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Bladerunner


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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 02:12 PM
WHY?


I came into this sport all Gung Ho. I was part of a second small spurt in interest around here. In between spurts the water part of the sport was taking off and I really expected the land side to follow. The water side has had a steady increase in following while the land side has petered off.

I understand why this is happening locally. Restrictions in our only decent park and stuff. What I have never figured out is why our sport remains such a fringe sport while other more expensive, more crazy sports have taken off. Like base jumping and wing suits, drones .... in the same time?

The sport seems to have a steady following over in Europe and I used to think we are just dragging behind. But while we have benefited from developments over there the sport seems stagnant over here?

What do You think has held our sport back !





Kites: 2.5m Profoil , Quadrifoil XL kitesurfer, NPW 5 Danger.
Flexifoil: 1.7m Sting, 4.9m Blade 3, 9m Blade 2.
Flysurfer : 19m Speed 2 SA, 7m Pulse
Peter Lynn :18m Phantom, 15m Synergy, 10m Synergy, 1200 Farc, 460 Sarc, 130 Tarc, 5m Peel, 4.2m , 6.4, 8.5 C-Quads

Rides: Flexi / P.L. Frankin'Buggy , Shaped + straight skiis, sand skis, Coyote blades. Core 95 ATB. RKB R2 ATB .

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Feyd


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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 02:29 PM


Laziness.




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Windstruck


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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 02:48 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Feyd  
Laziness.


Shortest post I've ever seen out of the Mr. Krug. :evil:

I think there may be several reasons. First and foremost is ACCESS. Folks are so incredibly litigious in the US that folks are always freaking out about law suits. As such, any mowed open space or expanse of beach is maintained by somebody with a bone up their backside about being sued so they ban kiting out of an overabundance of safety.

Wind reliability may be another factor. Many places where there is reliable wind and a place to ride is often filled with many, many people. Take SoCal for example. Good luck finding beach open enough to buggy there even if it were legal which I bet it isn't.

Third, we live in a big, big place. Hard to organize a buggy racing circuit when it's 3000 miles coast to coast. Bummer really, I wish this was more mainstream!




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Hybrid: Nose & tail PL Bigfoot+ with wide rear axle; midsection VTT rail & seat kit; two sets of Sysmic rims (BigFoots and 6-ply trailer tires); BigKid's AQR

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shehatesmyhobbies


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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 03:07 PM


I have to say I agree with Windstruck. Besides it being difficult to get open space availability, most of us are very far spread apart. For me, I think I am the only one left in my state that buggies. I have to go to NJ, NY, or PA to meet up with people to ride, and that again becomes space availability. Sometimes it just a free time issue for me as I know I can ride on a great beach in NY with a 3 hour drive and have a blast, just have to get the time to do so (working on that for next year) it is time for me to start putting more time in the seat.

Locally I am surrounded by farm fields in the off chance we get rideable snow, but I have not been able to secure a good spot as of yet. Maybe his winter that will finally happen.






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kteguru




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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 03:32 PM


I would tend to think it's just numerous fundamental parameters at work. In the U.S. we tend to sell every last inch of coastal real estate so we can squeeze in the maximum number of beach homes so people can watch the water slosh around from their sofa. In Europe this mentality doesn't seem to be as prevalent so the probability of having usable kiting beaches naturally increases. Additionally, kiting is heavily condition dependent to begin with. If your on the water then wind speed and reasonable weather conditions may be all you need to look at where as kiting on land is generally further determined by wind direction and the condition of the beach. Also mitigating interaction with other humans on the beach is generally necessary (hitting those human speed bumps really slows you down;) .).

Additionally we seem to loose some prime coastal area to airports, correction facilities, and piping plovers. All of which circumvent the ability to achieving maximum kiting nirvana :)

Baring that,,,, Feyd is right,,,,, laziness.

Although that references a fundamental parameter as well. It's more efficient to sit on the couch and play a video game than it is to go kiting.

Which reminds me,,,,, I think its time for my nap.

Cheers!

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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 04:27 PM


I can travel the world and kiteboard and windsurf nearly anywhere, somewhere, year round. The same can absolutely not be said for the activity of kite buggying. Look at a map of the U.S. for example. The entire east half is hills and trees and no wind. Hows the scene out west? Where does one go for buggy action? Canada, Mexico, central and South America? The terrain and landscape just doesnt support said activity let alone the weather and wind.

Do they Buggy in the hot summer in Australia? In the wet winter in the UK? Asia is not known for a lot of Wind even in the kiteboard scene.

