The Best Kiteboarding Spots in the USA (With a Few Surprises)

You won’t find all the usual suspects on this list — there’s a few untapped gems that will make you want to stop what you’re doing, pack your bags, and catch the next flight outta town.

Each of the ten kiteboarding locations on this list has a special appeal — from the wind to the surf conditions to the culture — they couldn’t be more different from one another. There’s something for every skill level and discipline of kiteboarder, whether you are a complete beginner looking to get into the sport, an advanced wave kiter, or a flatwater freestyle addict. The US’s extensive shoreline — Gulf, Atlantic, and Pacific — has it all, you just have to decide where to ride first.

Kites dot the sky along California’s coastline

Chasing the wind and discovering the best kiteboard locations all over the world has been my passion for the past eight years — ever since I learned how to kiteboard, I’ve been hooked. I’ve taken my kiteboard all over the world, adding spot after spot to my ever-growing bucket list. No matter your skill level or kiteboarding objectives, there’s a destination on this list for you (and a few places you might not expect to see). Here’s our list of the best places to kiteboard in the USA:

Hawaii

1. Oahu

THE MAGICAL BIRTHPLACE OF KITEBOARDING
Magical scenery and stunning nature
Consistent trade winds
World-class waves
Great surf vibes
Expensive
Touristy and sometimes crowded
Long flight if you’re not coming from the US

Hawaii has a magic of its own and a reputation that precedes itself in the kiteboarding world. It’s kiteboarding’s spiritual birthplace and home to Robby Naish, Pete Cabrinha, and many pro kiteboarders, most whom you’ll see riding strapless on YouTube. Just like Le Morne in Mauritius, Oahu is a very beginner-friendly kite spot that suits all levels.

Oahu kiteboarding
Kiteboarding on Kailua Beach — Oahu’s most popular spot for wind chasers

Kailua is an ideal location for all kiteboarding levels

Kailua, on the green, east side of Oahu, is situated on its namesake bay with white, sandy beaches and turquoise water — often showing up on “best beaches worldwide” lists. It is here where all kiteboarders can find ideal conditions.

Thanks to the offshore reef, Kailua is protected from the waves and offers flat or choppy water during the summer months, including some wind swell. The best wind conditions are in the morning and evening. 

How to avoid the crowds

Keep in mind that Kailua Bay gets crowded with kiteboarders, swimmers, and sunbathers, and the beach becomes smaller with high tide — make sure you launch and land quickly. It’s best to kite away from the crowds, in the spacious bay, and not get too close to shore or jump close to the beach. One tip for kiting here: you can set up and pack your kite gear on the big grassy area at the north end of the bay.

Kiters on Oahu enjoy consistent wind and beautiful scenery. Chase big waves on the North Shore, or head to Kailua Bay for flat water and waves. You might even find yourself riding among sea turtles.

Quote by Lindsay McClure, Oregon-based kiteboarder, kiteboarding coach and teacher at the World Class Kiteboarding Academy

Oahu - Good to Know

Skill level

Beginners to advanced

Best wind

June–August

Wind speed

15–30 knots in summer, 18 knots on average

Water condition

Flat, choppy waves

Water wear for kiteboarding

Boardshorts/bikini from June–August; rashguard for sun protection

No wind activities

Surfing, kayaking, bodyboarding, SUP, hiking (e.g. Lanikai Pillbox Hike or Maunawili Falls Trail), Kailua Farmers Market

Local resource

Kiteboarding in Kailua

Getting there

The biggest airport, Honolulu International Airport (HNL), is a 30-minute drive from Kailua Beach.

North Carolina

2. Cape Hatteras

IDEAL FOR BEGINNERS AND FREESTYLERS
All kinds of conditions, including flats and waves
Steady, clean wind, with lots of variety and downwind options
Ideal place to learn kiteboarding and new tricks
Family-friendly destination
Wind can vary greatly. Twintip, surfboards or foilboards for weak days — bigger kites are recommended
Shells in water and beaches, so bring booties
Not much nightlife

Cape Hatteras is a thin, long stretch of islands connected by human-made bridges along NC-12 that bend away and back from the mainland. This island group creates a unique playground for kiteboarders. There are all kinds of conditions, from quality waves to perfect butterflat spots. Relaxed beach vibes, scenic sand dunes, and warm summers make it the perfect beach-holiday getaway for kiteboarders and non-kiteboarders alike.

