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National Kite Boarding Organization :Yes Or No

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Do you think we could benefit from a National Kite Boarding Organization?

yes
40
85%
no
6
13%
don't care
1
2%
 
Total votes: 47

MHK
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National Kite Boarding Organization :Yes Or No

Postby MHK » Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:52 pm

Do you think we could benefit from a National Kite Boarding Organization that it's main focus is to assist in preserving launch sites?

A organization that would start at the local level.

Most likely requiring a small yearly fee and participation on different levels.

Yes

No


Whats your opinion.?

Bad or Good

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Re: National Kite Boarding Organization :Yes Or No

Postby KEISER » Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:11 pm

i feel organizing is nothing but good. it can help to establish some standards and rules for peoples regions and would hopefully be able to provide representation when problems do arise as we are going to see more and more in the future.

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Re: National Kite Boarding Organization :Yes Or No

Postby North_Wind » Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:44 pm

I don't understand the poll. "We" on this forum are people from all over the world.

"National" suggests the organization is based in one country?

Do you mean "International". If yes, we have the IKO, though that is a somewhat controversial organisation that, I am told, is run for profit.

Or do you mean "We" as in Americans? :roll:

North Wind

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Re: National Kite Boarding Organization :Yes Or No

Postby MHK » Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:43 pm

I don't understand the poll. "We" on this forum are people from all over the world.

"National" suggests the organization is based in one country?

Do you mean "International". If yes, we have the IKO, though that is a somewhat controversial organisation that, I am told, is run for profit.

Or do you mean "We" as in Americans?

North Wind
Good question, but for now were talking on a local level and building upon that . Would this benefit your area?

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Re: National Kite Boarding Organization :Yes Or No

Postby North_Wind » Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:57 pm

In the UK we have the BKSA (British Kitesurfing Association) to represent us. I am not close to it but from afar they appear to do a good job at some bits (beach access, fighting bans) but less good at others. For example, our public liability insurance scheme, which they negotiate for us, has serious structural flaws in it which I have pointed out to the BKSA but they do nothing about it. There is also controversy recently over the selection of dates for the BKSA tour which largely overlap with PKRA dates, which to some looks careless. That said, I have huge respect for any kiter who gives up time on the water to sit behind a desk and advance the sport off the water. So overall I am just grateful that someone does it.

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Re: National Kite Boarding Organization :Yes Or No

Postby robertovillate » Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:22 am

I voted yes, but this is a "slippery slope". An organization works well on paper, but how effective will it really be in solving the problem that seem to be fueling the restrictions we all fear?

I'd be happy to support the world-kiteorg or US-kiteorg if it helps solve a few problems. Personally I think everyone should be certified and registered so that makes them "answerable" and also gives them some credibility, makes them insurable, etc. What's the big deal if we have to pay $50-100/year? Boaters all do it, even for a kayak in a lot of places! But then do we want someone telling us we need to wear a lifevest, helmet, etc????

Typically when the government enacts a law they also have to determine if it's enforceable. Who will enforce these kiting rules? Do we want it to be someone in a uniform with a gun and a badge who does not know anything (nor cares) about kiting, or someone who has a commercial interest, or is it better to police ourselves? Who will have the authority and who will sit there when 1 or 2 people go riding thru the swim zone, chase them down wind, catch them, ticket them, incarcerate them?

Example: Last summer a few guys in MI received tickets from the Park rangers for riding thru, or too close to, the swim zone - and THEY were not actually the culprits! The ranger may have decided to just make a statement? Find someone on the beach with a kite and make an example of him? So where does it begin and end? Will we need call numbers on our kites, riders license and certificates of insurance on our person at all times, attorneys who specialize in kiting law?

We can teach & preach good kiting behaviour all day long, we can call people out publicly, we can pull plugs on kites, etc...but there will always be these few people pushing the limits of what's acceptable. Look at drivers - you have to go to school, get a license, get insurance, theoretically follow the laws and drive safely, register your vehicle...but every day there are a bunch of A-holes on the road annoying and killing people.

In a perfect world all people would have a little more common sense, courtesy, and respect. In the end that's probably the only real answer. It's not a perfect world so we will still have the riders who will deviate intentionally. I think too many people in this sport, and many of the ones causing the problems, are driven too much by their egos - riding too close to shore, other people in the water, thinking they have some sort of special privilege?? Most of these incidences are blatantly irresponsible, but others are innocent mistakes or misunderstandings

But the reality is that we have all probably ridden too close to shore, too close to swimmers, surfers, other kiters, boats, etc...often times safely and in total control...I think it will be hard to draw the line all the time and it will be a very subjective call. For instance - with the Hawaii Bill that they are trying to pass - who will be out there measuring the 200' distance? I think 200' is probably a good distance in most cases, but it is almost impossible to respect that distance all the time. And just look at all the pictures taken over the years that illustrate our real riding habits.

