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 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.