Cape Hatteras kiteboarding
Kiteboarding under stormy skies in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina

Seventy miles of beaches with flat water shoreline

Matt Nuzzo, the Co-founder of REAL Watersports, says, “Cape Hatteras has epic winds year-round. World-class waves. Seventy miles of pristine beaches and flat water shoreline. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets, both over the water. Not many destinations in the world can match this.”

Cape Hatteras has spots for all skill levels

There are a variety of places for waves on the Atlantic side. On the west side, in Pamlico Sound, are flat, waist-deep spots, ideal for beginners. Because Cape Hatteras is so far away from the mainland, plan on steady, stable wind in any direction. Small islands within the sound create slickwater conditions downwind.

A launching point for first-timers to the area

If you are visiting Cape Hatteras for the first time, the Kite Point (SW or NW wind), south of Avon, is a great starting point. It has flat to choppy waist-deep water, which makes it ideal for beginners. 

Frisco (SW or NE wind), southwest of Buxton, has several kite spots on the sound side and surfside, so if you can’t decide what conditions you want, this spot has enough variety to keep you happy. 

You can find a great overview of all the kite spots in the area here and a more detailed map with descriptions here.

Downwinder options for advanced kiters

If you are into downwinders (for independent riders only), you’ll find plenty of great alternatives. Make sure to get a downwinder guide from one of the kite shops and be sure to check out this helpful article. Cape Hatteras is famous for its flatwater slicks, so if you’re chasing the butterflat, go for the Planet of the Apes downwinder, and you can find a few slicks in the outlets and channels.

Hatteras island is the kiteboarding mecca! With shallow waters on the sound side to learn and progress quickly, flat water for freestyle and sliders, and 1/4 away on the other side of the island, waves for epic kiteboarding!

Gage Fichter, wave kiter and team rider for Airush Kiteboarding

Cape Hatteras - Good to Know

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Best wind

April–October, but you can kite year-round. Waves are best in the fall

Wind speed

10+ knots. Bring bigger kites and a foilboard; small kites for occasional storms

Water condition

Flatwater, chop, waves

Water wear for kiteboarding

Boardshorts or shorty for the slick side and a 3/2 for the seaside during summer; in spring and autumn bring a 5/4

No wind activities

Surfing, kayaking, SUP, fishing, hang gliding, mini-golf, go-karting, laser tag

Best kite bar

REAL Waterman’s Bar & Grill

Local resources

Cape Hatteras Kite Travel Guide. Check out the biggest international wakestyle competition, the Triple S Invitational

Getting there

The closest major airport is Norfolk International Airport (ORF) which is 2.5 to 3-hour drive to Cape Hatteras.

Texas

3. South Padre Island

FAMILY-FRIENDLY KITE DESTINATION WITH FLATS AND WAVES
All kinds of conditions from flat to waves
Family-friendly destination
Areas for all levels of riders
Some days have lighter wind
Access can be difficult due to travel on sand
Beware of tidal patterns when parking your car

South Padre Island is the longest barrier island in the world and is located on the southern coast of Texas, near the Mexican border. Similar to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, you can find flatwater on one side and waves on the other. The small beach city offers a huge variety of outdoor and no-wind activities which are also family-friendly, making it a good vacation destination for non-kiteboarders too.

South Padre Island kiteboarding
Kiteboarders play in the waves off South Padre Island, situated on the Gulf Coast of Texas

Kiteboarding conditions depend on the time of year

Depending on the time of the year, expect different conditions. March through July will provide the most windy days with an average of 16 knots. October through December brings stronger wind, averaging 20 knots. These are the ideal months for wave kiters. On hot summer days, you might be able to sneak in some light-wind sessions.

Generally speaking, be prepared for lighter wind and bring bigger kites to make the most out of your stay.

The South and North Flats

South Flats is the kite spot closest to town, and it has good flat, ankle to waist-deep water, serving up ideal conditions for kiteboard beginners and those wanting to practice new tricks. This area is suitable with almost any wind direction.

The North Flats have steadier wind and perfect flatwater, but you’ll need to pay a membership fee to gain access. You can do so at Pro Kite South Padre (cost $20 per month; $30 per year).

