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Old 08-22-2007, 07:28 PM
jim jim is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: sarasota
Posts: 147

I am stating the obvious but the skyway is a dangerous place to ride. I rode there for my first time last night, and it immediately struck me as an area where potentially nasty things can happen. There were only a few people out , but immediately off the beach was really congested, and trying to get upwind was hard while getting out of other people's way. a few times my kite was flying over cars and people and i really didn't like that. A little farther out was a lesson going on and the inherent unpredictability of falling kites and out of control riders.(And thats fine I understand thats Randy's livlihood). Not to mention deep water with rocky shorelines on both sides of a really short riding area,and a major highway within easy striking distance of an out of control kite.
I can only imagine the freakshow that goes on there on a windy weekend. too many people riding a small congested area. It is a lot more fun to be at a place where a bunch of other people are riding , but i think part of the problem is everyone wants to go there as it is convenient. Spreading out to EB or other places that work on an east wind(I assume tampa bay has lots of options) would help the situation, or designating the immediate off the beach water to be for launch and landing and not riding.
I think the certification idea is really good and self policing to keep it safe of dangerous individuals is paramount, but the very nature of the sport(the amount of room a kite and lines takes up,the power involved,violent wipeouts) and the density of people riding will there will continue to create accidents.
I spent much of this first season of my kiteboarding in sarasota bay kiting from a small boat. Big areas of flat water with no one else around to run into, and no hard objects. I would not even conceive of the idea of going out into the fray unless fundamental skills were solid, I hope for everyone's sake that likes to ride around here that no more accidents occur!
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