Rules of the Road
Please see individual riding spot guides below for specific rules & regulations pertaining to each spot. Big picture items include:
Much of the eastern end of Martha’s Vineyard is closed to off-road vehicle beach traffic due to nesting shorebirds during the spring and summer. Kiters are required to stay 200 yards away from these closure zones while kiting. Please review the Trustees of the Reservation Facebook page
or call their hotline
to obtain an up to date map of the bird closure zones. If Trustee Rangers talk to you, ask what the rules are, be courteous of their requests, and help others to be aware and follow the rules.
The majority of the beaches on the vineyard are private property and have limited access. Be confident of where you park and ensure it is on public property. Do not set up on private property above mean-low tide. Always be respectful, courteous, and transparent if anyone comes and talks to you.
Having the right suit is key to comfort. During the summer - late June, July, and August - you will want a 2mm Shortie (wetsuit top) or you can go just board shorts and t-shirt during the day. During the spring - April through mid-June- or the fall - September and October - you will want a 4.3 or 3.2 wetsuit. In the winter - November through March - you will want a 5.4 with hood, booties, and gloves. The wind is always colder when blowing from the north, and we always recommend airing on the side of caution.
The best wind sensor to predict the winds for kiting is found at iKitesurf.
Predicting the wind on Martha's Vineyard can be difficult as there are no really good south facing wind sensors. We like to use the Vineyard Haven Sensor as a basis of our prediction, then look at the local marine forecast and smaller sensors around the island to get a read on what the wind is doing.
Generally, if you see southwest winds in the low teens and building throughout the day, there is a thermal that will fill in the afternoon and you can get out on a big kite. You can generally add a few knots to the forecast to factor for the thermal effect.
In case of emergency
Please be sure to put your contact information on your equipment. If you abandon a kite or lose a board, please contact the police to let them know you are safe (and so they don’t go on a wild goose chase looking for you!). If you do lose equipment, feel free to call us, as people tend to report lost gear they find, and we can help get it back to you. If you see someone struggling or needing help, please assist if you can or call for help.
Martha’s Vineyard is a busy island with lots of boat traffic, fisherman, shell fisherman, beachgoers, and commercial operators. Be respectful of others by staying a minimum of 100 yards away from other boats, fisherman, swimmers, and others using the water. Please also stay a minimum of 100 yards away from any oyster cages or shellfish gear in the water.
There are no local "kite shops" on the Vineyard. If you want to get information on anything kite related we recommend you give us, Next Level Watersports, a call.
There are other kiters on the island, but, if you're coming out here, make sure you have all the right pump fittings and a repair kit for your kite!