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Author Topic: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse  (Read 12528 times)
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TGunn
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« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2012, 03:55 AM »

I had a membership for several years and then allowed to lapse. I spoke my good friend Jay Nune who explained that the AKA is not a company that does something for its members... the AKA is the members. So ny paying I into the AKA we are supporting other kite filers. The main thing I see this as is to maintain an  insurance policy so festivals can still take place. Without the insurance, many events could not happen. Is that worth $40 a year? On top of that, I like the mag. It reminds me that things are happening all over the place And keeps me going in the winter months.

So I don't look at it as what the AKA gives me... rather my $40 helps other members.

I don't think the 10% discount really hurts vendors. Hopefully it gives them more sales but it also increases the reason for someone to join the AKA. You then need to see above as to why that is a good thing.

Sent from my Samsung S3

Well said Todd!
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Troy Gunn

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mikenchico
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« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2012, 08:31 AM »

I was a member years ago, Family member, and paid for all three of us for a few years. But I let it lapse too because our regional director at that time was letting us all lapse IMO. Tom seldom filed a regional report and when he did it was announcements for upcoming events that had passed months before. It only aggravated me to be paying to see what I had missed. I haven't been a big supporter of Tom's event either for that reason.

I look at the AKA every year and feel a tinge of guilt for not joining, but I feel the same guilt for not joining the WKA & AOK who help so much with WSIKF.

The AKA magazine has improved immensely from the old newsletter format to a professional quality publication, I wish they had the resources to provide a subscription to all the libraries and schools to increase exposure.

But I just haven't seen enough benefit to overcome the guilt.

We spend those dues at the promoters and sponsors of any events we do attend. They get a little profit, we get something to give away (most often). And they can spend a bit of that profit on being an AKA Merchant Member if they'll realize a benefit.

« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 08:39 AM by mikenchico » Logged

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tcope
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« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2012, 08:45 AM »

Keep in mind that a good portion of AKA dues goes toward supporting the cost of the insurance policy. Without that policy many events would not be able to take place. The fee that is paid to actually obtain the coverage for a certain event is only used to off-set the cost of the policy slightly.

I would never want to be a regional director... they (can) do so much but of course they get paid a ton of money, get all of their expenses paid, are allowed to use the comp fields whenever they want and are given all the free kites they can carry. Ok... so I'm just checking to see if people are really reading this. They don't get one single penny for being regional directors. Personally, I don't see how they do it. It takes a special person. But there are also good and not so good Regional Directors. It's important for members to choose a good RD. I'm in Region 7 and our AKA RD is Robin McCracken. Man... I don't know how that boy does it... he uses the AKA website to send out a few emails every month, he posts on G+, keeps events going in his area, etc. He really does a great job. But as I mentioned, some RD's might not be best for the task.

But that does come back to what I mentioned before... the AKA is it's members. When people tell me the AKA does nothing for them I ask... what have you done for the AKA? I have no issues with people who don't want to be a part of the AKA.... I get it. No worries. But the way I view it... AKA members get out of the AKA what they put in. If you consider this, I think you will see the AKA in a different light.
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Todd Copeland
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boomertype
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« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2012, 09:05 AM »

Without the AKA we don't have insurance at kite festivals.
Without insurance we don't have kite festivals.
Without kite festivals people don't see kites flown in mass.
Without people seeing kites being flown, they don't go buy a kite.
Without people buying kites, kite stores close.
When kite stores close, kite makers don't sell them kites.
When kite makers sell fewer kites, they stop making new ones.
When kite makers stop making new ones, you have steal other peoples kites.
When you start stealing other peoples kites, you get arrested.
When you get arrested, you'll have plenty of time to sit in prison and wish you had paid your AKA dues.
Pay your AKA dues. . .

Godfather send me your PayPal addy, I'll send you $40.   Kiss
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 09:13 AM by boomertype » Logged
Allen Carter
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« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2012, 09:17 AM »

Ask not what the AKA can do for you, but what the AKA can do for others...

