Sorry for the delay in putting this article up. Still, there is some good stuff here not only on Ty Luckett's Magical Pole Boat but also on the Flats of Miami. When the wind is on, the latter may amaze some riders. Ty operates out of Hatteras for part of the year and Miami the rest of the time. I understand he is coming back to Miami at the end of this November 2006. You can find out more at his website, KiteHatteras.net
Ty, Andrea and the "Pole Boat" at dock in Miami
Here is what Ty has to say about the pole or tower on his website:
"Ride the revolutionary "Kite Rite" Tower developed by Captain Ty Luckett. No wind necessary and lessons are offered daily. Learn basic board skills, Back Rolls, Railys or just test your new board. Riders leaving this lesson will know how to ride toe side and heel side even before flying a kite. The "Kite Rite" Tower offers a variety of benefits that will surely add to even an advanced rider's bag of tricks.
Allowing the rider to completely focus on the board skills portion of the lesson "the pole" pulls the rider out of the water at a 45 degree angle just as the kite will. The rider becomes quickly comfortable with edging and proper foot pressure which are necessities for kiteboarding success." Continued ...
Heading out to the flats with the Miami skyline drifting by
Ty's boat is totally tricked out for kiting with special racks, an air pump, loud hailer, beamy fast hull that draws inches of water, oh ... and the "pole!"
So we motor down along the western shore of Key Biscayne bearing southward towards Stiltsville and the Flats of Miami to the south of the island. The Flats comprise an odd 200 square mile area
extending below Key Biscayne to Key Largo. It is a huge area, with tons of calm shallows, rideable with winds from ANY direction and with few people. SO MANY people want to visit Miami for the nightlife, beach scene, shopping, etc. AND they want to go kiting. Miami is a very populous place, 2.25 MILLION people and growing with few beach areas. All of these beach/launch areas have access issues that go back years. What to do? GO TO THE FLATS! SE coast riders want to go to Marco Island for westerly winds and inadvertently threaten access prospects. Why bother, it's better and closer to Miami here. There are only a few Sea Taxi/Instructor boats at present. In time I suspect that there could be more. It is that good out there.
I suspect that there are even waves a bit further to the east. The weather station at Fowey Rocks gives an indication of conditions here.
Here are the recorded wind averages for Fowey, about 6 miles offshore and 123 ft. high (N.B.).
Click image for full sized version
Still going, Andrea, a sponsored rider for Viking is looking good
So, we arrive at the Flats. Ty calls Scotty who promptly "beams him up!"
It's a beautiful area with the Cape Florida Lighthouse at the tip of Key Biscayne in the distance
Having some fun now
The Pole Boat at anchor
Kent and some of the Cabrinha guys hang out
So what is all this pole boat stuff about? Andrea demonstrates by throwing a number of loops. The pole allows you the time without violently wipeout, most of the time, to work on timing, force of motion, etc. in some tricks. You don't even need wind for this part.
Checkout a video Ty has on his website of another first timer on the pole. It is possible to progress FAST. Even I was rolling along in no time, by nature one trick kite dog too. Just click on the image to see the video.
OK, so lets check Ty out on this thing
NOTE: LOTS of boats and folks like to pile all over one another like a basket of cats on the a single sandbar near Stiltsville. Some guys even ride there. If it is too crowded, guess what? It's too crowded and pretty much the same crap that we fight onshore, so spread out! There is tons of room here. Don't almost get yourself killed by hitting a boat here like this poor fellow
This area is designated at the Biscayne National Park under Federal Authority. If we annoy the rangers enough it is possible to threaten kiting access even within this HUGE area. We can't allow this to happen.
The Park Website is located at:
Park Regulations are discussed at:
NOTE: Personal Water Craft, PWC or waverunners and other related small craft propelled by internal combustion engines are BANNED at this Park.
PLEASE ride responsibly and observe Park Regulations to avoid having kiting restricted here.
Some areas within the Park are CLOSED for conservation and other reasons, more about this on the Park Website and below:
The following areas are closed year round:
A. Arsenicker Key
B. West Arsenicker Key
C. Within 200ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ of both Arsenicker and West Arsenicker Keys
D. SoldierÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Key
E. The rocky area past the jetty known as the bird observation area
F. Sands Key is closed to all public entry, except for the following: The established path between the keyhole and the ocean side of the island and the beach portions on the East Side of the island.
Still other restrictions apply as discussed in:
Anyway, pool's open and the water is better than fine! Checkout the Flats and while you're at it why not go for a spin on Ty's boat?
Stay tuned, more to come on the Flats of Miami and The Kitehouse offering sea taxi and instruction there.