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G-man 10-16-2008 10:21 PM

Help! Where to kite on Friday afternoon?
Help! I'm from CA and am visiting Ft. Myers for a meeting that ends at noon on Friday. I'm heading down to the Keys for the weekend, but I really want to get in a couple of hours of kiting on Friday afternoon. Any suggestions?

Sanibel is the closest but it looks like it might be light winds tomorrow.

Islamorada is about a 4 hour drive (maybe more with Friday afternoon traffic?), so I could be there at 4pm, best case. Is that my best bet? Is there anywhere else on the way, like Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, or one of the closer Keys?

I'm pretty new to the sport, so I'm looking for a beginner friendly launch.

Thanks for the help FL kiters! Would love to repay the favor when you are in SF!

RickI 10-16-2008 10:27 PM

Going by the forecast and the fact that we've had a powerful system just move down the state I would say if you really want to try to find wind tomorrow you are better off making it to the Keys as fast as you can. Mainland southern Florida (both coasts) is looking light for the next few days in the wake of this system. It might not work out that way but it often does. The Keys may be catching the tail end of the system plus they often are in the middle of a larger pressure gradient than the mainland, hence more wind more of the time. It is supposed to dip down there on Saturday and return on Sunday unlike points north.

Checkout the forecasts on the SE Florida site to see what I mean at:

Have fun!

G-man 10-16-2008 10:50 PM

Thank you, Rick! You really do an awesome job with this forum. Is Islamorada the first good launch to hit, or is there something closer? I just realized that it takes 3+ hours to drive all the way down the Keys. I want to spend the daylight hours kiting not driving, of course :)

Thanks, again!

RickI 10-16-2008 11:03 PM

Thanks! Often you would have options further north on the mainland, it just doesn't look like it right now. It's been great up here on the SE mainland for a while but it's ebbing now. There are launches all up and down there Keys including north of Islamorada. Pretty much anywhere you can legally figure out where to park, find walking access to the water, prerig your lines and wrap them back on your bar, inflate your leading edge and roll it taco style and your good to go. Walk out into the shallows on the east or Florida Straits side, pump it up do an assisted launch and off you go. Hundreds of miles of riding area just opened to you.

As you're from out of the area, may not be used to doing this sort of thing and may not have an assistant, Whale Harbor in Islamorada or later perhaps Anns Beach a bit further south are probably your best bets. Sunday you might want to head down to Key West if conditions look good there. The extra driving time will probably be worth it to Hope you get some good wind, have fun.

G-man 10-16-2008 11:10 PM

Thanks again, Rick, for your fast replies and all your help!! Here's to some good wind this weekend! Cheers!

G-man 10-18-2008 06:07 PM


Thanks so much for your advice. Unfortunately, I timed this thing horribly--I arrived in FL as the wind was dying and I'm leaving as it's picking up. Ugh.

On Friday, I stopped by Anne's and Whale Harbor but it was really too light to kite. I got down to Bahia Honda, which was a beautiful beach and actually had good wind, but the sun was about to go down. Saturday, I was skunked all day :(.

I'm trying to make the best of a bad situation, so I'm going to get up at the crack of dawn and try to kite for a few hours before I have to head to MIA airport. My question is: is there any danger to doing this? any huge fish that feed on kiters at dawn? haha...I just figured I'd ask since there won't be any beach goers at that hour.

Thank again!

RickI 10-18-2008 10:33 PM

I was looking at the realtime wind Friday afternoon and wondering if it would fill in. Sorry things didn't time out better for you, it happens to us all. Even locals! Bahia Honda is a beautiful beach to be sure.

It looks like the wind is to build to 15 to 20 again tomorrow. Hope it happens before dawn. Lots of guys kite around dawn, there are no migrations on currently. I would have at it and have fun.

G-man 10-19-2008 06:07 AM

Thanks again, Rick. Hey, I'm about to drive up the Keys and I'm looking at wind but is looking like N or NE, which rules out (offshore) several of the places I was considering hitting on the way...Whale Harbor, Anne's, Bahia Honda. Is there a good NE spot between here and MIA?

BigR 10-19-2008 06:43 AM

No , there really is no spot between matheson and whale harbor

except for Turkey point and long point maybe, but I wouldn't recommend those

RickI 10-19-2008 08:47 AM

Yes, the side off to offshore problem. As low as the Keys are, those directions can still deliver poor wind quality with too many gusts and lulls. If the kite goes down and stays down, offshore you go yourself. Sometimes in Islamorada they take folks out to the sand bar about 1/2 to 3/4 mile offshore towards the Straits. The wind quality can still be uneven but at least you can standup over the shoals and walk back to where you started usually.

Aside from that, as Raul said, not a lot of spots with nearby public parking for N (side off in lots of lower SE Florida) or NE in the upper Keys. NE is a great direction along the mainland north of Government Cut in Miami however. None of this probably does you any good. Sorry things didn't time out hope it was a good trip anyway. With cold fronts driving much of the useable wind this time of year, it comes and it goes regularly.

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