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Old 05-29-2010, 01:16 PM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
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The venue, unique views and riding!

There was a great turnout of over 40 kiters to the kickoff meeting on May 26, 2010. Long time riders, new folks, a wide spectrum of kiters came out to participate in the meeting. They were concerned and enthusiastic about working to secure access at this great launch.

Full house, thanks for making the meeting!
CLICK PHOTO for full sized image

A 360 view of Matheson on a riding day.
CLICK PHOTO for full sized image

Kent Marinkovic (right) presents the concept of the new riding area procedures and answers questions. To the left of Kent is Alan Weitzel, Miami-Dade Parks & Recreation, Coastal Parks Director, to the left of Mr. Weitzel is Jeff West, Service Area Manager and to the left of Mr. West, Deallo Johnson the new manager of Matheson Park.

We were lucky to have several key managers present from Miami-Dade Parks & Recreation shown above. Alan Weitzel opened the meeting. He has been working in in the Parks Department for over three decades and has seen several water sports/activities come online in that time. Several presented management and potential safety issues which The Department made a priority to resolve. Mr. Weitzel said he liked kiting, the spectacle it brought to the waters but was concerned that it be conducted in a way that was safe both for the participants and bystanders. Crowding and incidents had raised concerns about the possible need to ban kiting at Matheson. The concession has been conceived to improve the safety and sustainability of kiting at this venue by Adventure Sports Miami, (ASM).

David West followed with insightful comments about kiting and other water activities. He has taken to the time learn about our sport and potential issues. Mr. West has also been with the Parks Department for over two decades. He would also like to see kiting continue here. He emphasized it will take our collective efforts to make keep kiting at Matheson and thriving. I second that!

I understand Deallo Johnson recently took over as manager at Matheson. Mr. Johnson may have seen kiting there for the first time around last Saturday. As some may know, last Saturday showcased how kiting should not be practiced. Excessively crowded with some incidents, folks riding too near shore, etc.. I think his reaction was something like "what are these people doing here???"

We need to change our approach to keep us kiting at Matheson to where we are encouraged to be here. Fortunately, Kent, Todd, Josh, Bryan and lots of others at ASM with outside input from several other folks have come up with a concept focused on doing just that. It addresses specific problem areas over the years while trying to avoid unduly impacting kiting. It just makes things more realistic and sustainable. In densely populated Miami-Dade County, adding in all the visitors and many years of access pressures we need to make this a priority. So, let's work to make kiting a positive in Mr. Johnson's transition here.

Kent covered a lot of ground about the concept, rules, amenities, certification requirements, certification exams, compression station, custom 16 passenger beamy kite taxi boat to the flats, rescue watercraft for Matheson, bus and a great deal more. ASM doesn't plan to charge ANY access fees for kiting here. Once you've provided acceptable proof of certification, you're good to go. There is a designated area for instruction, an exclusion zone for flying kites, minimum buffer distance from shore and other realistic considerations to better manage kiting here. You may want to consider buying an annual "Ticket To Ride" card to take advantage of a number of amenities and discounts. Kent even mentioned they were thinking about installing a wind meter station and live cam! He stated that for discussions regarding future commercial watersports activities at Matheson, please schedule an appointment with Adventure Sports Miami by emailing Instructors wishing to teach in the park are also invited to apply.

Click here for an overview of the kiteboarding concession. There is a lot to be offered here.

Click here for an overview of procedures, rules and amenities for the launch area

Stiltsville and the Miami Flats are close by and even more accessible with the kiter sea taxi operation. Looks a bit crowded at Mathenson or you just want to treat yourself with a quick trip to excellent riding conditions here, grab a seat on the sea taxi and head out. "Ticket To Ride" holders get taxi services at half price!

I tossed out some comments as well. Mainly about how riding as we have been for a long time will see us shut out of Matheson. We need to change which isn't always easy or welcome. Losing a launch like Matheson would be a lot less welcome. We're going to need everyone's help to work through the change to keep us kiting here well into the future.

As an aside, everyone knows what a supercell squall cloud looks like? Here's one of several that were over SW Broward and NW Miami-Dade driving down to the meeting from Palm Beach County. Hint to self, don't kite with these things around. The weather cleared before I made Matheson with blue skys for the meeting.

This is what it is all about. A great riding spot worth working to protect our access to. Thousands of hours of fun times here. We need to change a few things in our approach to keep the great times going decades into the future.

Moonrise over Matheson, going to be a good night and coming wind season here with your help!