That said, the magazine is really amazing these days. Much wider coverage of various types of kiting than in the past and excellent production quality. The regional reports have improved a lot. May be just who the RDs are at the moment, but they are actually a readable part of the magazine. Newsstand price for a highly specialized magazine like this is around $10 an issue, so next time you sit through through a movie and feel like you've wasted $10 and 90 minutes of your life, think about reading a magazine cover to cover. Much better use of your money, time and brain.  Smiley
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Allen, AKA kitehead
RobB
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« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2012, 09:38 AM »

I finally let my membership go after 10 years. There were no events in my area (nothing closer than 5 hour drive) since the cancellation of the NYC kite festival. I think the last one was in 2008. So, with no local AKA presence, I'm just left with an expensive magazine.
Nice pictures in the magazine, but not enough, and too much with the club politics. Nothing makes my eyes glaze over faster than meaningless politics.
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tcope
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« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2012, 09:44 AM »

Nice pictures in the magazine, but not enough, and too much with the club politics. Nothing makes my eyes glaze over faster than meaningless politics.
It's what people talk about a lot. No question, it exists. I just ignore it and it does not affect me at all. The AKA and kiting functions just fine if you just let it roll off your back. I hear stuff all of the time but I just listen and then go back to flying kites. They seem to fly just the same.  Wink
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Todd Copeland
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Bill Rogers
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« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2012, 09:56 AM »

I joined in '97 because I had to, to be able to compete. I no longer compete and just recently let my membership lapse, mostly because of some of the politics within the AKA in the past few years have left a real bad taste in my mouth.

Bill
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Tmadz
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« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2012, 10:15 AM »

I've been lurking on this topic. I am new to kiting and have not joined the AKA. I do support the stores on these forums and certainly have supported the kitemakers, I do not see that one need to entice me to join. I understand about the insurance to have festivals, but my time is limited and I can only make one or two in the region. I won't be travelling to KP, antelope Lake, WSIKF or the such for years, if at all. As far as I can tell, I haven't seen a compelling answer to Johns question either way.
so create such a rift, except for lack of
I can't imagine what politics could be involved to turning people off, but it's kites for crying out loud. What could be so important to create such a rift? (rhetorical)
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RonG
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« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2012, 10:21 AM »

I can't imagine what politics could be involved to turning people off, but it's kites for crying out loud. What could be so important to create such a rift? (rhetorical)
"Important" has nothing to do with it. It doesn't matter if it's kites or anything else - you get more than 2 people involved in any activity and sooner or later you have politics.

Plenty of "us vs. them" in the AKA. Stick around long enough and you'll get your fill.

I'm in roughly the same boat as Bill - I've been an AKA member since I started flying kites in '97, remained a member for years because of sport kite competition, and I'm still a member of the AKA Sport Kite Committee so I just do a knee-jerk membership renewal every April. But to be honest, I'd be hard pressed to give anyone a compelling reason to join at this point.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 10:38 AM by RonG » Logged
RonG
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« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2012, 10:37 AM »

Without the AKA we don't have insurance at kite festivals.
Without insurance we don't have kite festivals.
Without kite festivals people don't see kites flown in mass.
Without people seeing kites being flown, they don't go buy a kite.
Without people buying kites, kite stores close.
When kite stores close, kite makers don't sell them kites.
When kite makers sell fewer kites, they stop making new ones.
When kite makers stop making new ones, you have steal other peoples kites.
When you start stealing other peoples kites, you get arrested.
When you get arrested, you'll have plenty of time to sit in prison and wish you had paid your AKA dues.
Pay your AKA dues. . .


I wonder how many people on this forum bought a kite because they saw one being flown at a kite festival?

