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Author: Subject: WHY?


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[*] posted on 1-12-2018 at 09:43 AM

Quote: Originally posted by -mj-  
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.

That was AWESOME! I bet that was fun and nerve racking at times. Nice fence on the upwind side. At least there were a lot of large protruding rocks downwind. Thanks for the post. :thumbup:

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[*] posted on 1-12-2018 at 10:17 AM

Luckily the light towers seem to be set way back from the paved track..... and a 2 liner to boot.


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[*] posted on 1-16-2018 at 01:13 AM

Quote: Originally posted by Windstruck  

That was AWESOME! I bet that was fun and nerve racking at times. Nice fence on the upwind side. At least there were a lot of large protruding rocks downwind. Thanks for the post. :thumbup:

Thanks, just goes to show that all you need to have fun is a basic buggy and a basic 4-liner. Dude in the vid isn't me btw, it's my buddy Yann, long time friend of the brand.

And yeah, kite skateboarding!

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[*] posted on 1-16-2018 at 05:24 AM

Great videos gentlemen. :thumbup:
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[*] posted on 1-16-2018 at 11:00 AM

Why ask why? Why not just go out and ride?

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[*] posted on 2-14-2018 at 10:14 PM

So I am looking at Slingshot's sweet Phantom and again asking myself why.
Why is it that we are at a time that foil kite technology is developing in leaps and bounds and the true route of the sport is drying up?

If I was still kiting in a pink cloud I would think the newer / better foil and SS kites would be drawing more to land kiting. Making it just that bit more accessible and safe.

I do agree with " just get out and ride " and gave up on trying to grow the sport long ago but am sad to see that even though the sport started with foil kites and buggies they are sort of being left behind.

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[*] posted on 2-15-2018 at 05:48 AM

If it makes you feel any better the same thing has happened in windsurfing. Thirty years ago the equipment was terrible, hard to use, slow and boring. Yet the sport was huge. The equipment now is light years ahead, faster, easier to use, more portable - the sport is shell of its former self. The good news is there is plenty of great gear available used for pennies on the dollar.

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[*] posted on 2-15-2018 at 07:03 PM

There is no COOL factor drawing in the younger crowd. As my 16yr old son so kindly pointed out. Its kinda lame he says. You got mostly guys between the ages of 30-90 buggyin. Granted there are a few exceptions. But few they are...I never get younger people approaching me about getting into the sport. Only older folks. People that can appreciate such a sport. The kids. When you mention kite sports. All they think about is guys on kiteboards flying through the air. Aaaaaand...IMO their all a bunch of pussies.

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[*] posted on 2-16-2018 at 02:39 AM

Interesting read. I agree 100% with what everyone has said so far, but I'd like to add some salt into the mix from a UK perspective.

I noticed that kite buggying changed in two ways from when I first started in 97. Firstly the popularity of harnesses oddly enough and secondly a sudden influx of people in about 2009.

Riding whilst hooked-in without a helmet is a bit silly, we can all agree. However, gone are the days when new riders can just turn up to their local field, unfold their PL bug and picture themselves pottering about, arms out stretched without one.

The popularity of the harness meant that an increasing number of riders were wearing helmets. This became the now familiar image people associate with kite buggying. Whether that's a good image or not is subjective I guess.

The influx of new riders had the affect of creating a misplaced fear among elders that a ban was imminent. Everyone was now expected to don a helmet or face a wrath of forum bullying and snide remarks over here. It was of course born out of self-interest rather than the genuine concern I witness from you guys. Did you know that there was even talk of UK moderators banning all videos that failed to adhere?

As far as I'm aware, there has never been a ban imposed on kite buggying as a result of rider injury.
Before you ask, the knee jerk ban at West Wittering was due to a child being accidentally lifted by an out-of-control kitesurfer. Of course, kitesurfers were free to continue, go figure.

Kitesurfers enjoy no such self-imposed restrictions, even with the inevitable fatalities they experience each year. Yet YouTube and forum comments were full of spite for buggy riders who are seen not to wear one.

New riders who joined the forums were told to lid up and those who sat in the shadows deciding whether to make the investment may have thought twice. After-all, that geeky look probably held little appeal.

Is it a coincidence then, that at the very height of kite buggying popularity, just as attitudes were changing and the atmosphere darkening, people either drifted away, transitioned to water or simply looked elsewhere for their fix.

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[*] posted on 2-16-2018 at 09:17 AM

Quote: Originally posted by RedSky  
:moon: Shoot me down. I don't care. :D
:thumbup: Thanks for a well written post there, Redsky.

I quite agree! Of course we must take safety precautions, but we must not ruin the fun in the process. I myself like to make my riding as casual as I can, I do not enjoy dressing up head-to-toe with all sorts of gear. Weather depending, I usually ride in the same outfit as I wear on a daily basis. Conditions depending, I don a helmet and my pads. If I know it's gonna be tough winds and hard riding; the smart thing to do is protect myself against hard falls and whatnot - but on some days riding on a nice grassy field in max 30 km/h, I'll much rather enjoy the freedom i get without tons of gear on my body.

