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  #41  
Old 08-22-2007, 07:42 PM
popeye
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You are right, but most newbs will not know if it's enforceable or not.

And, as long as a few people point it out and enforce it themselves, it is in effect enforced. Sure they could give you the finger and you couldn't do anything about it... but then again you could kick their ass for it too. But I'll leave that decision up to the enforcer and the situation.

Fact is many signs are not enforceable... like "Do not walk on grass" but 90% of the people with any moral fabric at all still obey them because their parents raised them correctly... and of course they do not like someone giving them a hard time when they know they are in the wrong.

There is no reason we can't have a sign and still do something else such as rubber bracelets.

At this point ANYTHING would be better than nothing at all. I'm also pretty sure Jayson (who is pretty creative) could have those signs made for less than $165 each. I think we really only need two (if we can get permission from Ft. Desoto... pretty sure that can happen. Both Jason and Scott have a good relationship with the rangers).
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  #42  
Old 08-22-2007, 07:51 PM
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TampaBay Noob TampaBay Noob is offline
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I just think that a sign ALONE won't do a whole lot. I have morals like most and try to follow the rules, but there are many more who disregard them completely. I would have no objections to the sign if still enacting the band idea. In fact, I would encourage it. I just think, for new riders, the goal is really to fit in with the other kiters and make some new friends. Part of the "fitting in" process would be to get the band so they aren't looked at like a hazard to us all. They would be much more welcomed that way.
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  #43  
Old 08-22-2007, 08:15 PM
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but something is better than nothing..

if we post a sign then at least we can say to some new rider on the beach "hey.. this launch is for experience riders only.. did you read the sign?"


i still am wanting to get more ideas on how to make it more newbie-friendly.. but if we can get a sign at our local launches, thats a great great start.

Jay.. do you know if the rangers at Ft. Desoto would allow us to put one up if we can get one together? What about how to go about getting one at the skyway launches? Would that have to go thru the city?
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  #44  
Old 08-22-2007, 08:25 PM
CrazyJay CrazyJay is offline
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Skyway wouldn't really be an issue since the city doesnt claim it and the county doesnt want it. Also it isn't a "city park" so no issue there.
East Beach would take some negotiating with the rangers. Either I or Scott could talk to them about this. It definitely needs to be presented to them in the correct way. The city parks dept. has a rule against posting signs that we need to skirt somehow.
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  #45  
Old 08-22-2007, 08:44 PM
popeye
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Maybe we could provide the sign, and Ft. Desoto would install it. I am about 90% sure that the head ranger would be happy to do this... he is a nice guy and has been concerned when people got hurt in the past... not because he wanted to ban us but because he actually cared. He was there when bayflite earned his name, so he knows our history. The worst thing that is going to happen is that he will say he can't do it because the city won't let him (legal reasons), and that's the end of it.

It's worth a shot. It's no secret that everyone rides there!

However, PLEASE nobody take it upon themselves to do this. Let Jay or Scott make the call if thats what we are going to do.
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  #46  
Old 08-22-2007, 09:35 PM
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Interesting couple of days for all. There are some seasoned folks out there that I respect alot. May not always agree, but still have alot of respect for what they have witnessed over the years and what they are trying to accomplish today.

I did mention awhile back about posting some signs at these very same spots, but no one seemed to be very interested. I am glad to see that it may become a reality.

I agree 100% that either side of the Skyway is no place for someone to hone their skills after their lessons are complete. The signs for these areas should indicate intermediate to advanced riders only. Upwind ability is a must. Jumping close to shore should be avoided. Hazards of the skyway area should be posted.

As far as East Beach is concerned, a different approach should be taken. This is a great spot for someone to hone there skills. The experienced riding area should be defined. It should be suggested for new riders to walk way upwind of the riding area and start their walk again once they have reached the riding area. I don't feel East Beach should be labeled an intermediate to advance spot the way the Skyway should be labeled. Education is key. If are bands are used, then new riders should be told to approach someone with an armband for help and advice. Rules of the road should also be posted on signs. Parking should also be addressed. Wrapping lines. Common courtesy basically.

All instructors of the area should be on board with these policies and incorporate into their lessons educating their students on how to approach east beach and how not to ride the Skyway. I have done this since day one. This info is all covered again in a 2 hour session in the shop before a student even flies a kite. It is the ultimate ground school as it pertains directly to kiting in the bay area and keeping things safe. I hope more will follow this idea.

