A friend of mine that sails catamarans said the hot spot in NJ is Lakes Bay near Atlantic City. Looked it up and it looks great! Just what I was looking for to learn - nice calm water and some like minded people around. I'm excited!!
Also he said the guys in Ocean City are crazy and ride the waves on the ocean side. I said cool I want to be crazy some day! They ride on 41st street or they start at north street (above 1st) and ride all the way down to 41st then get someone to take them back. Sounds like so much fun! Could just do uber too I guess.
This past weekend I visited the preserve at Lakes Bay - really cool and beautiful. Used the combo to go thru the gate and had the place all to myself. Really nice location for learning or just easy riding. First day just took a look and then headed into Ocean City, NJ and stopped by Leading Edge Kite school location and 41st street where I had heard people fly kites. I met a guy in a black van who was nice, Eric maybe? He told me he had his first lesson with Leading Edge 6 years ago and that they are great. He said they start at 41st street and ride south to Strathmere, and shuttle back.
The next day I went back to Lakes Bay with my kite. I got everything out and set up which was great practice but I couldn't get the kite to lift off. A guy in a small boat told me that he has seen kites up in less wind...because I had said I didn't think there was enough wind. I thought later that maybe I should have tried launching from the water because there were high reeds blocking the wind where I was. Wind was showing 4-7 mph on my meter and 12mph gusts. I didn't push it because I didn't want to damage the brand new kite and I am planning on taking lessons soon anyway. Extreme Windsurfing is right near there (https://www.extremewindsurfing.com/)
I called them today and they are going to have the instructor get back to me. I may set it up for 2 weeks from now.