The Gulf side is for wave kiters and downwinders

Wave kiters have 15 miles of coastline to play in on the Gulf side with typically side-onshore wind, making it ideal for downwinders. Boca Chica has the cleanest waves, so it’s worth making the hour-long drive. Experienced wave kiteboarders will enjoy the waves in Isla Blanca Park, aka “The Jetty,” which is also a good spot for foiling on lightwind days because of small waves. It’s a busy tourist beach, so be mindful of beachgoers and swimmers.

This map of kite spots will give you directions on how to get to the various locations.

South Padre Island is a kiteboarding beginner’s paradise; it’s like the kiddy pool for kiteboarding. Knee-deep flat water for all ages, steady side/on wind, and warm weather and water.

Quote by Tina, traveler and kiteboarder

South Padre Island - Good to Know

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Best wind

March–July, October–November; you can kite year round with the right setup

Wind speed

10–20 knots. Bring bigger kites and foilboard (foil on the Gulf side)

Water condition

Flat, choppy, waves

Water wear for kiteboarding

Shorty in spring and autumn; boardshorts in summer; long wetsuit in winter

No wind activities

Surfing, kayaking, wakeboarding, SUP, snorkeling, scuba diving fishing, diving, dolphin watching, skydiving, and amusement parks

Helpful links

SPI travel guide

Getting there

Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport (BRO) is a 30-minute drive from South Padre Island. Harlingen’s Valley International Airport (VIA) is a 45-minute drive from South Padre Island. A rental car is easiest to get to the kite spots but cabs are cheap. There’s also bus service, too.

Oregon

4. Columbia River Gorge

SUMMER KITE HOTSPOT AND ADVENTURE HUB FOR ADRENALINE JUNKIES
Huge variety of outdoors activities
Epic scenery thanks to the Cascade Mountains and the Hood and Columbia Rivers
Local kite community hosts many events
Gusty wind and boat traffic
Cold water
Crowds

On a daily basis I see my friends’ Instagram stories and photos featuring an incredible variety of outdoor activities at Hood River —  specifically the Gorge. Adventure seekers love that you can mountain bike or hike on trails in the morning and kiteboard in the afternoon. If you happen to visit during the winter, you can even ski or snowboard on nearby Mt. Hood.

Columbia River Gorge kiteboarding
Kiteboarding in the Columbia River Gorge against epic mountain landscapes

Hood River is a world renowned kiteboarding destination

The Hood River is an international kiteboarding hotspot and home to many American pro-riders in summer (Colleen Carrol, Brandon Scheid, Craig Cunningham). Even kite brands have their American headquarters here. The whole vibe is filled with stoke; locals and visitors love the outdoorsy lifestyle and get the most that nature has to offer day in and day out.

The main kiting spot is the Hood River Event Site. It’s here where you will launch your kite from the sandbank during summer. Independent kiteboarders and those who want to work on skill progression can kite upwind of the sandbar, where it’s choppier. Downwind of the sandbar is where you’ll find kite lessons — the water is more shallow and flat. Be aware of the rotation of the riders below the sandbar.

A distinctive Hood River feature

Something unique to the area is that the river current flows opposite to the wind direction; this means on lighter wind days it’ll be easier to stay upwind.

While the Hood River is suitable for all types of kiteboarding — from foiling to freeride, freestyle and big air — wakestyle kiters will love the permanent slider park.

Hood River is an epic kiteboarding destination not only because of its consistent winds... but for the wealth of other activities available: pristine hiking, world class mountain biking and kayaking, ski and snowboarding, great food, wine and beer.

Quote by Sensi Graves, Hood River local, pro kiteboarder and owner of Sensi Bikinis

Columbia River Gorge - Good to Know

Skill level

Beginner to advanced (crowds and cold water can make it challenging for kiteboard beginners)

Best wind

June–September, but you can kite year round

Wind speed

10–25+ knots. Bring kite sizes for all conditions

Water condition

Flat, choppy, great slider park for wakestyle

Water wear for kiteboarding

4/3 or 3/2 wetsuit

No wind activities

Kayaking, rafting, SUP, hiking, mountain biking, wine tasting, brewery tours, horseback riding, and snowboarding/skiing in winter

Restaurants by the water

Solstice, Pfriem

Local resources

The most accurate wind forecast;
Detailed Hood River travel guide;
Kite Hood River safety video

Getting there

Hood river is a 1-hour drive from Portland Airport (PDX). A rental car is essential. You can also make the 5-hour drive from Seattle (SEA).