I couldnt imagine living at a coastal place and not being allowed to Buggy between Memorial and Labor Day. Let alone dealing with tide AND wind direction.

And thats only half of it. I really think equipment prices have put a dampener on new people joining. In the 1990s did a new kite buggy cost $350 or $400?

And the price of just one kite.

I think that because this cant be done any time day or night or even on a persons day off adds too it.

Ive found if one is not obsessed with the kite buggy thing they will never get into it.




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Bladerunner


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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 06:34 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Feyd  
Laziness.


I resemble that remark! :smug:




Kites: 2.5m Profoil , Quadrifoil XL kitesurfer, NPW 5 Danger.
Flexifoil: 1.7m Sting, 4.9m Blade 3, 9m Blade 2.
Flysurfer : 19m Speed 2 SA, 7m Pulse
Peter Lynn :18m Phantom, 15m Synergy, 10m Synergy, 1200 Farc, 460 Sarc, 130 Tarc, 5m Peel, 4.2m , 6.4, 8.5 C-Quads

Rides: Flexi / P.L. Frankin'Buggy , Shaped + straight skiis, sand skis, Coyote blades. Core 95 ATB. RKB R2 ATB .

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rectifier




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[*] posted on 12-17-2017 at 11:34 PM


Well, I know more a lot local guys that kite than that base jump or wingsuit. It's hard to say those are bigger sports than kite sports. The general opinion of non-kiters is that it sounds either dangerous, hard to learn, or both. And the cost of entry is pretty high to buy new, and looking for a used first kite online is intimidating.

But I agree, most of the guys who kite are on the water and some hit the snow as an offseason sport. To the point where I'm the only guy that owns foils and NPW around here, everyone else has nothing but inflatables. No joke, I've had to explain my regular depower foils. "You can just pull them out of the bag and ride? No pumping?"

Buggy though I agree is hard to find terrain for. Or a season for, here in farm country. Spring runoff is thick gumbo mud. As soon as it dries up, it's seeding time and the fields are full of equipment and spray. Then the crop is up, growing, harvested, and by around September the fields are available for buggying. Except usually there are some fall rains to make that mud again. And that season is so busy there is no time for sports of any sort.

By the time the ground has dried up and frozen in fall, usually we get some snow and out come the skis! Though if the snow fails to come like it has lately, fall and winter will become buggy season. That's why I'm looking for a buggy right now despite snowkiting being my true love.

Pastures are too rocky, brushy, too full of cattle and sheep for high speed vehicles tethered to kites. So yeah, not many places to buggy even on the great flat prairies of Canada.




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jimbocz




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[*] posted on 12-18-2017 at 02:20 AM



I can tell you guys that land kiting of all types in the UK has dramatically decreased in popularity over the years. There used to be a school on every beach, brick and morter kite stores in many places and giant gatherings of hundreds of kiters several times a year. Every weekend there was a bunch of people buggying and land boarding where everyone knew each other. We had two forums for land kiting, Racekites.com and Kitecrowd with at least 20 new posts a day. Each region had an active club.

Now, there's a just a few people left and you are lucky to see someone else on the beach at all. The only schools left are for water and both web forms get one post a fortnight. The used buggy market has crashed, with the price of a standard flexifoil going from 250 down to 100.

I blame Facebook. Some narcissistic people of the selfie generation influenced others to start using FarceBook and convinced others to use local facebook pages . Once people stopped using the national forums and started concentrating on their own little club facebook pages, everything became fragmented. Each of those little fragments then withered up and died without the activity level necessary to keep it interesting. Without organization, people just started to go out less and less. WIth less kiters out, no newbies get interested and there is no clear pathway to get started.
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[*] posted on 12-18-2017 at 02:30 AM


Easier to find open stretches of water than land. Water hurts less too.



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Feyd


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[*] posted on 12-18-2017 at 04:48 AM


I apologize for my over simplified response. After reading Blade's original post again I realize that this is specific to buggy whereas I was thinking kiting in general.

That said, I still stand by my first comment. And, I have to include myself in that assessment. For me, there's nowhere near by to ride a buggy. Best options are at the coast, about 2hrs from here. I'm spoiled. In the winter I can drive 10-15 minutes and get some great lake based or land based snowkiting with gobs of space. I can walk 10 minutes up the street and get a session in a smaller space.

Drive 40 minutes and I can do 100 mile tours.

