are that close. I have already spoken with some kiters in that area about placing a self ban on that side. I don't feel anyone should consider kiting there. I may stand alone with this viewpoint, but so be it. Many of us have warned locals about kiting there, and it sets a bad example for new riders making one feel safe. I know we all feel a bit more comfortable about going out when there are at least a few kiters on the water. You feel like you have some backup just in case or that the spot is an "approved" spot to ride.

Correct me if I am wrong, but this has been the worst accident in the bay area to date for kiting. This young man almost lost his life and has a long recovery ahead of him. We can't change the past, but we can change the future. For anyone considering riding this spot, DON'T. Do the right thing and travel somewhere else. It may involve a drive, or not riding at all. Get a kayak and paddle 5 minutes to Caladesi.

Just one more thing to think about, a kiter got his lines in the same power lines just months ago. Fortunately, the lines were cut and a bridge was never made. The kiter's only consequence was getting a new set of lines, but it could have been another bad accident if not death.

The sport is growing and spots are being explored, but let's do the right thing here and use the causeway safely. It is great place to ride but has about every hazard in the book. Power lines and kites don't mix. It is a recipe for disaster.

bryanleighty 10-02-2007 05:56 AM


Originally Posted by popeye (Post 23984)
A witness suggested it looked like a lesson was happening at the same time (among some other riders) ....

Ya.. but the guy that said that is new to the sport and might be mistaken..

could have just been a couple guys trading off a kite or one talking to the other as he was standing around before riding.. I think we have all done that before.

my only point in clarifying this 100% is if it was a lesson, to ID the person giving the lesson and ensuring that they never work in this area again.

Roadancer 10-02-2007 07:00 AM

Steve-O, any info on where we can send cards, well wishes, donations, etc?

bryanleighty 10-02-2007 07:56 AM

just a thought ...

this is a great example of why its so important to stress that local riders get lessons from local instructors.

yes you can make a fun trip to cabarette or another exotic location and learn to kite.. but by learning from a local you get inside knowlege on riding spots and weather conditions.

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