California

5. San Francisco

GOLDEN SESSIONS AND GREAT VARIETY FOR ADVANCED RIDER
San Francisco is a great travel destination with lots of sightseeing options
Large variety of spots for advanced kiteboarders
Check kiting under the Golden Gate Bridge off your bucket list
Cold water
Most spots are for advanced riders, however there are kite schools
A car is recommended to move around and visit all the spots

Like Miami, San Francisco combines one of the world’s most popular travel destinations with kiteboarding. Many kiteboarders, myself included, have put kiting under the Golden Gate Bridge at the top their kiteboard bucket lists. I’ve only been to San Francisco in January, while on a road trip, and wasn’t lucky with the wind, but it’s not the last time I plan on visiting. 

Challenging conditions and gusty winds

Don’t think that because the kite spots are so scenic that they’re safe. Kiting here is challenging, so unless you’re kiteboarding with a kite school, the area is best for advanced riders.

As a rule, it’s always a good idea to talk to a local kiteboarder before heading into the water to learn about potential dangers at a particular spot. During springtime, the wind is best in the late morning through the early afternoon — it becomes too gusty later in the day. In the summer, look out for some great NW winds.

San Francisco kiteboarding
Kiteboarding next to the Golden Gate Bridge is for advanced riders only

The best San Francisco kiting spots

Within San Francisco proper, head to the long and sandy Ocean Beach, which has lots of space for launching and landing. It also has a big swell, nice ramps to jump off from, and strong currents, which is why it’s only recommended for advanced kiteboarders. 

Crissy Fields, the picturesque and most famous spot at the Golden Gate Bridge, is for advanced riders only due to strong tidal currents, ship traffic, and shifty, often gusty, wind.

South of San Francisco near San Mateo is 3rd Avenue/Baywinds Park, one of the windiest and most popular kite spots in the Bay.

Intermediate to advanced wave riders will love Waddell Creek, which is further south along US 1, just north of Swanton. 

Sherman Island is a must-visit during the summer if you’re up for a road trip — just about 2 hours northeast from San Francisco. It’s a perfect location for “kite-eat-sleep-repeat.”

The San Francisco Bay Area is definitely one of the top kiteboarding destinations in the world for sure. We have good consistent wind for most of the year — especially April-October — and the most unique variety of kiteboarding beaches.

Quote by Erin Loscocco, local pro kiter and owner of BayAreaKiteboarding.com

San Francisco - Good to Know

Skill level

Beginners within a kite school environment or advanced kiteboarders

Best wind

May–August

Wind speed

10–25 knots, bring your full kite range and if you have a foilboard

Water condition

Depending on the spot, choppy with waves

Water wear for kiteboarding

Long wetsuit year-round

No wind activities

Surf, foil surfing, foilboarding with low wind, sightseeing in San Francisco, like taking a ride on the cable cars, visiting Alcatraz or the Golden Gate Bridge (I did a bike tour and loved it)

Local resource

Bay Area Kiteboarding

Getting there

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is a 15-minute ride from downtown San Francisco. A rental car is recommended if you want to check out the variety of kite spots and explore more of the city.

Texas

6. Corpus Christi

THE BEST WIND LOCATION
Consistent wind
Large variety of conditions, from flat to small waves
No crowds
Ideal learning conditions
Great spot for flatwater lovers
A car is needed to explore all the best spots
Boots are required for beginners in some spots due to shells
No clear water, but great kite conditions

Corpus Christi is your go-to spot if you want to kite as many days as possible during your vacation. It has the highest average wind speed in the continental US, and it’s famous for its wind consistency. Wind junkies will also love how uncrowded it is. If you find six kiteboarders in one spot, that’s as crowded as it will get while you’re in Corpus Christi — that’s how many kiteboarding spots there are. Your biggest issue will be trying to decide where to kite first.

Expect wind every day

During the windiest season, from March through August, consistent thermal S and SE wind arrives in the early afternoon and keeps picking up until evening. In the low wind season, September through March, there are still a lot of kiteable days; the cold fronts bring some stronger N wind, which allows you to visit other spots than you would in the summer.

