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BeefJerky 08-26-2008 01:10 PM

Leadership on the Beach???
I think the Kiteboarding Florida community. Got real lucky that Kevin came through this to live another day.

My problem,
Is the lack of leadership from the senior riders on the beach that day.
Someone should have made the call - no riding - period....

It's just a matter of time that it's going to happen again and again and again.
Until we have another death in South Florida...

Kevin is a nice guy. I know him.
But, Everyone in Fort Lauderdale knows that Kevin can be alittle reckless.
And from my observations. He has had past safety and rescue situations.
Neil knows this. Most of the guys know this....

The interview. WOW
What got me. Was the attitude Kevin had.
You would think he would be alittle humble from the experience. Not at all...

Going forward...
It comes down to leadership and the need for it. On every kite beach.
I hope the guys on Fort Lauderdale come up with some guidelines soon...
The location is the focal point to our sport. Everyone is watching..


bryanleighty 08-26-2008 03:36 PM

not to dismiss what you are saying in any way but that topic o' conversation gets a lot of time on our local boards and its overwhelming obvious that it is needed and would be received well.. but rarely gets done when on the beach.

i myself admit fully to seeing stuff happen at the launches and not do a damn thing about it and then complain on the forum. its a very nasty habit that i hope i never do again but make no promises.

there are so many layers to this conversation .. but the fact is that most of the riders that would tell someone to put down their kites are probably out there riding themselves...with the turtles.

this is def. not always the case, but just one of the layers of problem.

this sport is very easy to do and it also packs a wallop when shit goes sour. thats a receipe for doom.

i know our core group of local instructors have got their stuff together.. they teach safety and responsibility... i dont think there is much more anyone can do without some serious rules and restrictions.

again.. not trying to put your comments down.. its just too often a "someone should have..." situation.

my pledge to my fellow riders is to do my best to step in when i see any behavior that is questionable. its the best i can do and i hope others that dont do this already will do the same...

Danimal8199 08-26-2008 04:58 PM

Kevin Kearney a kitesurfing instructor
this article says Kevin is a kitesurfing instructor:

LSUkiter 08-26-2008 05:52 PM


Originally Posted by Danimal8199 (Post 36305)
this article says Kevin is a kitesurfing instructor:

I think thats a misprint. I believe its meant to say douchebag sucker.

Sorry, the more I watch the video and read about this dude, the more I dislike him. It also doesn't help when the people at work tell me not to kite into a wall once an hour.

toby wilson 08-26-2008 07:04 PM

So let me get this straight...

Originally Posted by Danimal8199 (Post 36305)
this article says Kevin is a kitesurfing instructor:

This guy SELF-TAUGHT HIMSELF, IS AN INSTRUCTOR, OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT practice what any good instructor should be preaching to their students, and made NO MENTION of taking lessons being the ONLY way to learn as a beginner in our sport?!?!?!? Every new article or interview I see makes me shake my head more...what a mess...

H 08-26-2008 10:12 PM

Sorry if this is a bit long winded, but I feel like I need to put my 5 cents in.

I wasn't there at Kevin's accident and I don't know him well enough to form a valid opinion on his actions before or after it. From what I've seen and heard the accident was totally avoidable from a number of standpoints, there is no question about that. Nonetheless it is still tragic, especially if he is suffering brain damage, which I'll defer to Rick's opinion on. Regardless a human life is more important than preserving access to our spots, although I don't think it will come to that, and either way I know I'll still find a way to kite even if it means breaking the law. I know this has a lot of people upset, but let's try to keep in perspective. I know I've had a lot of near kitemares that I only escaped through as much luck as skill, and I'm sure many of you have too.

I remember a session I had before I moved out to California. This would have been 02 or so, with a 35 knot ENE wind out at East Beach. Now keep in mind in 02 35 knot's was about the top end of an almost sane kiter's realm. I grabbed my 8 meter fuel I had originally bought for my wife, and my Lightwave Dave which was the only board I had at the time. I was the only one at the beach at first, but a couple of younger riders who I'd not met showed up. In 02 there were only about a dozen of us so I knew they either weren't local or weren't kiters. This was confirmed by their pumping up of a 12 meter kite, and a short conversation which pretty much consisted of them telling me they bought the kite from a friend and had a couple of body dragging sessions with him and me telling them that they would not be kiting that day. Jeff Weiss showed up about that time and reiterated what I said before giving me a launch. I rode for a while and had a killer session before packing up and driving home. As I was driving toward the bridge to get out of Desoto I see that same kite over the trees in Whiskey Bay to right. Needless to say that's not a good situation, luckily all that happened was the rider got dragged toward the boy scout area by the bridge and was able to drop the kite behind the trees and only suffered a long walk of shame back to the car (sorry no spectacular crash). Nonetheless they did learn a bit of a lesson and thankfully did so without injury. I also learned a lesson. Simply telling someone not to do something is not the most effective way to stop them from doing it. As a father I'm learning this lesson continually now, but that's another story.

Since then I've had countless instances of putting myself in inconvenience and some personal danger rescuing kiters from bad decisions or even bad luck. I've also had some good and even gratifying experiences assisting and even teaching, for free, new or inexperienced kiters. I'm not saying this to toot my own horn. What I'm saying is that no matter how hard we try to prevent stupid actions, they will happen anyway, and also we will have much more success in such preventions by being amiable helpful and even sacrificing some of our own time or wind or ego in assisting those that need it. For instance, some people will just blow you off if you walk up and say, you can't fly that kite here, but will respond if you walk up and say "that's a huge kite for this wind, I've been riding X number of years and I'd be afraid to put that up, are you a pro?". If they still put up the kite, then don't just leave them, stand by to be ready to assist and or rescue. If it's real bad then position yourself in the right place to grab them, or the kite if you can do so without putting yourself in danger. If you have to be ready to cut the lines, you can even let them know what your doing, but do so in a friendly helpful manner. If they honestly see you as trying to help them rather than just trying to prevent them from joining the sport, they are a lot more likely to respond. Also we all know lessons are the way to learn, but some people will spend their fun fund on the gear and not have or want to pony up the money for proper instruction but will still insist on kiting. If that's the case spend some time with them to help them out, you may prevent an injury and the more time you spend with them the more likely you are to convince them to take lessons.

We gotta look out for each other, but it's gonna take more than just creating more and more regulations, it takes a genuine human effort, an remember all of us, including Kevin are just that, Human.


bryanleighty 08-27-2008 08:00 AM

H i think your post is the perfect one to close out this thread on. Hope others agree.

Danimal8199 08-27-2008 09:37 AM

It was a good post from H, but I don't see a reason to close the thread out.

Its a forum and you want to keep it open for discussion, thats the point right of this thing right?

Plus this thread has generated alot of discussion without alot of heater argument, which is good :)

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