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  • Rick Iossi
    The following was published in the recent issue of Kiting , publication of the AKA: “Riding and Flying, FREE and At Will Kiteboarding can be a very
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 7, 2004
      The following was published in the recent issue of "Kiting", publication of
      the AKA:

      �Riding and Flying, FREE and At Will

      Kiteboarding can be a very liberating, extreme sport. You throw yourself
      into it, after adequate preparation and safety considerations, to drive
      hard, fly high and long. The stoke of this sport is beyond compare and
      even addictive for many of us. In society though, with most great freedoms
      often comes responsibility to preserve that freedom. If you want the
      incredible stoke flung out in great gouts by this sport you have to take
      some care to protect your ability to ride. Kiteboarding sad to say, is NOT
      a God given constitutional right but can be easily lost.

      Just like not landing your airplane on the highway, or respecting climbing
      rules in National Parks or waverunner operating restrictions in swimmer
      zones, if you wanna play you need to follow some reasonable practices and
      guidelines. If you don�t, you may well be shut down at some point.

      Some kiteboarding restrictions have appeared in various areas. A few of
      these restrictions on access and riding are logical such as in the case of
      excessive beach crowding and should have been undertaken by riders,
      VOLUNTARILY before Big Brother stepped in. No one likes being overwhelmed
      by laws, if we use our head and fly at our sport responsibly, government
      should stay out of our way in most cases. Things like staying out of
      guarded swim areas while kiteboarding for instance when more thinly
      populated unguarded areas are present not so far away.

      D I S T A N C E in kiteboarding can be a very good thing. It protects you
      the rider, bystanders and your ability to ride in many cases. If you don�t
      use distance you may be shredding more than just water, you may be shredding
      your ability to ride there in the long term. Being hooked on showing off to
      the crowd near the shoreline may well show you to the door and out of
      kiteboarding at your launch. Working things out with windsurfers in long
      term riding areas is a very good thing. Figuring out how to coexist is a is
      a more productive goal than promoting problems and rivalry through poor
      communication and indifference.

      Consciously avoiding complaints and official concern are essential steps in
      protecting kiteboarding access in lots of areas. Many current restrictions
      started with complaints and repeated behaviors that gave substance to the
      complaints. Unfortunately, people often require to be �burned� to take a
      threat seriously as opposed to using the old noggin to dodge an obvious and
      avoidable threat in the first place. This trait has to have caused humanity
      a lot of heartache through the ages but there it is.

      Concerned about kiteboarding FREE and at will for the long haul?

      1. Do you see the basis for problems or complaints at your riding area?
      2. Tactfully ask lifeguards, park rangers, bystanders if they see any
      problems or have complaints about kiteboarding on a periodic basis.
      Consider putting on kiting orientations for these public authorities, it may
      help them to manage and understand our sport a bit better.
      3. If you see or hear about problems, figure out some reasonable solutions,
      gather the local kiteboarders including leading riders, shop owners,
      instructors, etc. and talk about what you folks have to lose and some means
      of keeping the good times flying. Once you decide on solutions, present
      them to the authorities and effectively promote them to local riders.
      4. Promote kiteboarders to use D I S T A N C E. That is avoid guarded
      public beaches unless by prior agreement with the authorities in designated
      launch corridors. Also avoid annoying private homeowners in launch areas.
      Problems usually start with complaints.
      5. Make sure that ALL kiteboarders use tested, function KITE depowering
      leashes. �Put a leash on that thing before it bites someone!�
      6. Promote the Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines** and other appropriate
      practices at your launch. This collection of ideas is intended to try to
      improve rider and bystander safety and minimize complaints and threats to
      access. Add in your own local guidelines as necessary.
      7. Consider having get togethers or KiteNites to bring riders together,
      create a sense of �community� and spread ideas on how to keep the good times
      flying at your local launch.
      8. Contact your local kiteboarding association for help. If you don�t have
      one or need one, think about starting one yourself. It all starts with
      putting two or more concerned riders together with a mind to protect access
      to ride. It doesn�t have to be complicated or fancy, just effective!
      9. Don�t let just one or two guys fall into the role of �kite cop.� These
      leaders are looking out for your access as well. There is strength in
      numbers, so when a rider needs to be set straight on what his riding
      practices are putting at risk, take your friends for best effect.
      10. Many areas don't have problems but quite a few others do. Securing your
      access starts with identifying the problem in the first place and before
      things fly off too far south. So checkout things out at your local
      11. More ideas on preserving access appear at the AKA website at:

      with more ideas at:
      ** Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines at:

      AKA Kiteboarding Committee
      transcribed by:
      Rick Iossi"

      The magazine "Kiting",second party liability insurance and other benefits
      come with membership in the AKA at $30. USD per year. To learn more or to
      join online visit: http://aka.kite.org

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