Andy:AndrewJMcGee wrote:YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO that restaurant at the spot in the vid is fantastic. I had one of the best blackend mahi sandwichs of all time there. Sick spot also. Very nice people around the spot.
Sad to hear about these issues going on. So how many past 25 kiters were out at the spot? Who polices who is IKO and who is NOT? WHO PUTS UP A 12M IN 30 KNOTS? WTF? Seriously WTF?
I would love to hear more about you and your personal vendetta against IKO and PASA. In a perfect world restricting access seems like it would be the only way to force people to take lessons. It obviously has not worked at this spot. So what now?
I am only 2 years on the scene and still very green. I don't know the complete history about these orgs. I have searched, like you always chime in and say Richard. I still am on the fence to what I would want for my local spots. How do we make sure this sign never goes up..
This is a topic that EVERYONE SHOULD BE READING!
Thanks for your interest in this critical subject.
To answer your question " How do we make sure this sign never goes up.. "; You can't ever be sure (unless you BUY a beach), but the single best way to ensure future access would be to ELIMINATE orgs such as the IKO and PASA which make money by restricting access.
First, I'd like to point out that it isn't really accurate to say I have a "personal vendetta" against these orgs. Neither has affected me personally to any extent and although a PASA minion did almost get one of our spots banned, I consider the IKO the greater threat to access.
I primarily dislike them because of their goal to limit access to only their members. However, my blood pressure also goes up because they try to accomplish this through fraud and deceit using the "Big lie" method. This is a very simple, ancient, well known technique - tell a REALLY BIG lie over and over, and people simply assume it must be true or the liar wouldn't have got away with it for so long.
Second, I do NOT advocate forcing people to take lessons even though I of course recommend it as strongly as possible (from us, from us).
Unfortunately, there is simply NO WAY to create a reasonably economical generic lesson plan which wouldn't leave too many untaught variables. Therefore, you could never be reasonably assured that the student would be reasonably safe in many of the vast number of locations with varying conditions - and this is assuming the student actually REMEMBERED EVERYTHING. Since I suspect that it is the rare student who actually remembers even 50% of what's covered in his lessons, trying to "certify" that such a person is a "safe" kiter would be blatant FRAUD (like the IKO)..
Additionally, NO restriction should be based upon a kiter's "skill" level. Beginners have exactly as much right as any pro to kite (or try to kite) at any PUBLIC beach.
Third, I also want to point out that I consider kiting RESTRICTIONS as being almost the SAME as kiting BANS and therefore restrictions should also be strenuously avoided/resisted (furthermore, they frequently simply precede bans).
AS TO PREVENTING BANS AT YOUR SPOTS:
Without knowing all the details of your spot(s), I can't give specific advice. Also, the following suggestions are only meant to apply to PUBLIC beaches - NOT PRIVATE property.
1. The single biggest cause of bans/restrictions is NOT kitesurfers being injured. It is kiters INTERFERING with other beach and ocean users.
"INTERFERING" does NOT just mean endangering non-kiters. ANYTHING that NEGATIVELY AFFECTS ANY OTHER BEACH/OCEAN USER IS "INTERFERING".
A FEW (of many possible) examples include:
1. Endangering people and/or pets.
2. Causing people to be CONCERNED that you are endangering them (WHETHER YOU ARE OR NOT).
3. Endangering people in or ON the water. (swimmers, surfers, windsurfers, boaters etc.)
4. Causing these people to be CONCERNED that you are endangering them (WHETHER YOU ARE OR NOT).
For example, you may plan on going 10' downwind of a surfer and believe he is safe, however, the surfer must worry the entire time you're approaching that you're going to split his head open and/or take his wave and he has to constantly watch for kiters instead of enjoying his day at the beach.
5. Leaving equipment set up on the beach and especially in launch areas - ESPECIALLY LEAVING LINES EXTENDED - ESPECIALLY WITH UNATTENDED KITES.
6. Scaring away fish near fishermen - or causing the fisherman to THINK you're scaring the fish.
YOU MUST BELIEVE AND REMEMBER THAT KITERS ARE THE ABSOLUTE ROCK BOTTOM OF THE FOOD CHAIN AS FAR AS ENTITLEMENT TO USE OF PUBLIC RESOURCES !!!!!!!