What you've said might have been true when I first started flying...15 years ago. People went to festivals and saw new kites, met manufacturer's reps, other fliers, bought kites. The Internet changed that. Most of the newer people involved have never been to a competition or festival, in fact don't live anywhere near a place that a festival takes place. Maybe they saw someone flying something at a park or beach, or saw a video online, and from that point on they did almost all of their kite learning/purchasing/socializing in cyberspace.

It would be a great argument for joining the AKA or maintaining membership, but it flies in the face of reality.
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tcope
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« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2012, 11:09 AM »

I understand about the insurance to have festivals, but my time is limited and I can only make one or two in the region. I won't be travelling to KP, antelope Lake, WSIKF or the such for years, if at all. As far as I can tell, I haven't seen a compelling answer to Johns question either way.

Then I think you are missing my point. Even if you don't attend a festival that relies on the AKA insurance, please understand that your participation in the AKA allows those festivals to take place. So your participation helps all other fliers who attend those events. _That_ is what I mean about doing something for the AKA (all of the members)... not what the AKA (other members) can do for you. View it like that and then think about it some more.
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Todd Copeland
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« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2012, 11:14 AM »

I wonder how many people on this forum bought a kite because they saw one being flown at a kite festival?

I do it all of the time and wish I could do it more. Granted, I can watch a video on the Internet but it's just not the same. Also, when I go to a festival I can simply look around like a kid in a candy store. I can also talk to the people that own the kite for more information.
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Todd Copeland
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« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2012, 11:32 AM »

I think several folks have stated my thoughts much better than I managed during the work day yesterday. Todd, Boomer, Jim, Allen, others, thanks for helping my brain out.  Roll Eyes  Wink

I have no local AKA presence either. My "local" kite shop is 3-1/2 hours away and I only get there once every year or two if I make a concerted effort.

My nearest festival is 3 hours away and I make every effort to help support that, flying the type kite that helps draw the attendees and not necessarily what I'd prefer to be flying. Being close to that festival, I know how big an effort is required to start and maintain a festival. Johnfarl can chime in on that one with first-hand experience. In some cases, the AKA insurance is crucial to a festival's viability. And when I see 1500 kids making kites, being excited, and the parent involvement in that, I'm looking at the future for the kite industry. And who knows which adult is going to get hooked by that demo, the hands on, the on-site lessons, etc. - something they otherwise wouldn't ever try. Sure, the internet has changed things (think iQuad's LC video, too) but I think the real-life experience and exposure can't be beat.

Beyond that, I can drive 6 or 8 hours, or fly to the coast for my fix, or for even decent flying. I'm getting pretty good at packing the hard case.  Grin

If I was closer to the action and had more free time, I'd probably try to participate in the AKA as well. I've been very close to doing so in the past but just didn't have the spare time. I dislike the politics but try to ignore the crap. When I do read that forum, I know what to skip and what to read.

I think the magazine is terrific and Phil does an awesome job. If that's the only benefit a person feels they might derive from dues, that's not a bad return. Any subscription to a publication is usually going to cost a bunch these days - the differential's probably pretty small, and this is one I enjoy reading.

It's not those of us reading this forum who will perpetuate the sport. We can't even keep the Kmacs of the world in business long term. It's that newbie, that kid, that person who stops you on the beach or at a festival and asks where you got that bird SLK (Laima) or stands in awe of that PL inflatable.

I love kites of all types - flying and building. I'm willing to pitch in a few bucks to help foster the sport and hobby. It's not really what I get out of it directly but a little way that I feel I can help the sport.
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Bob
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« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2012, 12:18 PM »

I wonder how many people on this forum bought a kite because they saw one being flown at a kite festival?


Well I met one last weekend, His name is Tobie, and 2 years ago Suzette convinced him to come to Brookings for the kite festival. He set his chair on the road and prepared to be board... instead, he was mesmerized, astonished, at what he saw on the field... He bought a kite that day and returned home, he has since opened a kite shop and started a local monthly fly.... all because he saw a kite at a festival...



I don't know if he is a AKA member, but he is on this forum, aren't you Tobie
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