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Hey everbody......I learned at alameda. There was no safer place to learn IMO....Just in the three years I've been kiting I've seen the amount of kiters double each year. I'm living in So Cal now and since I'm the new face on almost every beach I usually get approached by one or two locals every time I arrive at the beach. So many beaches have been closed to kiters down here due to various kitemares that have occured. I guess my point is that kiters down here are diligent about spotting new comers/newbies on the beach. I arrived just the other day and noticed this guy "rigging" up as I pulled into the lot.....I took my time setting up and when I was done I looked up and saw him still bumbling with his lines.........10 minutes later I'm seeing him try to self launch......There were plenty of kiters around to help but he's trying to self launch. I go over to give him a launch and see that his lines are crossed. I start to talk to him only to find that he's never had lessons and has barely flown a trainer and now he's out with a new 17 trying to get a feel for it.......WOW!!!
We've got a lot a rules down here that differ from beach to beach and the locals are the ones enforcing them. Let people know what's up and keep an eye out for faces you haven't seen before and ask them the essential questions.....have you riden here before? what's your skill level? Even if they are wearing a leather Slingshot team rider jacket with a King of the Bay grand champion belt buckle, and let them know that they'd better have their game on or we're going to lose the beach!!!
Thanks for the affirmation and heads-up! This is the kind of stuff we're talking about. Some people on the beach may get a little huffy from time to time because they don't want to take any guff about what they're doing, maybe because they already know it all, but this is important stuff.
I was relieved today after some aprehension at one of the local launches. I saw a new face rigging up and getting ready to go out right when I arrived, and I spotted him and thought, "Oh boy, here's another one...", but he showed good skills and judgement and ripped upwind right off the bat, putting a smile on my face.
Approaching people, talking to them, introducing yourself and verifying skills is something that we all need to get used to doing. I don't much care for doing it, but will and do anyway because it's our deal. This is what we need to do to keep things cool.
Alameda is one of the best places around the SF Bay to learn at and we're hammering out some new policies and layout of launch and landing zones to smooth things out, so with a little cooperation, the new participants of future seasons can enjoy it as well.
Nobody - this was really cool that you walked up to that guy. Thank you.
Alameda is probably one of the safest places for the beginners to learn. But this is only true for the kiter and their health.
The safest place from the public's view is probably either 3rd or Sherman. Just because there are not a lot of other people than the watersports people. Not a lot of beachgoers. Not a lot of bike, pedestrian or car traffic. Sure - it is hazardous there for the kiters.
Yeah - we only can hope to be able to talk to as many as possible and help as many as possible and create awareness. But sometimes you just get the "fuck off" - as Bob got this weekend when he asked a guy who was walking his kite up the beach to land it. This guy did not look particularly like being in control of his kite either.
Ah well. The "end" of kiting here could also be triggered by an experienced safety conscious kiter like me with an equipment failure for example. Anyone of us can be the "one".
Unfortunately the community just got split by this unfortunate event on Saturday. Hope we all will still stick together in keeping kiting safe in Alameda for everyone.
Even I am following the Rules now. Had to land my kite and walk it up last week. Not really anyone on the beach but there were other kiters looking on. Not a big deal to land my kite as long as we keep our access. I think weekends are the only time we have real problems but I go to 3rd ave. on weekends now anyway and avoid Alameda. Just better wind over there.
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