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Old 01-08-2008, 08:28 PM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Originally Posted by Adam View Post
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.
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Last edited by RickI; 01-09-2008 at 02:34 PM.
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