The only way I can get any worthwhile buggy time would be if I could buggy in the ice. Which I know is possible but again, I'm lazy. It's much easier for me to ride my skis than haul a buggy and "deal" with learning how to use it. :o

Outside my personal laziness, as mentioned above, there are other factors that make things difficult for a sport like this tough to grow or even maintain. Access and cost are two of the big ones. Here in the land of the lawsuit access is rare for a lot of things. Wind sport adds a whole nother level of risk, both percieived and real.

Qualified instruction goes a long way towards mitigating that risk but qualified instruction is rare, hard to find or disregarded in favor of self teaching or learning from a friend. Self teaching usually goes one of three ways. 1) They somehow survive the learning process, often sustaining a few Injuries here and there and incurring damage to thier gear in the process. But they manage to achieve some mediocre level of proficiency that may be less than what would be required to be considered "safe", it is hell and gone better than where they started. So they stick with it, muddling through as a perpetual beginner/intermediate but still happy and having fun without ever realizing the true potential of the sport.. 2) They get wrecked or have a serious close call. Generally resulting in a trip to the ER (which negates any money saved by not taking lessons) and the destruction of some or all thier gear. All while potentially putting access at risk. 3) They learn just enough to become confident but still manage to get wrecked because they made an error in a situation they had not seen before. However the view it as the cost of doing business and instead of quitting, they throttle back or shift thier disciplines to something that is percieved to be less risky.

I'm self taught. But I would have killed to have access to professional instruction. Would have saved me a ton of time and money.

Money. Kiting is not inexpensive. After the initial investment, over time, it all pays off. But that initial investment can be daunting. The used market is tough if you can't be sure of who you are buying from or what you are getting.

The industry is pricing people right out of participation IMO. 15 years ago or so we tended to see kites average about $100-200 per square meter. Now I'm selling 4m kites for around $1000. Sure the dollars go up very little as the size does but still...

So to get into these sports you have to either be fairly well off, or buy a budget brand like Panshe. Which can be hit or miss and has no resale value if you want to upgrade. This is still a good option if you want to test the waters I suppose. But if you just want to "try" kiting, without a mindset of being willing to dedicate yourself to really doing it, you are already behind. This stuff takes commitment and work.

For my customer base, which is obviously 99% snow riders, very few wince at the price of a kite because they know what gear costs. They've bought skis, boards and lift tickets or season passes. Compared to a season pass or $130 for a single day lift ticket, the kites are a screaming deal.

I will say, although expensive, you tend to get what you pay for when it comes to kites.

But in the end, you still have to know what you're doing to make the most of it. That takes effort and time and a place to do it. All of which can be difficult to get together.






Chris Krug-Owner @ Hardwater Kiting. Authorized Dealer of Ozone, HQ and Flysurfer kites.
www.hardwaterkiter.com 518-407-KITE
www.eastsidebikeguides.com
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[*] posted on 12-18-2017 at 05:44 AM


What RTZ and Kamikuza said. Also, kitesurfing has a big advantage - 20 M^2 billboards floating in the sky giving the sport free advertising.





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Windstruck


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[*] posted on 12-18-2017 at 06:16 AM


What Feyd said. :evil:

A proper post sir.




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[*] posted on 12-18-2017 at 02:19 PM


Its hard to get beach time for the buggy although I get more than most, just too many people. Water is easier, snows good as long as lakes freeze. There is a learning curve and its expensive. If people hang in long enough for the addiction to set in then you keep seeing them.



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[*] posted on 12-18-2017 at 02:26 PM


I'm ok w/ cult status...growth really seams to risk access
unfortunately their are few places easily gotten to that can handle bugs w/out it being an issue
i think the warm vacation destinations help the water side grow
thank God this sport is a pain in the butt on so many levels...it may be its saving grace
or I'm selfish




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Feyd


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[*] posted on 12-18-2017 at 03:24 PM


Quote: Originally posted by abkayak  
I'm ok cult status...growth really seams to risk access
unfortunately their are few places easily gotten to that can handle bugs w/out it being an issue
i think the warm vacation destinations help the water side grow
thank God this sport is a pain in the butt on so many levels...it may be its saving grace
or I'm selfish


There's some truth there. I'm seeing a lot of activities exploding now. Growth for the sake of growth without concern about saturation. That trend isn't sustainable and eventually, some place will go bad. Not selfish, just seeing the practical side of it.




Chris Krug-Owner @ Hardwater Kiting. Authorized Dealer of Ozone, HQ and Flysurfer kites.
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[*] posted on 12-18-2017 at 06:29 PM


What a bummer to hear that things have slowed on the other side of the pond as well.

