Man, I hate to see reports of irresponsible kiting at any beach but it just makes my heart sink to read a topic like Montrose Beach- Strike....1
... especially when I was there that day and other than 1 misguided apple, most everyone else... at least a dozen or more... were on their absolute best behavior, coexisting with the wide variety of crowd typical on an average summer day at our large city beach. Sorry Mike... the call you received was my fault.
When I 1st saw the husband and wife arrive with Sunday afternoon at the beach gear, an SUP, a kite harness and setting up camp near our launch area... the fact I did not recognize either as kiters prompted me to walk over and say hi. Turns out the kiter... damn me for not having the courtesy to even remember his name... knew who I was from previous kiting. After I saw his steel blue 12M, I recognized the kite. We walked and talked and I asked if he had a streamer... "No"... and then a cert... another "No". I politely explained our system and how to acquire a streamer. He said he was familiar with the system. I nicely suggested he not put up his kite, especially on a busy day like it was and let him know the guards have been cracking down lately and checking for steamers and cards. He replied that he has been kiting there since 2006 (or something like that). Well shit... he's been kiting Montrose longer than I've been kiting all together so who am I?! I gave a friendly nod and continued to my car for some grub. When I came back, I saw the steel blue kite rigged and ready for takeoff. The kiter started with a shallow tack, far inside the yellow buoy, dropping the kite after tripping on a wave pretty close to swim area. Kite was relaunched fairly quickly and shallow tack continued.... breaking our 100 yard rule. The long tacks continued just outside the swim area, loosing a little ground each time. As he got closer, I figured now was the time to go say something. As I walked towards the water, I asked my kiter comrades to feel free to back me up. As I got close, he tacked in to the beach near the 1st guard chair, inside of 3 swimmers. This would have been a good time for him to realize he wasn't staying upwind, invoke some common and get out. Nope! Just after his transition I yelled he was WAAY to close. I most definitely got his attention and he quickly looked away. From where I was standing, seemed he just did everything except flip me the finger. I walked over to the 1st guard and said; You see that guy?... he is uncertified, has no streamer, is kiting way too close to the beach and if something happens, your swimmers could be in danger. I have already asked him not to kite and he has disregarded that. Please shut him down and if you can't, you might call your captain. She said, ok, I'll just call the captain. The steel blue kite proceeded down to the bird sanctuary where he got stuck in the corner. He continued to flail around in front of the bird area for quite some time, making numerous tacks... looking like he either just decided to have his fun down there or was making a stubborn attempt to free himself and make it out. After a half hour or so he finally walked out and walked the inside of the beach... behind most the crowd... kite a-flying. Johnny, the captain waiting for him to land and explained our system... once again! After he seemed to settle from his chewing out, I walked up with a friendly smile and with slight humor said, you see?? You really should learn the rules here because you managed to break just about every single one today. He agreed and smiled. Now sometimes our perceptive from the vantage point of under a kite is a bit different than it actually is. I've heard guys say, "I didn't get too close to the dog beach and that 1 figging dog was chasing me", to which I've had to point out, when you transitioned you had no less than 15 dogs chasing you! The one you knew about was the one that actually got close enough to bite your ass! Later, our friend on the steel blue kite was explaining his dilemma to 2 pals... and I assume this is the same explanation given the captain... about how he couldn't get enough wind to get out further, BUT, never kited inside swimmers. Well perhaps he missed the 3 he had his back to on the 1st tack in but he certainly must have seen the group he kited inside of on his even more shallow tack out. He also complained he was "stuck" by the bird area. I think that on a fairly busy day like Sunday, the thing to do would have not to take the chance. There were opps to get out before that happened.
Folks, it really ain't easy being a Mike Urban... especially when after this was all said and done and I smiled and made a light hearted comment to this guy's wife, she replied, "Don't try to be nice to me after what you just said about my husband!" ... speaking of when I told the guard he did everything but flip me off when I yelled out he was too close. I was also nice when I asked him, in front of her, to not go out in the 1st place. But you've really got to appreciate and stand up for what Mike and a few others have done to maintain our access at a nice, convenient launch along our cool skyline!
On a good note, other than Paul having to screeeam a check to a few that were just THINKING about getting too close
, EVERYONE else was on their best behaviors, all proudly flying their streamers. I even saw Adrien land his kite immediately after initial launch saying. whoops... forgot the streamer!