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Old 03-09-2005, 10:32 AM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,660
Default Blown Away On The Flats Of Key West!!!


There is a whole world out there for riding.

A great kiteboarding destination
has just become even better ... Key West

has introduced an exciting new concept to kiteboarding ... Riding the Island Flats.*
WARM, knee deep water for launching and riding, deeper channels for popping jumps, RIDEABLE wind from all directions and no beaches to run into.
And, then there is the WIND.

Average and peak winds going way back for Sand Key that reflect conditions miles offshore and in the Flats, looking good! Remember winds are generally better offshore, away from land where winds are often lighter. Paul Menta of tells me that there are thermal winds at times in the Flats that are absent closer to the Keys. For air temperature info CLICK HERE and water temperature info CLICK HERE

Key West is a scenic couple of hours drive south of Miami. The trip over the Overseas Highway and Seven Mile Bridge is a unique experience.

Heading down the Overseas Highway

Or you could just fly in ...

Today there is a great shoreside airport for turbo props and some jets.

An aerial view of the riding grounds with the mangrove cays of Lakes Passge on the horizon.* The flats present an excellent learning environment for new riders. Steady winds, shallow water, no waves to slow progress, no beach to run into and instructors to follow along by boat or kayak as you learn this great sport. Without waves and beaches to avoid, learning progress can be phenominally fast.

*** VIDEO ***
Paul Menta of The Kitehouse has served up a great video of the Flats taken from the air CLICK TO SHOW ME THE VIDEO

Key West, Lakes Passage to the west and ALL those riding flats. Experienced riders will eat up all those butter conditions and throw down tricks out the wazoo as they rip through the flats. There are even some wave spots not too far away ... shhhh. Downwinders, we're talking about some EPIC downwinders among the mangrove cays of the Flats. Top off a singular sesh with some free diving for lobster and fish for dinner.

Here is a 360 degree view of one riding area off of Key West.

It's dawn in Key West, time to get up and get going there's a day of riding ahead.

The winds just turned on, so let's hit it.

Let's take the 19 ft. Boston Whaler tender to sea taxi out to the houseboat moored on the way to the flats. Is your wife, kids or girlfriend tired of being left behind on the beach? No problem, bring 'em along to hang out on the water on the houseboat to enjoy the Flats and sun and watch you go off in all the great riding conditions.

You can just feel it's going to be a great day!

The 30 foot houseboat is ready to head to the riding grounds. You can ride, stop and rest on the houseboat have drinks, snacks, lunch and catchup with your SO. It's your base of operations in the Flats.

A short ride out and you are there. *

Setup is so easy, no sand, waves, bystanders just shallow water, sandy bottom, air tanks for inflating bladders and experienced coaches to see you on your way. It was a bit nippy with a cold front this day in February 2005. We wore wetsuits and had a great time. The folks further up the east coast had to deal with a 2 foot dump of snow from the same cold front while we were shredding. Life is good!

Did I mention the easy learning conditions?

Just unpack 'em, stack 'em and fly 'em up. New Cabrinha kites, Lightwave Designs boards and bars are available to guests of The Kitehouse while riding the Flats.

The view from the houseboat.

Captain Paul at the helm while the guests hang out and listen to tunes from the Satellite Radio.

Sun and butter conditions.

Had a great day of riding, time to kick back? Why not and while you're at it chow down on some freshly caught lobster or fish minutes from the sea? Chef Paul will not only help you catch them but will also prepare them just so. Paul was a gourmet chef for many years in Key West and beyond.*

It doesn't get much better than this.*

Had a great day on the water, well your not done yet. Unless you want to be of course, Key West awaits.

You can wander around and check out the Wreckers Museum.

A 360 degree view of the west end of Key West

The period Key West Aquarium.


This place is classic.

Go for a stroll through the grave yard.

Cruise along tree lined streets of Victorian conch houses

You can see marid performers at Mallory Square celebrating the sunset everyday.
Checkout the fire breathing, chainsaw juggling cats of Key West, a personal favorite. These are some
talented moggies with attitude!

Mallory Square goes off.

Go on a pub crawl and checkout the "wildlife."

Go for a sunset sail.

Or just checkout the craft from shore as the sun sets below the sea.

Nighttime Key West brings lots of sights, bars and restaurants.

An outdoor restaurant complete with live music.

and then there's the riding ...

It's all waiting for you in Key West. Get in touch with Kitesurf The Earth and THE KITEHOUSE to learn more about Key West and to book accommodations and kiting trips at this outstanding destination. It offers more than just wind, as if that isn't enough, but also a vacation for the wife, kids or girlfriend.

See you in Key West. When it's good, it's GREAT!

Photo credit to The Kitehouse/ for photos marked with " * "

Copyright 2005 FKA, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

Last edited by RickI; 02-07-2008 at 01:38 PM.
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