Have questions, concerns, ideas? Post them here or get in touch with ASM at:

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

Last edited by RickI; 05-30-2010 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:44 PM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,691

We've had a look at Day 1 (, now lets move on to the second day. There was business in the morning with presentation of the 2011 lineup of gear with some water time in the afternoon. Each day of this event was different with its own share of unusual events and excitement, lots captured in images. Stay tuned for the next couple of days, it will be worth your while.

A spectacular dawn rises over Bimini.

Up to the Bimini Sands restaurant for breakfast. The cooking was uniformly good on this trip, far better than in years past on the island.

A look out the back of the condo unit and west through the inlet to the marina.

Sessions are starting with a full house.
Click image for full sized photo.

Mr. Neil Pryde opens up the session. He has forty years in global watersports product development and manufacturing, it shows in his confidence and insight into the business.

Josh Noe provides the first presentation on Neil Pryde and NPX line ups with the opening comment "let's talk about rubber." He actually brought life and amusement to what some might think a dry area. Then again, it comes down to comfort and style, important things to lots of us. He is ably assisted by his own "Carol Merrill", aka Damien Leroy! Damo is a trooper and good at it too. They guys are speaking of the marvels of bamboo charcoal in this frame, good stuff for zapping wetsuit smell. The amount of innovation, development and testing that goes into these products each year is impressive.

Damo sports a neoprene trench coat? Not quite but it is the Neil Pryde (NP) Mariner Jacket. Think about the last time you were on or by the water, wet and cold. Good chance you would have really liked to have had something like this one. Here's your chance.

Kent and Kirstin, she is wearing an stylin NPX neoprene jacket. It even has a harness hook hole to where you can kite in this.
There were dozens of products well covered by Josh. Rather than attempt to go into them here, why not checkout the websites for 2011 at:

Neil Pryde:

Next we had an informative presentation by Denise with GoPro cameras on this very popular HD camera system in kiting and other action sports. Small, high res., lots of nice useful features and inexpensive, what else can you ask for? More about GoPro at: with images all over this site including some intriguing ones from this event!

After lunch we segway to Cabrinha kite gear with an introduction from brand manager Todd Greaux followed by Pete Cabrinha himself.

Pete Cabrinha opened with this slide following Rob Douglas' remarkable world speed record recently achieved in Namibia.

Click image for full sized diagram
An impressive lineup of varied kites for 2011. I even left off the Convert IDS SE School kite from the diagram. Rather than go into the extensive comparative features and performance, I recommend you checkout the Cabrinha website for more information at:

Cabrinha brings a lot of boards to market in 2011 with varied applications in kiting.

For the first year ever, Cabrinha is manufacturing a race collection of kites and boards specially developed for the demands of this discipline.

Cabrinha has developed a large line of Standup Paddleboards (SUP) for cruising, waves, even sailing with a windsurfing rig. Nice graphics too.

The sessions conclude for the day, so lets hit the beach. We knew the wind would be off for part of the meeting. Looks like this day is it.

Kirsten, Cabrinha rep for the NW USA heads down, lets trail along.

They have done an outstanding job of setting up the beach, permanent shade, Bimini Kiteboarding gear concession at more at the Beach Club. You will see from the images from this meeting just how fine they place can be.

Grab a big board and see how you do kiting in real light winds. Most opted to go for a bunch of Cabrinha SUP along with Neil Pryde and JP Australia windsurfing gear demos.

The new Cabrinha raceboard and 2011 Crossbow

A windsurfing tutorial for first timers

Had a nasty looking shelf cloud pass to the north of us providing a dramatic backdrop.

They brought a ton of gear over for folks to demo, lets have at it!

Wind rarely lasts forever at most launches, it is nice to have options!

Fairly evil looking squall passing to the north fortunately.

Jeremy Green takes a windsurfer out for a whirl

I even got out for a while on an SUP. This image was captured by a GoPro helmet cam.

Paddling out with the wreck of the Sapona in the distance.

Rick on a windsurfer and this after largely hanging it up ten years ago.

The two above shots were taken with a GoPro HD camera on a helmet mount.

Kirstin and Colleen head in

The day is moving on.

The sun is setting over the Florida Straits to the west.

MUCH later on, getting on the dance floor at the beach club aka the bar itself.

So, that is it for Day 2. Be sure to stay tuned, there is a lot of action and intriguing imagery from the next couple of days, wind, riding, squalls, wrecks, raging parties and more!

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
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