South Florida Kitesurfing, time to ride to the Red Neck Spot

Aug 2, 12 • featured blogNo Comments


I spent more than 10 years of my life windsurfing, and loved every minute of it! I really though that windsurfing was going to be the sport for me until my old age. Then, in 2001, a good friend of mine changed all that. Being the owner a surf shop, he had bought a 7 meter kite called a wipika, which had only 2 lines and no safety system! Everyone looked at this kite as though we were crazy to even think about it. No one thought you could actually surf and be pulled around by a powerful kite. It didn’t take long before we both knew in our hearts that this would be the future water and wind sport. I started taking kitesurfing lessons and really picked the sport up like a natural. Not that surprising as I was using all my past windsurfing, snowboarding, and surfing skills together in this one sport. The kite surfing equipment and security systems were quickly getting better and I just loved the unique feeling of freedom and flying with this sport. When I started to travel a lot, the future became clear. I sold all my windsurfing equipment to focus only on this extreme and “flying” sport called “Kitesurfing” that had captured my heart.

About Kitesurfing there’s a lot to write and say, even though it is a new sport. Kitesurfing, (which is also known as Kiteboarding or flysurf) involves using wind and body to pull a rider through the water on a small surfboard or a kiteboard (a wakeboard-like board).

The concept of the kitesurfing or kiteboarding is to use the power generated from a large, but controllable, kite to propel the rider across the water. Exactly like snowboarding only on the water. You begin to see why I find this so exhilarating.

Basic kiteboarding equipment consists of a kite, board, control bar, and a harness. A kitesurfer or kiteboarder uses a board with foot-straps or bindings, along with the power of a large controllable kite to propel him and the board across the water. The sport is still in its infancy, but is rapidly growing in popularity. For further reading click here.

In 2003, I ended up in Anguilla, a small island in the Caribbean, and I spent my weekends riding with my good buddy, Judd. In the years since then we have been riding together every year all over the world. We’ve kitesurfed in the Caribbean, USA, Hawaii, Brazil and Europe. What a way to spend a vacation!

I moved to Delray in 2009 and discovered South Florida is a great spot for kitesurfing; especially between Islamorada, the Keys, Key Biscayne, Fort Lauderdale, and Jupiter. I can’t leave out the West Coast of Florida with Tampa, Sanibel Island, and Fort Myers Beach. As kitesurfing is an extreme sport, some rules must be respected. For instance, the Delray Beach County gave us a specific “Kite Zone”. Please see the map below, provided by my friend Rick Iossi from FKSA. With extreme sports it’s so important to respect the safety guidelines which you can read here.

From Rick:

“Kiteboarding is regulated in Section 101 of the of the Ordinances of Delray Beach.  It requires that kiteboarding kites be flown south of the Seagate Club  (the red line shown on the figure) within 300 ft. of the beach.  No kites are to be flown on the beach or within 300 ft. of shore off the public beach north of that point.  The penalties for violation can be up to $500. and/or 60 days in jail.  Worse than that, violations threaten our access to kite at this excellent launch.

Kiting is frequently not permitted within 300 ft. of lifeguarded beaches in SE Florida.  Please stay beyond this distance when kiting off beaches with lifeguard stands and/or swim zone buoys to avoid threats to access particularly on downwinders.   Thank you!”

More details can be found at:  http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=349

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