AQUA BLUE PERFECTION

Taking kiteboarding lessons in Florida is a great option for someone looking to break into the sport as well as the advanced rider. The water is warm, the wind is consistent, it is quick & easy to get to, and there are numerous great spots to learn & ride. We get calls and questions from clients all the time asking where to go to kiteboard in Florida so we decided to put together the following tips. 


Rules of the Road

Safety First

Regardless of region, we have to mention safety. Making sure you have taken lessons is critical learning safety systems, kite control, and getting back on your board, helping you to be proficient at kiteboarding safely. Put your name and number on your board in case you lose it (and call the authorities letting them know you’re ok if you do!). Let others know you are going out and avoid kiting alone. Do not launch at tight launching spots if you are new. Most of all, you can put others in danger of getting hurt when you are kiting. Please stay away from other beachgoers, avoid boats & others in the water, and ask for help to avoid getting into precarious situations.

 

What to Know

The Wind & Windy Season in Florida

The wind in Florida tends to be strongest in the winter “windy” season running roughly from December through May. Winds can be frontal driven but are generally created by thermals. The wind in Florida generally ranges from the low teens to mid-thirties. This varies by region and weather pattern.

Current Winds

WETSUIT SELECTION

Florida water during the winter can be a bit chilly, but never cold. We recommend a 3.2 mm wetsuit, a long sleeve shorty, or a wetsuit top. It is always colder when the winds blow from the north. You won’t need booties or gloves for warmth.

Chasing Waves

True swell driven waves only hit the east coast of Florida (especially in Stuart!) in northern regions. As you go further south along the east coast, the Bahamas tend to block big incoming swell on average. The west coast can get some waves from the Gulf, but it tends to be wind driven, short period waves. Further down south, the Florida Keys are too shallow to receive waves beyond wind chop.


WHERE TO KITE IN CENTRAL FLORIDA - EAST COAST

Vero Beach, Stuart, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale
This is our home spot and home to some of the best, most consistent kiteboarding in the state of Florida. There is a thermal breeze that fills consistently each afternoon, and the wind generally blows in the mid to high teens unless there is a storm rolling through. There is flat water riding on the inside of the Intercoastal Waterway from Stuart to Vero Beach and miles of oceanside riding where you can score waves as an advanced rider. There are a few key launch areas within the Stuart Causeway, Hutchinson Island, and down in Jupiter that are suitable for beginner through advanced riders.

If taking kiteboarding lessons on the East Coast in Central Florida, we recommend taking lessons with us (Next Level Watersports) in our Stuart location just north of Jupiter. When looking on a map, you will see that Stuart marks the location where the Intercoastal Waterway opens up to be almost a mile wide. It is the only location in the region that offers the critical flat water & boat support to learn in. 

 

Kiteboarding in Stuart

 


  • Overview

    The Stuart Inlet is defined as the flats north of the Port Salerno Inlet, west of Sailfish Point, East of Sewall's Point, and South of the NE Ocean Boulevard Bridge. The Stuart Inlet is an incredible flat water riding spot with mangrove runs, hidden islands, and lots of places to explore on a twin tip. The bay is predominantly waist deep and great for beginners through advanced riders. As you go further north towards the bridge, it becomes deep enough to hydrofoil.


    Restrictions

    The Stuart Inlet is open to the public, but has a lot of users within the waterway - the spot is one accident away from having kiting banned. Stay away from all other boats you see out there, especially fisherman. A good rule of thumb is to stay at least 100 yards away from anyone else on the water. The only viable way to access the Stuart Inlet is by boat using a boat launch. We run trips out to the riding area throughout the windy season (December - May) and take riders to the spot for a fee. Call us or email us to set up a ride along.


    Rideable Wind Conditions

    This spot can be kited in most wind directions as long as it is coming in from the ocean. Offshore breezes (anything with west in it) is coming off the land and tends to be extremely gusty. The bay is big enough that you can position yourself to get a good fetch (distance between sources of wind disturbance and you) and get a good breeze approach. Expect to ride 15m - 7m kites on average during windy season in December - May, trending towards bigger kites. SE sea breeze is the predominant wind and tends to build as the land heats throughout the day. NE frontal driven breezes tend to bring the strongest winds and are gusty and chilly.