If a national or international organization is formed I would hope that it would work toward a few basic goals including but not limited to:
some legal representation to maintain access,
access to affordable an quality insurance,
some informal influence on manufacturers to develop safe equipment,

maybe a poll for these goals would be good?

If membership is required in "Kiteorg of the Universe", and good conduct is mandatory for membership, to ride at say Tiki Beach, who will be the judge and jury on this?...and so back to the vicious circle...who has the authority and how enforceable will it be? Will that individual go to court to testify every time there is an incident? Since we represent such a small segment of society how do we convince the other 99.9% that we are OK except for a few rad "bad boys" on the water. In either case, laws, bans, local rules notwithstanding, there needs to be a better "consciousness and conscience" out there on an individual basis if we want to avoid the undesired, and inevitable, consequences.

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Re: National Kite Boarding Organization :Yes Or No

Postby Bird » Sat Feb 16, 2008 6:07 am

I think that every country that has kiteboarders, can benefit from an organized group. Kiteboarding as a whole is going through growing pains. It is a new sport and it is very accessible and very cool. Hence the popularity. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of safety and 'awareness' that is preached in this sport (thanks to folks like Rick Lossi and Toby to name a couple) yet there is some much controversy between C kites vs bow kites, kites vs wind surfers and kites vs surfers.

Taking a page from sailing, it is not accessible and is generally viewed as an 'elitist' or 'rich guy' sport. Saling in the USA is suffering and struggles to grow as a sport. Fortunately, there is a lot of money in sailing both industry and personal so it continues on. Kiting on the other hand is pretty darn cheap and lot of people are getting into it but because of its growing popularity it creates tension between other groups. I don't ever hear about sailing bans coming up in the news. So what am I saying...we need to stop all the :argue: and support an organized 'one' voice from a national kiting association.

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Re: National Kite Boarding Organization :Yes Or No

Postby ian c » Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:28 pm

No. I don't want an organization representing me to the media. Kitesurfing is an individuals pursuit and and with that goes self responsibility. I have actually heard someone muttering -" it does not matter if I hit someone as I am a member of BKSA and I am insured."

I am sure there are some good groups out there, but there is a good chance that the person that has time to organize it is not capable of doing a good job. Also commercial interests alway rear their ugly head - cos teh cost are going to have to be covered somehow.

One problem is increasing promotion of kitesurfing to the mass media, increasing crowding. There is little logic in doing this for your area today unless it is for $.

More rules = less people thinking for themselves

If you crash into an innocent bystander no organization is going to dig you out of that hole you dug yourself into.

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Re: National Kite Boarding Organization :Yes Or No

Postby KEISER » Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:22 am

good counter point ian c. i agree to a certain extent although i feel the organization is going to be necessary. i know what you are saying as surfrider foundation is a good example of being to big for their britches and commercial interests getting involved. i think the organizations need to be on somewhat of a local level as a national organization would have a hard time dealing with areas they are not familiar with and have no credibility with local governments.

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Re: National Kite Boarding Organization :Yes Or No

Postby jakemoore » Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:30 am

ian c wrote: If you crash into an innocent bystander no organization is going to dig you out of that hole you dug yourself into.
I am more interested in having an organization to keep the rest of us from getting dragged down into the hole too. Personally I think organization at a city wide level makes more sense, and for example the largest use area of SPI is run by the SPI Windsurfing Association to have access to an awesome private property launch. Visitors are welcome to join the Assoc. and have access. In general people behave well there.

There was another local launch which we all depended on in the summer for wind which is now closed. As I understand it a tourist kiter got in a fight with a fisherman resulting in the cops getting called and the owner getting pissed off. The launch is now gated with no access for kiting. I think if the local kiters were easily identified i.e. by a rashgard like they do in Ainsdale it would be easy enough to wag the finger at an unwelcome errant and irresponsible kiter who is outside the Club.

It would be silly for the Club request a ban so they have power to limit kiting, but if authorities were to threaten a ban it could be suggested to exclude non-members because obviously the members were following the rules.

I definitely don't want an organization to force seat belts, life vests and helmuts on us all and I don't care to buy insurance but if it comes to it I will.

Jake


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