HOWEVER, although we're the bottom of the food chain, that doesn't mean we should necessarily starve or be unnecessarily put on rations.
Whenever it is feasible for kiters to kite reasonably safely WITHOUT interfering with non-kiters, KITERS SHOULD HAVE A PERFECT RIGHT TO DO SO WITHOUT ANY RESTRICTIONS WHATSOEVER.
REGARDING AUTHORITIES: Remember BUREAUCRATS HATE WORK.
Authorities such as beach and park administrators and even employees such as lifeguards and rangers are basically BUREAUCRATS and PUBLIC SERVANTS. For them, even more than in the private sector (where RESULTS are expected and it's possible to get fired), WORK IS BAD and should be avoided whenever possible.
This means that they tend to take whatever action results in the LEAST AMOUNT OF NECESSARY WORK.
An UNAVOIDABLE FACT is that the non-kiting public VASTLY outnumber kiters and kiting is a relatively new arrival to the beach scene and authorities don't have specific pre-existing techniques of control etc. like those which they have had in place for many years to deal with swimmers, surfers etc.
Therefore, if even a few non-kiters go to the authorities complaining about kiters, the authorities have 3 options. (Remember, it is only a very small percentage of kiters who are in fact creating problems).
1. They can ignore the non-kiters. Not especially likely since it was to take care of these non-kiters that their jobs were originally created..
2. They can TRY TO CREATE AND ENFORCE RULES which eliminate the bad behavior of the few a$$holes but which allow the rest of the kiters to continue kiting without impairment.
However, this DEFINITELY involves MUCH WORK. Worse, since it would be a NEW situation, they can't even really estimate HOW MUCH MORE WORK it would be. Furthermore, they can't even be sure that all this WORK will in fact solve the problem.
3. They can ban/restrict ALL kiting - an action which involves almost NO WORK.
If you were them, which option would you tend to go for ?
Many people advocate being fawningly conciliatory toward authorities that are in a position to limit access and it is possible that in some situations this approach would be best. It also never hurts to try this first if a ban/restrictions is being actively considered or implemented and in some situations, some restrictions MIGHT actually be UNAVOIDABLY NECESSARY and where this is the case, accepting MINIMAL restrictions is probably best.
However, some people take this approach further and mistakenly believe that they should "pro-actively" go to the authorities BEFORE there is an actual threat of a ban/restrictions. Orgs such as the IKO and PASA specifically promote this approach despite (and because of) its substantial likelihood of MAKING THE SITUATION WORSE. I'll explain how and why further down.
I tend to take a more aggressive stance than many others as far as dealing with authorities in that I think the best approach is to take advantage of the bureaucratic tendency to want to avoid WORK.
The idea is to make it MORE WORK for them to RESIST YOU than to do what you want.
Kiters should stand up for their rights, which includes making sure that the authorities do in fact have the legal authority to restrict kiting and if so, have followed ALL the appropriate legal steps necessary (this can be a LOT of WORK for an authority) - after all, kiters are members of the public and public recreational facilities are there for the public's use. Do not be surprised to find that there isn't authority or that the proper procedures weren't followed. Kiting doesn't fit into any of the standard uses envisioned back when most laws were written. Rather than rot their brains with legal crap or having their VERY high paid attorneys TRY to get it right, they may find it much EASIER to realize that , sure you guys can use that end of the beach.
Try to eliminate objections by: offering solutions to dealing with a$$hole kiters (video taping, severe fines, equipment confiscation, etc.), accepting the cost of signage, offering free training to lifeguards etc.,
Whenever acceptable results arn't forthcoming, MOVE UP the breaucratic food chain so that a bigger boss has to now take time to deal with you. If this means going OVER the bureaucrats to POLITICIANS (their bosses), then that's what you need to do.
Become a time consuming and apparently never going away problem involving LOTS of EXTRA WORK.
Once they realize that it's EASIER to do what you want than to fight with you, you will probably get results.
BEING "PRO-ACTIVE" MAY BE VERY BAD:
As I mentioned above, going to the authorities BEFORE there is an actual threat of a ban/restrictions is probably a VERY bad idea. This is because of bunch of unfortunate, unavoidable and irrefutable facts which make conversations with authorities much MORE LIKELY to give them negative impressions than positive impressions.
The fact is that about the MOST positive thing that can be said about kiters as they relate to other beach users is that "the public likes to watch kiters".