    Hazards

    The current tends to rip through the inlet either helping or hurting your ability to go upwind. Be wary of the direction of the current and where it flows fastest within the channels.

    It can be extremely shallow in areas depending on tide, be careful of landing in shallow water and hurting yourself. There is also a ton of boat traffic flowing through the ICW and people partying on their boats on weekends. Stay clear of the ICW Channel no matter what!

    There is a federally protected bird island on the west side of the channel close to Sewall's Point that you must stay 500 yards away from. As a rule of thumb, if you avoid going west of the channel, you shouldn't run into problems. South of the Hutchinson Island Marriott on the eastern edge of the inlet there is a bay. Stay out of that bay, it is a bull shark breeding ground!

    If you go out, we recommend referring to Google Earth on your phone, it will tell you where the deep water channels and shallows run and where you are relative to them.



Flying Elsewhere?

Kiting in Northeast Florida: Cocoa Beach, Jacksonville
Cocoa Beach is the birthplace of Kelly Slater and a great place to go for flat water riding and ocean side wave riding. The infamous 321 slick is an excellent flat water spot to learn to kiteboard and has consistent breeze during the winter months (December – May). The location is suitable for beginner to advanced riders looking to ride flat water and intermediate to advanced riders looking to ride waves during the winter. If you follow the coastline north up to Jacksonville and beyond there are numerous good beaches to launch from for ocean side riding.

Within the Northeast Region we recommend 321 Kiteboarding as your go to school for lessons and information. They have been there for years, have professional coaches, have boat support, and allow you to learn in flat water – the key components for rapid progression.

Kiting in Central Florida - West Coast: St. Petersburg
The West Coast of Florida has incredible flat water riding opportunities and is a great place to learn to kiteboard. Because the water is a bit warmer on the Gulf side of the state, the breeze tends to be frontal driven instead of thermal which makes the breeze a bit fickler. The West Coast of Florida is awesome for all levels of riders and is also a great place to hydrofoil.

If you are going to take lessons on the West Coast of Florida, we have to recommend our good friend Drew Christianson’s school Best Pro Kiteboarding Center. He runs a professional operation offering lessons in flat water with jet ski support and is an excellent resource for reliable information.

Kiteboarding in Miami: South Beach, Crandon Park, Stiltsville
Miami is an awesome place to kite, but is highly regulated and there are a lot of restrictions due to the high number of people in the area. We recommend you look up the kiteboarding rules in Miami before you go. South Beach provides good oceanside riding with shorebreak and small waves you can jump off of. The waves rarely get big, but, when they do, they are big! South of Miami proper you will find Crandon Park and Stiltsville. Both are great flat water riding spots with shallow waters you can learn and ride in.

If you are going to learn to kite on South Beach, we recommend TKS Watersports – they are one of the original schools in Miami. Further south in Crandon Park, you can use Miami Kiteboarding – while they don’t have boat support, you are learning in waist deep water that is great for learning to kiteboard. Lastly, if you want to go out to Stiltsville, you can contact South Florida Kiteboarding who will bring you out to the flats to learn to kite. Built during the prohibition era, Stiltsville is a cool spot to ride as you have houses on stilts out in the water.

Kiteboarding in the Florida Keys: Islamorada, Marathon, Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are another great spot for kiting with miles and miles of turquoise blue flat water riding and mangrove islands to jump over. There are no waves in the keys, as it is made up of shallow sandbars. The Keys also get consistent tropical breeze. The combination of flat, shallow waters and consistent breeze make it an excellent spot for learning to kiteboard. Due to much of the beachfront being private, it can be difficult to access kiteboarding spots on the beach on your own and you generally need a boat.

If you wish to learn in the Keys, we highly recommend our friends at Otherside Boardsports. They are one of the first kiteboarding schools to combine a cable park that can allow you to learn how to ride a board with the ability to go out on the water kiting. They also have a robust staff of seasoned kiteboard instructors, boat support, and consistent breeze.

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