The best kiteboarding spots in Corpus Christie

Wildcat Park, Portland, is the most popular and windiest spot. It has flat to choppy waist-deep water, which makes it ideal for learning how to kiteboard (beginners should wear booties because of oyster shells).

Grassy Point, Corpus Christi is close to another location, Brozil, which is only accessible by kite for independent kiteboarders. Grassy Point has butterflat water because of its small channels. Enter this spot by driving through the marina and paying a small fee.

Oso Bay, Corpus Christi is a big flatwater spot protected by a long sandbar with a sandy, muddy bottom. Boots are recommended because of shells.

Join the locals for this Friday summer tradition

If you are visiting during the summer, join the locals on a Bay Crossing every Friday. Joey Stephenson from Kiteboarding.com says, “We meet at Wildcat Park in Portland and cross the bay to go to Fajitaville on North Beach in Corpus Christi. There we land on the beach, have a drink, and then return to Portland. People have come here from as far as Wisconsin just to do a Bay Crossing with us.”

For more detailed information on all the kite spots, take a look at these lists from 361kite: Mainland Spots Around Corpus Christi, Back Bay/North Padre Island and Gulf Side/North Padre island.

Corpus Christi is a great location for kiteboarding for several reasons. First we are the windiest location in the US based on average wind speed, and second, we have a large variety of riding spots that suits many riding styles.

Quote by Joey Stephenson,  Portland, Texas local, kiteboarder and Kiteboarding.com employee

Corpus Christi - Good to Know

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Best wind

You can kite year-round, but March-August are best

Wind speed

13–20 knots in summer with S/SE wind, so bring bigger kites. Weaker and stronger days in the lower season

Water condition

Flat, choppy, small waves

Water wear for kiteboarding

Boardshorts/bikini or shorty during the main season

No wind activities

Surfing, SUP, fishing, dolphin watching, explore the National Seashore or the Texas State Aquarium, visit the floating battleship museum, USS Lexington, or Schlitterbahn Waterparks

Best kite bar

Fajitaville

Local resources

Corpus Christi Travel Guide, Where to Ride in Corpus Christi

Getting there

Corpus Christi International Airport (CRP) is closest to all the kite spots. San Antonio International (SAT) is a 2.5-hour drive. Austin Bergstrom airport (AUS) is a 3.5-hour drive. A rental car is recommended to get around.

Florida

7. Key West

THE BEST SPOT FOR FLATWATER LOVERS
Some of the best flatwater riding in the US
Picturesque kite spots with shallow, warm water
Consistent wind
Ideal for beginners
Crowds
Non-windy days between fronts in the spring
The Flats have to be accessed by boat

If you look at a map, you’ll see a small chain of connected islands that make Key West a watersports paradise. Surrounded by ocean on all sides, kiteboarders flock to the area for its sandy beaches and consistent wind.

Key West kiteboarding
A kiteboarder catches air in the Florida Keys

The best place to practice new tricks

The main spot in Key West is Smathers Beach, which has a small sandy beach for setup. It can get pretty crowded during the peak season and is only for intermediate to advanced kiteboarders. A big shallow area with flat water makes it ideal for practicing new tricks, and the white beach and palm trees create a stunning backdrop. Be aware of sunbathers and swimmers and be sure to launch and land far away from power lines.

The best spot to learn and progress

The Flats in Key West are accessible by boat, and it receives wind from all directions. You can launch right from the water because there are no obstacles, just sand and turtle grass — which is ideal for soft landings if you crash. The Flats is a great spot not only for people who want to learn to kiteboard, but also for progressing your riding, learning new tricks, and getting into unhooked tricks.

It’s a great idea to go for a kiteboard-road trip when you visit. I plan to explore as many areas as possible once I make my way there. For more kiteboarding spots around the Florida Keys area, check out this South Florida Guide from KiteboardingFlorida.com.

Key West offers world-class kiteboarding and kitefoiling, accessible only by boat. Just 6 miles away from the island, you'll find miles and miles of shallow, super flat, smooth, clear water. Epic sessions in an epic location.