I see snowkiting gaining steady growth. So many more locations and a logical optiion for the water crowd.

The whole thing is a catch 22. To gain decent spots we need big numbers. To get good numbers we need decent spots. If we get a decent spot regulations and membership becomes a challenge ..






Kites: 2.5m Profoil , Quadrifoil XL kitesurfer, NPW 5 Danger.
Flexifoil: 1.7m Sting, 4.9m Blade 3, 9m Blade 2.
Flysurfer : 19m Speed 2 SA, 7m Pulse
Peter Lynn :18m Phantom, 15m Synergy, 10m Synergy, 1200 Farc, 460 Sarc, 130 Tarc, 5m Peel, 4.2m , 6.4, 8.5 C-Quads

Rides: Flexi / P.L. Frankin'Buggy , Shaped + straight skiis, sand skis, Coyote blades. Core 95 ATB. RKB R2 ATB .

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[*] posted on 12-19-2017 at 07:56 AM


I'm spoiled living where I can walk out my front door out onto the lake and kite on the ice from December through April. The challenge up here is finding any open areas aside from frozen lakes. It's 99% forest, and pretty hilly terrain. There is a small group locally in the summer that hits lake Superior but I haven't tried kiting on water yet. I'm self taught and have gotten a couple of co-workers and friends interested so far, and have been teaching my girlfriend as well.

I can definitely see access aside from water as an issue in most areas.




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Ed Cline


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[*] posted on 12-19-2017 at 01:43 PM


Although it would be nice to have choices, to be able to shop pricing and venders which would happen as demand increased, instead of trying to find a vendor who has one in stock now.
Such popularity would have a price. Imagine your inland field with 4 or 5 other buggers sharing it. We would have to be good drivers.

The fact that we aren't plug and play is what damps the interest of that guy who asked you where to buy a kite bug like yours. He has an interest but there's no simple way in. Even if his research goes beyond YouTube he will quickly find that there's no "package" he can buy to get started. If there was it would be so personal according to local conditions that it might end up on eBay after a few fails. I've quit counting mine.

When your bug is from NZ, the kite from DE, the seat from S Wales, and all the bits are from somewhere far off, it's hard to get a bead on the buggy thing without persistence and dedication. We are few because it's tough to get started, and I am new enough to know.

Reading what I'm writing it sounds like I want to discourage other wannabes, not true, it's just that counting the cost in time and learning without any immediate results can be quite daunting for a person with casual interest. " I would like to try your buggy?" Okay but first you'll need to know how to fly a kite without looking at it all the time, you have to have a harness that fits, and if you wrap up a line badly it's almost a hundred to replace a line-set.
You can't give them a taste, Backseat buggys are sorta rare.

I can't say I mind buggin alone, but it's always better when the one other guy in Raleigh shows up with his board. We pass each other and woohoo a bit, then we tell each other how great we looked out there, even if we didn't really.
On the other hand if the fishing hole was too crowded, I'd be looking another spot.

If there is a conclusion it would be careful what you wish for.





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jimbocz




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[*] posted on 12-20-2017 at 02:30 AM


I get what you are saying Ed, but there's nothing like showing up to your favourite spot and having a bunch of friends already there. Borrowing each other's gear and drinking a beer after a good day. Riding with 20 or a hundred other buggiers is really not as hard as it sounds, a general traffic pattern develops and if you stay inside that you are fine. If anything, it 's easier since random people can see obviously that this is where the buggies go, better keep the kids and dog away.

Did I mention that when I went on holiday to Holland, they were selling kite buggy lessons on the beach? 2 hour lessons, 10 people per instructor, no experience required. They spent the first hour teaching people to fly NSA kites on 3 meter lines with a bar. Then the last hour was spent with two people trading off on one buggy and the students could actually buggy at the end. I never would have believed it if I didn't take the lesson myself. Still, you are not wrong that it is complicated to get involved in the sport properly.
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Ed Cline


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[*] posted on 12-20-2017 at 04:18 AM


I get a vision of a lollipop man standing in my field while the children cross. :D




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[*] posted on 12-20-2017 at 07:39 AM
Location in Holland


http://www.natural-high.nl/en/

http://www.natural-high.nl/en/location-route/




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Randy


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[*] posted on 12-20-2017 at 07:42 AM


Suddenly it doesn't like my quoting from a web site. Look at the Activity Beach in the link - preference given to kite buggy.



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Ed Cline


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[*] posted on 12-20-2017 at 09:30 AM


I'll be the guy that does the sand painting every morning. Room and board?



