- Global Research Highlights features key macro and industry reports as well as actionable stock ideas published this week.
- This week we highlight our eCommerce outlook, an update on banks and a deep dive on changes in seed technology.
- We also feature stock updates on VZ, GE, QCOM, CRM, BMRN, an initiation on ALLE and an upgrade of FIT.
Florida has some of the best spots for kiteboarding in the entire nation. Unfortunately, many locals and visitors may not take advantage of these opportunities due to their lack of experience with kiteboarding and the common perception that the sport is difficult to learn. On the contrary, individuals can often pick up the basics quickly and enjoy themselves on the water within a matter of hours. Of course, developing the skills necessary to perform tricks or more advanced techniques takes time, but people will gradually improve just as they would by practicing any other sport. Here are some tips to help complete beginners to get started with the fun sport:
1. Start with a trainer kite.
The trainer kite is much smaller than what people typically use when kiteboarding. During this stage, people should avoid the board altogether and simply master the physics of using a kite. People can train with the kite in any open space ranging from a beach to an open field. The key technique to master is to use the wind window to get the kite to move in the right direction. Many trainer kites come with instructional videos and manuals with exercises to complete so that individuals can become fully comfortable with using the kite before they get in the water. Mastering kite skills from the beginning will make getting up and around on the water much easier. People may also want to spend some time on a sailboat since concepts such as lift, drag, angle of attack, and wind orientation all apply directly to the experience of kiteboarding.
2. Learn board skills.
People who previously learned other board-related sports, especially wakeboarding, will find a lot of crossover when they start to learn the basics of kiteboarding. However, surfing, snowboarding, and even longboarding will give individuals a head start. Individuals who are interested in learning how to kiteboard should try to develop their skills in a related sport before they get in the water with the kite. People who live in colder climates can spend additional time on a snowboard, and those who reside close to the water can try surfing and wakeboarding. If these are not viable options, individuals can always spend some time on a skateboard. The edge control techniques learned with these boards translate directly to kiteboarding, and individuals can practice without having to worry about the kite.
3. Invest in kiteboarding lessons.
While some people have taught themselves kiteboarding or learned from their friends, taking a full-size kite on the water without proper training can be dangerous. Just as people would not skydive or paraglide without training, they should not attempt to kiteboard until they feel absolutely ready. Kiteboarding demands a full understanding of wind dynamics and the ability to think quickly in the event of an emergency. People who enter the water before they are ready not only put themselves at risk, but also the other people on the beach. Beginning kiteboarders should keep as much distance as possible between themselves and other people in the water or on the beach. Small mistakes, such as steering the kite too quickly across the sky, can result in disaster when people lose control of their kites.
4. Ensure that you are using gear that meets your needs.
Beginners may not want to invest in high-quality gear since it can be very expensive. Luckily, most training facilities should have equipment to rent. This option is generally preferable over borrowing gear from friends due to the importance of using gear that fits properly. Several different designs and sizes exist, and the right option depends on a person’s height, weight, gender, and general level of fitness. Individuals may want to find a trusted professional to help them learn about the different types of gear and identify the best options for their specific needs.
When it comes time to purchasing personal gear, individuals should pay more attention to quality than price. Several expensive pieces of gear may not have the quality that they should, while cheaper variations may prove extremely good bargains considering the expert fabrication of the product.
5. Practice body dragging.
Before trying out their boarding and kite skills, individuals should practice body dragging. They should use the kite to drag themselves through the water face first. This technique ensures that people have really mastered kite control while allowing them to practice with what they need to do to retrieve a board should they fall. Since the slingshot effect of leashes poses a great risk to the body, kiteboarders do not use them. As a result, they must chase the board down in the water, using the kite to drag them along. By keeping your head down and your legs together, your body becomes a rudder to steer you through the water toward your destination.
The late fall and early winter months are full of many celebrations, which often translate to large feasts that can stretch over the course of many days. These holiday meals are a great opportunity for involving children with the cooking process, whether making fun, seasonal treats or the larger, multiple-course dinners that often define this time of the year.
Involving children in cooking can teach them basic cooking skills that they can build on in years to come, instill important safety considerations, and even reinforce some of the concepts that they have learned in school, especially science and math. The following tips can help you involve your children in holiday meal preparation in meaningful and fun ways:
1. Give your children valuable tasks to complete.
With younger children, it can be tempting to assign mostly “busy” tasks that make them feel like they contribute with actually doing anything. Typically, children see through this guise. Instead, find tasks that they can actually complete.
