Guide to Florida’s Best Kitesurfing Spots
presented by Platinum Sun
Kitesurfing is making a big splash with free-thinking innovators like Richard Branson and Bill Tai advocating the increasingly versatile watersport. And just like those entrepreneurs, we have been inspired by kitesurfing – so much so that we created Platinum Sun thanks to our favorite windy past time! And since Platinum Sun’s home base is in Miami, we felt it fitting to fill you in on the Best Kitesurfing Spots in Florida. The selection is plentiful, so get ready!
KSURFING ON THE WEST COAST OF FLORIDA
Kiteboarding season in Tampa is November through April, with average wind speeds of around 20-30 knots. Although there aren’t many waves, there is still a considerable amount of chop. On the plus side, the area has several beaches that are suited for all levels of kiters.
Tampa, Honeymoon and Caladesi Island
Good launches and light, consistent winds from any direction are offered up by Honeymoon and Caladesi Island. A good ripping ride builds up when the winds are blowing from the southwest. Extra caution is necessary though since Honeymoon island is a “bird sanctuary,” so be eco-aware and kitesurf no closer than 150 yards from the beach.
Tampa, Treasure Island
New riders will enjoy Treasure Island since it has plenty of wide open spaces. The wind is pretty strong, so this will also keep the more experienced riders happy. The waves are typically small, but in the event of a tropical storm, they can get large. Space can get busy with skim boarders, windsurfers, and surfers, so make sure you are paying attention. Safety first!
Tampa, Fort Desoto Park
With unspoiled natural surroundings, Fort Desoto Park is perfect for beginners. Flat, shallow water makes it easy to check out your riding style in the reflection. The beach spans about six miles with two fishing piers and over 300 camping sites. Kiteboarding is allowed in the area except for North Beach where it is restricted.
Tiger Tail Beach in Marco Island is a favorite kite spot in this area. Kite surfers of all levels can use the waters to practice freestyle, free riding, long distance, and speed riding. There is an open and clean water riding area facing the Gulf with winds from the north-northwest to west and south-southeast directions. Best time to ride here is during high tide from November through May.
KITESURFING ON THE EAST COAST OF FLORIDA
Cocoa Beach, Cherie Down Park
Cherie Down Park is a seven-acre beach park that boasts of a 200-ft. boardwalk dotted with picnic shelters. YES, that means it can get crowded on weekends and holidays. The advantage of this spot the large parking area…when it’s not packed. Still, what makes this place popular with kite boarders and windsurfers are the really big waves on a wide beach at low tide! Heaven. You can also ride from almost every wind direction here.
Cocoa Beach, 520 Slick
A.K.A. 520 Boat Ramp is for advanced riders only since the spot has a very technical launch area covered by mangroves. Amateurs, sorry but you just can’t even attempt to ride here. Wind directions are good from north, north northwest, northwest to west. Most people choose to wear booties in this area because the bottom is mucky.
KITESURFING IN SOUTH FLORIDA
Pompano Beach has conditions for extreme kitesurfing! The area is loaded with safety limitations because the riders and the kitesurfing community have been fighting for years to keep the area an open kite surfing spot. Make sure you get acquainted with the rules because local authorities are quite strict. It’s a good idea to understand your limits, be careful, and of course, respect the people there. Kitesurfing is only allowed at Northeast 13th St. and Northeast 16th St. Break the rules and the locals will pop your kite, and worse, authorities will ticket you. West winds are off limits on Pompano Beach.
Miami, Crandon Park
Every year kiteboarders from all over the globe come to Crandon Park in Miami to showcase their best talents and tricks for the public at The Kitemasters. The event consists of slalom racing and freestyle riding for Pro Men’s, Women’s, Junior and Masters. You know what that means, during non-competition time, the area is great spot to develop your skills in kitesurfing like the pros do.
Stiltsville has perfect conditions for kite surfing enthusiasts since the water is flat, shallow and warm! These qualities seem to allow new students the develop their skills a lot quicker. Not to mention, the view is fantastic! There is a community of charming wooden houses on a huge sandbank that are only accessible by boat.
KITESURFING IN THE KEYS
A popular place among Florida kitesurfers is Islamorada, now commonly called The Purple Isle. The spot is picturesque with its calm, shallow, crystal clear, blue waters. The launch area is better for intermediate to advanced riders. Bear in mind, it can get crowded, especially on weekends. Maximize east-northeast to east to south-southwest winds as you ride.
Lower Matecumbe Key
Another famous spot in the Keys is Anne’s Beach in Lower Matecumbe Key thanks to the crystal blue, shallow water. While the setup area is small during high tide, the water is shallow therefore it is still a good area to launch. If you seek flat water kite boarding spot, this is the place for you especially is you are a beginner. The downside though is Anne’s Beach gets pretty crowded during weekends.
The island community of Marathon in the Florida Keys is home to another popular kitesurfing spot, Curry Hammock Park. Beginners need to be sure to wear foot protection due to sharp rocks, coralline algae, and urchins. Otherwise, it is a good spot for learning. If there are predicted good winds on the weekend, expect this spot to be packed. Wind directions are from east-northeast to east to west-southwest.
Key West boasts of some of the most consistent winds in the entire state of Florida. The wind is best from east, south or southwest. The most popular area is Smathers Beach – near the last jetty at the east end of the beach – where there is plenty of room to rig your gear and launch. BONUS: Smathers Beach has bathrooms at the west end of the beach! The area is crowded in season, and beginners need to beware of the roadway and power lines. Kitesurfing areas are designated, launch areas are regulated, and many restrictions apply.
Don’t forget! There is a reason Florida is called The Sunshine State. So, as you plan your kiteboarding trip to Florida keep yourself safe with our full collection of Platinum Sun rashguards and leggings made with the highest quality 30 SPF material.
Like our list? We’d love to hear those Florida spots that you love but we failed to mention. Drop a comment below.