Other than that, virtually EVERY other statement concerning kiters, their problems, potential problems as they relate to non-kiters (and to kiters themselves)and any potential solutions, MUST necessarily conjure up SCENES of UNPLEASANT situations which could/might happen. For example, how could you discuss how big a launch area should be without getting into WHY it needs to be a certain size.
Furthermore, although all these unpleasant scenarios are obvious and not at all surprising to experienced kiters, to a know nothing NON-KITER (such an administrator whose wife and kids use the beach), they may well be EXTREMELY SHOCKING, NEVER BEFORE CONSIDERED, DISTURBING and mistakenly extrapolated to inappropriate situations (such as thinking that upwind non-kiters are in danger etc.). WHY DRAW ATTENTION TO UNHELPFUL STUFF IF IT ISN'T NECESSARY?
ORGS MAKE MONEY BY SCARING AUTHORITIES:
Orgs such as the IKO and PASA effectively ENCOURAGE their minions to lie to authorities and exaggerate the potential problems associated with kiting so that they can "solve" the problems by limiting access to only their "certified" members who not only are "safer" than other kiters but also carry (virtually WORTHLESS) "insurance". Even more disgusting, they can point to their TOTALLY UNCONSCIONABLE AND NEFARIOUS waiver which their members MUST agree to and which FOREVER releases the authority (and everyone else at the beach) from ANY liability to the kiter or his FAMILY no matter how atrociously they may be injured.
Of course, it's also not unheard of for bureaucrats to accept PAYOFFs in return for granting vendorships.
(For indisputable PROOF of the "insurance's" worthlessness please see my post of 10/06/9 on page 1 and especially of 11/13/9 on page 2 at
http://www.ikitesurf.com/forums/viewtop ... 5&start=15 There's also a link therein to the SUPPOSED "policy").
To really get your blood pressure up, read the waiver at
http://www.ikointl.com/docs/pdf/waiver- ... arders.pdf
ORGS CAN OFTEN BENEFIT FROM THE BANS/RESTRICTIONS THEY CAUSE:
If an org minion convinces an authority to RESTRICT kiting to ONLY their "certified", "insured" members, then anyone who wants to kite there MUST join - and not only PAY (every year) but also agree to the hideous waiver.
If an org minion scares an authority enough that they decide to BAN kiting, then the org can point to it and scare kiters at OTHER locations into joining by saying that this is what will happen to you unless you join us so that we can protect your access.
Assuming a ban/restrictions at your spot isn't presently being contemplated, the best things you, in concert with as many locals as possible, can do are:
1. Identify ANY situations which may be INTERFERING with non-kiters in ANY way and create solutions which stop said interference.
2. If you are plagued with a$$hole kiters (unfortunately often the more technically proficient and experienced) who refuse to mend their ways and cooperate, try to make them feel as unwelcome as possible. Note, I am NOT advocating any illegal activity.
If they remain a problem, video tape their unacceptable behavior and display it to other kiters reminding them that they might get banned because of it.
If they continue to be a problem you will need to decide if it is better to take the tape(s) to the authorities and ask if they would talk to the a$$holes.
If all that still doesn't work and it is a serious problem, I'm not advocating any illegal activity.
3. Try to make kiters as noticeably useful as possible with beach clean-ups, fundraisers and anything else you can think of to make non-kiters WANT you around.
4. Don't whine about non-kiters not cleaning up after their dogs etc. Don't act like it's their responsibility to get out of your way, should they be in the way. If it's really a chore for you to move, as nicely as possible simply ask them if they could move for a minute and if they show the slightest resentment, or are disinclined to do so for ANY reason, YOU move (with a big smile).
5. Always be EXTRA helpful and courteous to anyone who works at the beach.
6. I'm assuming that the instinct for self preservation will also help motivate you to eliminate any dangerous obstacles or conditions whenever possible in order to minimize the potential for accidents. Obviously, accidents will attract negative attention.
7. And of course do everything possible to educate kiters and potential kiters as to the nefarious and detrimental activities of the EVIL orgs since they constitute the biggest (by far) threat to access and since they are growing at an exponential rate, the ONLY opportunity to stop them (or slow them), is NOW while they are still relatively small.
Malibu Kitesurfing - since 2002
(310) - 430 - KITE (5483)