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[*] posted on 12-20-2017 at 04:48 PM


Quote: Originally posted by jimbocz  

I can tell you guys that land kiting of all types in the UK has dramatically decreased in popularity over the years. There used to be a school on every beach, brick and morter kite stores in many places and giant gatherings of hundreds of kiters several times a year. Every weekend there was a bunch of people buggying and land boarding where everyone knew each other. We had two forums for land kiting, Racekites.com and Kitecrowd with at least 20 new posts a day. Each region had an active club.

Now, there's a just a few people left and you are lucky to see someone else on the beach at all. The only schools left are for water and both web forms get one post a fortnight. The used buggy market has crashed, with the price of a standard flexifoil going from 250 down to 100.

I blame Facebook. Some narcissistic people of the selfie generation influenced others to start using FarceBook and convinced others to use local facebook pages . Once people stopped using the national forums and started concentrating on their own little club facebook pages, everything became fragmented. Each of those little fragments then withered up and died without the activity level necessary to keep it interesting. Without organization, people just started to go out less and less. WIth less kiters out, no newbies get interested and there is no clear pathway to get started.


I could not agree more Jim.









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jimbocz




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[*] posted on 12-21-2017 at 01:59 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Randy  
http://www.natural-high.nl/en/

http://www.natural-high.nl/en/location-route/


That's the place. A massive restaurant on the beach with a deck and table service.
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-mj-


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Mood: kite + longboard = awesomeness

[*] posted on 12-22-2017 at 08:47 AM


A lot of thruths in all the posts above.
I would add another thing which is "cool factor" youth today sees a lot of kite action which mostly revolves around kiteboarding (take RedBull KOTA) which look sepic and that what they want to do too, or the other "cool" sport of snowkiting which also gets more attention and looks awesome.

Then take buggying, look at most video's of races nowadays, honestly if you don't know what's going on it looks slow and rather boring.

Result is that kids want an LEI, board, harness and wetsuit from dad instead of a 3m powerkite and a buggy, the latter being a lot cheaper obviously.

Next to that, the group of racers is a lot smaller today then it was 10 years ago, and 10 years ago we didn't have the tech to make epic video's.
If we had drones gopro's and all that back when there were 100 buggies in a race we would have shot video's way more impressive than what we can do now.

The whole landside of kiting sees less and less events, not in the least because there's not much to gain from sponsoring such events without spectators, and from experience I can say that the only spectators at buggy races or landboarding comps are the riders themselves, maybe some friends and the odd passerby.

Anyway, that's my 2cents.
Happy holidays everyone!




Marijn Tijhof,
Peter Lynn Kitesports
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Randy


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[*] posted on 12-23-2017 at 09:14 AM


This seems sort of on point - extreme sports such as wingsuits, paragliding, mountain climbing, etc are growing rapidly - danger seems to be part of the appeal. If kite buggy is declining because it is not dangerous enough - I'm ok with that.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/aug/20/why-are-deadly...




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Feyd


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[*] posted on 12-23-2017 at 12:22 PM


IMO "Growing Rapidly" is pretty subjective in regards to extreme sports. In more obscure disciplines such as wingsuit flying, any spike in growth, often after many of the "kinks" that kept kooks away have been worked out through a long developmental phase, can be interpreted as "rapid growth". But the true test is how long that spike lasts and then, how many actually continue to engage in the activity.

Even the term "extreme" is wildly subjective. Skydiving is considered an "extreme" sport. Yet today, any couch potato can do a tandem jump if they are willing to pay for it. Sure there is still a risk factor but statistically, you're more likely to die in a car accident than tandem jumping with a professional.

Everyone runs around touting kiting as "Extreme". I've always felt that it is an "Alternative" sport with potential "extreme" elements. No different than skiing really. You can ski groomers inbound all day with very little risk. Or you can huck cliffs on high exposure, avalanche-prone backcountry lines. The "extreme" component is a moving target.




Chris Krug-Owner @ Hardwater Kiting. Authorized Dealer of Ozone, HQ and Flysurfer kites.
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-mj-


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[*] posted on 1-12-2018 at 07:58 AM


It may not look 'extreme' but I can say riding those paths is extremely fun! And a nice challenge too, a bit scary at times too when you get some good speed.



Btw, the beach there is huge, this was shot at high tide.

Alas, it is coastline. I think for a next video project we should look at something inland, as long as there's not too many trees biking or hiking trails might offer potential.




Marijn Tijhof,
Peter Lynn Kitesports
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