Quote by Skot, kiteboarding instructor at UpWind Kiteboarding in Key West

Key West - Good to Know

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Best wind

Year round, but December–March is best; May–September has lighter thermal wind

Wind speed

15–25 knots

Water wear for kiteboarding

Shorty or long wetsuit with a cold front in winter; boardshorts/bikini and rashguards for sun protection in summer

No wind activities

SUP, wakeboard in cable park, sport fishing, party

Local resource

Spot Guide with detailed info for every kite spot

Getting there

Fly into Key West International Airport (EYW) directly, which is usually more expensive. For international flights, you will have a stopover in Miami (MIA) — or you can make the 3-hour drive from Miami by rental car.

New Jersey

8. The Jersey Shore

ENJOY THE FLAT CLOSE TO THE BIG APPLE
Ideal for beginners with big, waist-deep bays
Great flatwater areas
Great combination of city life and kiteboarding
The Jersey Shore isn’t the most beautiful, but conditions are great
Beware of strong currents; go with a kite school if you lack experience

While I’ve heard good friends talk a lot about the locations mentioned in this guide, New Jersey has never been on my radar, and I was surprised to hear about its excellent kite conditions. New Jersey’s beaches might not be the prettiest in the world, but escaping big city life and having such great flatwater spots so close to NYC is truly exceptional!

Sandy Hook is home to exceptional flatwater conditions

Sandy Hook is New Jersey’s most popular spot and the closest to New York City. As its name implies, it’s a peninsular sandy hook with the Raritan and Sandy Hook Bays to its west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. On the Raritan side, there is excellent flatwater sheltered by the sand bar, offering calmer conditions — which makes it perfect for beginners and for practicing new tricks. The best wind direction for this spot is N, but S also works. Launch from Parking Spot B.

Sandy Hook is a great spot for beginners and for progressing tricks

A spot for beginners

Most places offer flat to choppy conditions. Kite Island, for instance, has a big bay with waist-deep flat water, making it ideal for learning to kiteboard and practicing unhooked moves. It’s only accessed by boat, and the closest harbor is Waretown.

Other great New Jersey kiting options

Other kite spots to check out around New Jersey are Long Beach Island, Ocean Side (chop, waves), 25th Street Long Beach Island (flatwater, chop), Seaside Park (choppy), or Lakes Bay (flat, choppy). You can find an excellent overview of all kite launches around New Jersey here. If you’re from New York, make sure to check 57hours other Favorite Kiteboarding Spots in NYC (including a secret spot!).

Sandy Hook is a beautiful spot... You have good wave riding on the eastern oceanside and some flat shallow water on the western shore — perfect for beginners.

Quote by Viktor Marohnic, climber, kiteboarder, skier, all-around adventurer and founder of 57hours

The Jersey Shore - Good to Know

Skill level

Beginner (if you go with a kite school) or independent intermediate to advanced kiteboarders

Best wind

March–May and September–November

Wind speed

15–25 knots. Bring bigger kites for Sandy Hook

Water condition

Flat, choppy, waves depending on the spot

Water wear for kiteboarding

Long wetsuit for spring and autumn

No wind activities

Explore NYC and Long Beach Island’s nightlife during the summer

Helpful links

Kiteboarding NJ Facebook Group

Getting there

Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) is about a one-hour drive from Sandy Hook. A rental car is recommended.

Florida

9. Miami

THE BEST BEACH VIBES
Warm water, pristine beaches, and beautiful scenery
Miami is one of the world’s iconic surf destinations
Sightseeing, culture, and endless amenities make it great for families
Amazing nightlife
Finding good spots on Miami Beach is tricky, so look farther afield
Most spots have very strict rules and entry fees
Crowded

The Sunshine State is a popular winter destination for kiteboarders and surfers from across the globe. Miami’s mix of city vibes and nearby kiteboarding opportunities make it a solid choice for a kite holiday. Because Miami’s beaches quickly fill with sunbathers and there are lots of restrictions and entry requirements on kiteboarding, your best bet is to check out the spots surrounding the city. Crandon Park, Miami Flats, and Matheson Hammock Park — all short drive away — are three top choices of local riders. 

Crandon Park is where it’s at

Miami’s most popular kite spot is the watersport concession area Crandon Park on Key Biscayne. The area is carefully managed: to kiteboard, you must have IKO / PASA Level III certification, wear a helmet, register, and pay an entrance fee. You can learn about the rules here. You’ll be rewarded with some clear, flat to choppy waist-deep water and a huge area to play in. At low tide, you even get butterfat conditions, and if you venture a bit offshore, you’ll have some small waves to play in.