I will do my part to educate new riders before entering the water, but it will be ultimately up to the riders of the areas to see it all through. Especially when a visitor shows up or someone that has not taken lessons all that seriously.

We will have 6 PASA certified instructors on staff this upcoming season and two boats at our disposal. The majority of our lessons will take place out of site, with an occassional lesson at East Beach on light wind uncrowded days. We will educate riders about the dangers of the Skyway and promote East Beach as a training ground to hone one's skills. All with a good sound plan of course.....walk up wind, go out on less crowded days, know your limits, and practice safe and courteous kiting.

So for those clowns that show up at these launches and seem uneducated, I think these signs, and armbands will be a good step towards keeping it safe and coming together as a kiting community. I believe whatever is decided, anything will help. Doing nothing is the worst idea of all.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do.

Steve-O
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  #47  
Old 08-22-2007, 11:12 PM
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i think for skyway.. we could put together a sign that is aimed directly at kiteboarders with a number of agreed upon rules listed...

for EB the sign prob would need to be more towards the spectators for their safety and then some rules for the kiters..

fact is that I have pulled up the EB many times to have a couple families of 4 with their car parked to the shoreline, the kids playing in the best launch area and the parents preparing for a nice day at the beach.

we have to respect them and their rights and i think by gearing a sign for their safety might be better than trying to claim EB as a kite beach.

Something to think about i believe.
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  #48  
Old 08-23-2007, 06:59 AM
popeye
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Well, lets start with the rules.

Lets start with just 5 rules and see how that goes. Pick the 5 most important and keep them as short and to the point as possible.

Examples:

1) Do not kite without proper training.
2) Please do not jump or ride near shore
3) Please roll up lines and secure kite when you are not riding
4) Please do not park or sit near launch areas
5) Watch chidren at all times

Change these however you feel fit... it's just an example.
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  #49  
Old 08-23-2007, 08:48 AM
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How about adding

6) DO NOT MAKE MAN-LOVE IN THE MANGROVES.
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  #50  
Old 08-23-2007, 08:54 AM
Skyway Scott
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Because it sounds like the instructors may be getting together quickly to discuss the situation, I have some suggestions that may benefit all involved (they are just suggestions).

There are quite a few local instructors now, I think they total 15 or more (at least 10).

My suggestion focuses on East Beach and ignores west winds and the SW for now.
EB on NE to SSW winds is probably where many (not all) local riders will practice after recently receiving lessons. In terms of where new riders practice that may "jeopardize a spot" or "interact in a dense crowd", EB takes the cake.

Since local instructors know most new riders (they just taught them) it might be possible to pass out a common colored wrist band to these new riders from all local instructors. As stated by others, I don't view this band as a stigma. On the contrary, I would be more helpful to a person with this newbie band and less likely to yell at them on the water following a mistake (I do occasionally yell, if I think a vet cut me off on purpose... if it were newbie, I would just stay away or politely stop him and take a minute to explain)

Okay, here is the beef of my suggestion. On weekends that are forecast to be breezy out of a direction suitable for EB, could the local instructors communicate amongst themselves to arrange for one (maybe 2) instructors to not teach anywhere, but instead volunteer to be at EB to help out with these new riders (that are recognized by the newly given out band from instructors)?
If they were ten instructors and it blew every single weekend, that would be about one weekend every 2.5 months if one instructor was the "watch man" and designated helper at EB.

The watch man would generally just be a giver of advice and a watchful eye. He/she might also talk a new rider off the water in really windy conditions, etc.

The other thing the watch man could do is note the progress of the newer riders, and at some point, through communication among instructors, give them an "upgraded" band, signifying they are qualified or ready to ride at the Skyway. Until this qualified band (or ribbon on the lines) is received, maybe we could assume the rider shouldn't be at the SW, or at the very least, be more keen to him.

If the instructors accept this initiative it will be a very strong signal of responsibility to our whole kiting community about just how serious you guys take instruction, helping with progress, education, and safety. It's a suggestion that allows you to take the lead, if you will. We (the local riders, non-instructors) can then play a supporting role (maybe following a similar model of volunteering once a month for an hour, or similar).


No one is better qualified for this "continued education" of newbies following lessons and it's a possible means to also monitor progress (upgrade bands). I think it's a good idea.

Any thoughts, Steve (s)?
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