My personal safety comes second to everybody elses safety - I will not tell anyone they're doing it wrong if they like to put on whatever gear, to have a better experience if they feel safe. On a side note I do not usually wear a helmet when riding my bike. I've been doing sooo many things over so many years, I am not unaware of what I must do to avoid accidents or reduce the chances of serious injury. My job for the last +25 years has been as both a top, & ground rigger for concerts, TV and entertainment, so I am not unfamiliar with concerns and rules and demands for safety. I just often think that overdoing it not nesecerally makes it more safe, you can end up with solutions that creates new problems and possible misunderstandings of the situation.

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[*] posted on 2-16-2018 at 01:42 PM

I'll chime in with a noob perspective. Bug/ATB has way too much friction for it to grow in any meaningful way, at least here in NYC. It is a huge commitment to do any sport here, let alone one that involves so much time, right weather, skill and equipment. I'm sure that had a lot to do with the decline of windsurfing as well. Kiteboarding is way more accessible, the equipment is more manageable, and it hurts less when you fall. You can do it while on your amazing tropical vacation, and there's probably equipment there to rent, or just bring your own stuff. There's definitely the cool factor for the youngsters. That helps sell equipment. Some people like to go fast, some slow, some far, some high. It's all good.

The same questions popped up when I was hang gliding. A lot of folks gravitated toward paragliding for the same reasons. Less equipment, easier to manage, easier to set up/pack down. But unless you lived near a launch, either was a huge time suck. Not many are willing to commit. But like all of us, those that are, are in it 2000%. The hang gliding community (at least back then, I'm sure it's just as true now) was as small, tight knit and friendly as you all are - I like that.

As far as helmets go... I don't preach to anyone about what they should or shouldn't wear. But I will just say... I would not be here if I hadn't been wearing a bike helmet a few years ago. I would never think to not wear one kiting.

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[*] posted on 6-6-2019 at 11:14 PM

This was a really good post; maybe some didn't see it?

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[*] posted on 6-8-2019 at 08:43 AM

I'm pretty sure I live in the same town as BladeRunner who started this post, Sadly there are 2 areas where kiting is now banned, one is due to a kitesurfer who lost control of things and wrapped his kite around a concession stand full of people. The second is our local hot spot, Garry Point, wind is always good there, small park though popular with all sorts of tourists and foot traffic, Rumor has it that due to a handful of people landkiting during a major public event we are now required to have insurance and user passes to kite in the park.

Having said that, I still pack all my gear out to our last major location, "Mud Bay" and although it's a bit of a chore getting your gear onto the sand flats, once out there it's pretty good, approx 2 miles of flats from high tide to low tide, probably 10 miles + of a stretch. Our local wind though is usually in the 6 to 10 MPH range so you will need a big kite. My quiver in my sig just doesn't cut it most days. Mud bay is deserted, and tidal flats, you can go hog wild, rip up the beach all you want, no one else in sight, come back tomorrow and it looks like you were never there. Some days I don't see a single other person kiting or otherwise.

As for the rise and fall of kiting, I don't know for others, but I know the story for my local park. As I was getting into the sport I stumbled upon Garry Point Park, found a couple other kiters there that were friendly, we hit it off pretty good and it became a regular way of life. We had lots of small kites, let anyone passing by that showed interest give it a go on a 2m. As we got better, bigger kites came along, nice buggies and ATB's. As always, people from the core group would share with pretty much anyone passing by that showed interest. Myself, Big Ken, Little Ken, Greg, I want to say Brian, it was a long while ago. We had a blast pretty much every day the wind was blowing, if it wasn't blowing we were sitting in the park bench racing.

The sport grew, the crowd grew, at the high point you could expect to find another 15-20 people at the park any given day. Looking back, I think people were drawn to the group. People want to belong to something, be part of something, and if it's fun and healthy, all the better. The sport was growing like crazy, we were at the point where we were attending major events like SOBB and NABX as a group. I remember driving down to NABX pulling a trailer with something like 8 people's buggy gear in it. That's approx 22 hrs travel by car one way.

Then something went sideways, I am still not quite sure what it was or why it happened. The main core group of people had a falling out as a result of it though and everyone scattered. With the core gone, all the fringe people sort of floated off. As a result of all this I got out of it for a while as well, 8 years later and there's still nothing going on locally, I have only bumped into 2 kiters since I have gotten back into it. I do see buggy and landboard tracks out on mud bay, but have not seen anyone out there.

But yeah, if we're honest, people join groups because they like the company, they like to belong, they like an excuse to get together and hang out. While I've been out of kiting I've been part of a number of other groups just to get out of the house and have something to do. It's not the cost of the gear, even with my current buggy I've still spent probably only half what my buddies have invested in golf gear. after that the wind is free. Get a core group of people who just want to have fun with a kite, share the sport with passers by and it will grow.

Just my experience, may not be everyones

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