Matheson Hammock Park and Miami Flats

Matheson Hammock Park is the second major kiteboarding area in Miami, and, just like Crandon Park, it has the same tight rules and entry requirements. For butterfat water, head to Miami Flats, which works in all wind directions and is accessible by boat.

Miami kiteboarding
A kiteboarder cuts through the waves off the coast of Florida

Miami has a tight morning and evening kiteboarding window

kiteboarding in Miami proper can be tricky, especially because kiting has repeatedly been banned, and rules regarding launching/landing are complicated. Because of this, the area is only recommended for advanced, independent kiteboarders. For now, kiting is tolerated and usually only possible when the beach isn’t filled with sunbathers or swimmers — so basically very early in the morning or after everyone leaves.

Popular spots with deep, choppy water are between 23rd and 29th streets, 45th to 60th street, and north of 87th street. All of them offer only a small space for launching and landing. Stay away from the lifeguard towers (200 yards minimum) and areas supervised by lifeguards. Also, it’s best to keep a safe distance from swimmers and beachgoers.

Miami is incredibly special as a kiteboarding destination because we have warm weather year-round and nowhere else in the world can you kiteboard all day at some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, but then also enjoy endless choices for world-class dining, culture and nightlife.

Quote by Lauren Lipcon, TKS Miami Beach team rider

Miami - Good to Know

Skill level

Beginners (if you go with a kite school) or independent intermediate to advanced kiteboarders

Best wind

December–April. The wind is more constant from February onwards

Wind speed

Everything from light wind to storms. On average you’ll be riding on bigger kites, but advanced kiteboarders should bring all sizes for all conditions

Water condition

Flat, choppy; small waves depending on the spot and tide

Water wear for kiteboarding

Long wetsuit in Jan and Feb; shorty from March–April (if there is a cold front coming in, a thin, long wetsuit can come in handy)

No wind activities

Kayaking, SUP, sightseeing, exploring Miami’s unique Art Deco architecture, visiting the theme parks (Disney World, Universal Studios) 

Best kite bar

The Reef Beach Bar

Local map:

Miami kiteboarding map from
Miamikiteboard.com

Getting there

Miami International Airport (MIA) is the easiest airport to fly into. Downtown Miami is a quick 10-minute drive away. Crandon Park is another 5-10 minutes farther.

Texas

10. Houston

IDEAL BEGINNER CONDITIONS WITH WAIST-DEEP FLATWATER
Vast, waist-deep learning area
Flatwater for beginners and those who want to work on their skills
1-hour drive from the center of Houston
Lighter wind than other spots

Just an hour drive from Houston is an ideal playground for learning to kiteboard and progressing with your tricks. The Levee,” a.k.a Dollar Flats, is a perfect spot for beginners because of its size and flat — mostly waist-deep — water. 

The Galveston Island Beachfront

Thanks to a 5-mile-long dike, the water stays flat even with stronger winds and is protected from waves. There is a large grassy area to launch and land (and pack your kite sand-free).
For wave riders, the Galveston Island beachfront from West Beach to the San Louis Pass offers an ideal kiteboarding spot with a sandy bottom.

You can find directions to both locations here.

Houston - Good to Know

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Best wind

March–May and September–November are ideal

Wind speed

In spring 10–20 knots and in fall up to 25–30 knots. Bring all kite sizes, but bigger is generally better

Water condition

Flat and choppy

Water wear for kiteboarding

Boardshorts/bikini and a rashguard for sun protection

No-wind activities

Wakeboarding (Wake Nation Houston or Hangar 9), e-foil, exploring Houston

Local resources

Kite Houston Spots, Wind Forecast

Getting there

From the Galveston Island kite spot, it’s around a 70-minute-drive to the Houston Airport (IAH) and 30 minutes to the city center. From the city center of Houston it’s around a 60-minute drive to The Levee.

About the author

Miriam Tymiec

Miriam Tymiec

Digital nomad & kitesurf addict since 2011

Miriam is a passionate kitesurfer and graphic designer who travels full-time while working as a freelancer, always chasing the wind, waves and wifi. She writes about her adventures and kitesurf travels on her blog wakeupstoked.com and instagram @wakeupstoked.

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