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Adam 01-08-2008 07:57 PM

Help
 
im goin down to the keys for spring break on a little kite trip with a friend and i was just wondering the best kite spots! we dont have a boat so it needs to be inshore and we were hoping for a nice sandy bottom or some flats.. any help?

RickI 01-08-2008 08:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Adam (Post 27398)
im goin down to the keys for spring break on a little kite trip with a friend and i was just wondering the best kite spots! we dont have a boat so it needs to be inshore and we were hoping for a nice sandy bottom or some flats.. any help?

I'll jump in pending input from Noel and some of the other moderators for the Keys Forum. Most people visiting the Keys don't have boats that is why some of the kiting operations provide boat "sea taxi" services for experienced riders to prime kiting areas usually rideable with winds from all directions well offshore. So, no worries about not having a boat. You'll be able to get out there a lot cheaper than taking your own boat out to be sure.

On the Florida Straits or Atlantic Ocean side there is usually shallow water nearshore. Once you launch hundreds of square miles open up to you. You can encounter areas of slightly deeper water on the Florida Bay side with tons of shallow sand bars going way out towards the Gulf of Mexico. More often than not though you will want a support boat to hit these spots.

Abandon your concepts of conventional "beach launch" and landings * for much of the Keys. What very few "beaches" are there are often artificially created or maintained. There are seawalls fairly commonly along these beaches with limited exceptions. Assisted launches in the shallows as opposed from from shore is often the better, safer way to go. Trying to go with conventional land based launch can lead to ready tangles on stuff on the shoreline and hassles with other users in these small areas. Some launches are quite technical like Smathers Beach in Key West with common wind shadow and very close powerlines. Local knowledge on where and how to launch can be essential. There are even fewer public launches with nearby parking in the Keys than on the mainland and all are precious to local kiters as a result.

Over to the local guys for more specifics.


* There was a particularly nasty accident recently involving a kiter coming into shore from riding from a boat offshore in a sand bar area. The guy came in perhaps overpowered, completely missing the normal "small" landing area. He then proceeded to yell for an assisted landing a couple of hundred feet away in a boating channel near a bridge. He had no knowledge of whether or not there were kiters there, in fact there were not. One kiter, Rick, just happened to arrive as the emergency was developing and managed to save the kiters life through intense exertions in the water followed by administering CPR. More about this soon. The kiter should have just emergency depowered his kite immediately instead of waiting for help to arrive. Again, forget about conventional beach launching and landing in most of the Keys. You should adapt your techniques.

noel 01-09-2008 11:16 AM

Adam,

The riding spots in the keys are as follows:
Whale Harbor Marina, Upper Matecumbe

Anne’s Beach, Lower Matecumbe

Long Key State Park, Long Key

Cury Hammock

Coco Plum, Marathon

Sombrero Beach, Marathon

Bahia Honda

Smathers Beach, Key West

Bahia Honda and Smathers Beach are the only 2 true beaches with ample sand. The rest are abit tight. All the above launches face S-SE. East winds are the best as they are side to side on winds. When a NW-N winds hits they are usually very strong and not uncommon to peak at 45 mph.. The launches on the north side are few at best. For this we go to a select few spots for the best riding and most spots a boat is needed. If you are in the keys and need people to ride with or just have questions about the area, either ask here or call The Otherside Boardsports at (305)853-9728.

Stay safe and have fun!

Noel

Adam 01-09-2008 02:27 PM

Thank you very much to both of you! i got some great info and alot of spots. thanks Noel for all the local spots and RickI for the heads up on things. Ill be sure to call the otherside when im down there to hook up with a couple local riders. i saw a video of Anne's Beach on youtube and it looked like a prime spot. looked like there was a beach and nice buttery flats. thanks again for the help!



Adam


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