Kids of any age can complete tasks that do not involve heat or sharp objects. These tasks include washing foods in a colander, tearing lettuce for a salad, or even mashing potatoes. Younger children can also play a role in setting the table. By giving kids meaningful tasks, you demonstrate a degree of trust that builds their confidence and makes them more excited to participate in future cooking projects.
2. Provide an opportunity for experimentation.
Older children may come to the kitchen with ideas of the own. Instead of discouraging experimentation, you should work with your kids to come up with a game plan, even if it is just to make a smaller, “test” version of the new idea. You can even invite your children to think of additional menu alterations to help develop their imagination. For example, if you forgot to purchase the marshmallows that normally go on top of a sweet potato casserole, you could charge your child with finding something else to put on top. This could be anything from crushed corn flakes to chocolate chips to sharp cheddar, depending on the tastes of your family.
3. Use cooking to reinforce scientific principles.
You can find a number of online kid-friendly recipes that reinforce learning from science class. By baking from scratch, for example, children can learn about fermentation and how that produces carbon dioxide, which causes the bread to rise.
You can also tailor the depth of the lesson according to the ages of your children or even use it as an opportunity for the older kids to teach something new to the younger ones. Very young children especially enjoy using food dyes to learn about color combinations.
Another commonly used lesson involves making ice cream the “old-fashioned” way, using salt to lower the freezing temperature of ice and freeze the dairy products before their eyes. Families without an ice cream churn can easily use Ziploc bags to create homemade ice cream.
4. Involve kids in the planning and shopping process.
As you plan for your large holiday meals, you can ask your children what they would like to eat and then charge them with making those items. Involving children in this process teaches them to plan and research. The kids will need to look at recipes, find one that looks particularly good, and then make a shopping list.
Ideally, you can take your kids to a local farmers’ market so that they can engage with people who grew the food they will eat and learn exactly where the ingredients were grown. This step involves them in the entire process and teaches them all the work that goes into producing food and then turning it into something delicious for the table.
5. Incorporate math into the kitchen.
Much of cooking depends on math, and even very young children have the skills necessary to help with these steps. Entrusting calculations to children can increase their confidence in the classroom and make them feel like they have mastered the concepts involved.
One of the most basic ways to incorporate math is to ask children to help divide dough into equal parts. The children will have to think about how to go about the division and then count the parts to make sure that they ended up with the right number. Best of all, if they make a mistake, they can easily correct it.
To reinforce multiplication, have kids help with scaling recipes. When cooking for the holidays, families typically need to multiple a recipe by two, three, or even four. You can ask your kids to do the conversions and then do a quick double check to make sure that calculations are right. Measuring also involves fractions, whether adding, dividing, or multiplying them.
With excellent weather and diverse terrain, Florida is one of the best states for outdoor enthusiasts. Many people know about the multitude of great hiking trails in Florida, but the state also boasts some excellent mountain biking trails that offer plenty of challenges and thrills.
Whether you’ve been mountain biking for years or you’re just getting started, you’ll need a good local shop to rely on for repairs, parts, gear, or a new ride. Below are some of the top bike shops in Southern Florida.
Another great resource for bikers in Southern Florida is The Miami Bike Scene, which has information about local events, group rides, and shops. The organization also maintains an extensive list of reputable shops on its website, TheMiamiBikeScene.com.
1. Big Wheel Cycles in Fort Lauderdale
Located on East Sunrise Boulevard, Big Wheel Cycles has a massive inventory and a skilled team of service professionals ready to work with each customer to find the perfect bike. Here, you’ll be able to find all the top brands, including Bontrager and Cannondale, as well as bicycle mechanics certified by the Barnett Bicycle Institute. These professionals provide bike assembly services, as well as adjustments, repairs, and maintenance. The store is a local chain with two other locations: another in Fort Lauderdale and one in Sunrise, Florida.
2. Miami Beach Bicycle Center
A certified bike fitter, Miami Beach Bicycle Center can help you select the bike that best fits your body and riding needs. No other shop in Miami Beach has certification for bike fitting. The store even provides custom builds, allowing you to build a bike to your exact specifications. In addition, the shop carries all of the top brands, such as Raleigh, Trek, and Pure Fix. Besides mountain bikes, you can also find road bikes, urban bikes, hybrids, and several other types and styles.
3. The Miami Bike Shop
The Miami Bike Shop is located on Biscayne Boulevard. The shop specializes in mountain bikes and its knowledgeable staff works closely with you to help you learn about the different options and make the right choice. Selecting the right mountain bike can be difficult, but the shop’s staff clearly lays out the pros and cons of each option to ensure that you don’t make a choice that you’ll regret in the future. In addition, the shop’s professionals look at bikes as a long-term investment and offer a full range of repairs and tune-ups, from brake and gear adjustments to complete overhauls.
4. Bell’s Bicycles
Perhaps one of the most recognizable names in Florida biking, Bell’s Bicycles is located in North Miami Beach. The staff here prides itself on honesty and professionalism, making it one of the most trustworthy places to purchase a new bicycle or shop for aftermarket parts. The inventory includes a wide range of mountain bikes, as well as other types of bikes. In addition, customers will find a full line of biking apparel and accessories, including helmets. The store offers fittings for customers in search of a new bike, as well as repair and maintenance services.
5. Bicycle Evolution
Another shop located in Fort Lauderdale, Bicycle Evolution carries Fuji, Marin, Montague, and other renowned brands. Outside of mountain bikes, the shop offers BMX styles, folding bikes, fixies, and cruisers. If you want something that is not available in the store, the staff members are able to special-order bikes and parts. Experienced mechanics can also help with maintenance and a full range of repairs. Bicycle Evolution is conveniently situated on West State Road 84.
6. Revolution Bicycle Services
A small bike shop tucked away in Coconut Grove, Revolution Bicycle Services takes an old-school approach to maintenance with repairs that are fast, affordable, and high quality. The shop uses the best parts possible to ensure that repairs are lasting. In addition, the owner of the shop takes a special interest in everyone who walks through the door and takes the time to make sure every customer is satisfied. Reviews on yelp.com also note that the owner has showed people how to fix their bikes themselves.
7. Trek Bicycle Store
Not far from Big Wheel Cycles, the first shop on this list, Trek Bicycle Store offers a wide selection of Trek brand bikes of all styles, including mountain bikes, road bikes, kids’ bikes, cruisers, urban commute bikes, and much more. Performance apparel, frames, parts, and accessories are also available. In 2015, the shop received recognition as one of America’s Best Bike Shops from the National Bicycle Dealers Association. This award recognized the shop’s dedicated team and commitment to high quality repairs. The store is part of a chain with other locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Estero, and Sunrise.
Florida is a great place for people with a passion for outdoor adventure. From hiking to water sports, Florida offers all kinds of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. One sport that has grown in popularity over the years is kiteboarding, which involves the use of a kite to propel yourself along the water as you stand atop a floating board. While the sport may appear to involve a steep learning curve, it is actually fairly easy to pick up and exhilarating once you actually do it. Since Florida has such an expansive coastline, it has become a prime destination for kiteboarders around the country. Several parts of the state provide wonderful spots for kiteboarding, with one of the most popular being the Gulf Coast. Following are some of the best kiteboarding destinations on the Florida Gulf Coast:
1. Treasure Island
A perfect spot for beginning kiteboarders, Treasure Island has mild waves that break against wide, sandy beaches. The area is ideal for novice kiteboarders who want to gain confidence and refine their skills before going out to beaches with rougher waves. However, it can be a very popular destination, so you should go during the off-hours. Moreover, you should avoid going into the water with surfers, skimboarders, and windsurfers, as the water can become too densely packed to kiteboard safely. Two great places to rent kiteboards are Kiteboarding Tampa Bay and Watersports West.
2. Pass-A-Grille Beach
Another great option for inexperienced kiteboarders, Pass-A-Grille Beach typically has small waves. Like Treasure Island, it can be quite crowded at certain periods. You may run into members of the Eckerd College Collegiate Kiteboarding Crew, which uses this beach to train. Triton Kiteboarding, the best resource for kiteboarders in the area, can advise people about the best kiteboarding spots and optimal times to go in the water.
3. Skyway North
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge spans 4 miles across Tampa Bay. Designed by Parsons Brinkerhoff, the bridge has an impressive protection system built to withstand a tremendous impact. The bridge, which took $245 million and five years to complete, supports four lanes of traffic between Pinellas and Manatee Counties. The north side of the bridge has become a popular destination for kiteboarders. However, beginning kiteboarders should not head out into the waves, since the area can be fairly hazardous due to the bridge and rocks nearby. People who choose to go out on the water are rewarded with unrivaled views of the bridge.
4. Skyway South
Miami Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor Patrick Dwyer