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Florida kiting at Christmas

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shawn13
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Florida kiting at Christmas

Postby shawn13 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:30 pm

Im heading down to Florida for two weeks over Christmas and will be based out of Tampa. I will be bringing my vehicle and plan to travel around to different areas like Miami and the Keys.

Can anyone recommend the best spots for Christmas kiting? I have not been kiting in Florida and do not know what the wind conditions are like in that time of year. From the windguru archives it seems as if the Islamorada area would be the best. From the map it seems you can kite on both sides of the keys there?

Thanks! :thumb:

Clew In
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Re: Florida kiting at Christmas

Postby Clew In » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:20 pm

Hey,

Lots of places around Tampa. The cays are beautiful!

Check out:

http://fksa.org


Have a great trip

Clew In
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SO_FL_Kiter
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Re: Florida kiting at Christmas

Postby SO_FL_Kiter » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:44 pm

Warmer water (no colder than 76F) in the keys and up to as far North as Jupiter on the East Coast. In the winter, the only insulation I have ever used is a 2mm wetsuit top, although some people will wear full suits. If you want waves, head further north than Miami area. If you want flat water, head to Islamorada.

Chris

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shawn13
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Re: Florida kiting at Christmas

Postby shawn13 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:57 pm

Great thanks! Will check out Tampa and Islamorada for flats!

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Re: Florida kiting at Christmas

Postby Rando1994 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:00 pm

You won the lottery and don't know it. Tampa is one of THE best places in the country to kite. Period. December is the middle of our windy season. It is wetsuit weather, but not as much if you are a northerner.
It is flatwater paradise with any wind direction and a strong crew of local instructors and riders always riding whenever the wind picks up.
The North rest area exit at the Skyway offers huge flatwater on any wind direction. The launch on the west side is admittedly tight, but east and west side riding offers a combined 12 square miles or so of shallow flats. Enough room for you? Or ride Fort Desoto's east beach. Any wind from NE clockwise to SW and you get to enjoy a huge grassy launch and huge riding area.
Waves your thing? With the right wind you can ride nearly 26 miles of coastline, depending on swim area limitations with some key secret locals-only spots that Watersports West (Local shop)MAY tell you about.
Staying farther North outside of Tampa? Got to Sunset beach or Fred Howard park in Tarpon Springs. Anything West wind-wise and it's also flatwater paradise there as well.
In other words, you hit the jackpot. If it's blowing in Tampa, save yourself five hours of driving to the Keys. You won't miss the local crew. Any day of the week, they are out if it is blowing.

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Re: Florida kiting at Christmas

Postby whabbits » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:09 pm

Dude, all those places you named are pretty sick.

Coming from Canada, where we do not have a lot of shops, I have to say that Tampa, Miami, and the keys all have pretty killer shops.

In Miami, check out TKSmiami.com - two locations (best logo in kiteboarding too).
In Tampa, say hi to WatersportsWest.com
Keys- OthersideBoardsports.com - nicest crew in the business and they have a cable park

It's also pretty cool that you can see a hockey game for $10 down there instead of $100+ here in Canada.

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RickI
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Re: Florida kiting at Christmas

Postby RickI » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:43 pm

The wind will largely depend on what cold fronts blow through during your time here. As a rule, that time in December can have some good wind, fingers crossed for your trip. How do you feel about waves?

There can be some nice wave conditions in Jupiter, fairly open beaches too. If you aren't used to waves it can be a demanding place to go. The same could be said about Ft. Pierce and to a lesser extent, Delray Beach. Miami has managed concessions in two primarily flat water venues like Matheson Hammock and Crandon Park which can have some waves on the outside at times. Access is a touchy issue in Miami given all the years of kiting and quantity of local residents, so you would probably be best hitting one of those concessions or even better taking a sea taxi to Stiltsville for some unusual kiting in a great venue.

You can kite both sides of Islamorada but only with a boat on the west or Florida Bay side. The wind is usually about 3 to 5 mph stronger in the Keys than the mainland due to the normal pressure gradient over the area.

I would bring a 3/2 full suit if you have one as the air temp can drop in strong cold fronts. Otherwise a shorty or even rashguard may serve in the more southerly points. In Tampa, you may want something a bit heavier than a 3/2 come to think of it depending on what blows through.

There are tons of riding options in Florida, checkout the top stickies for more ideas

HERE


.

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Re: Florida kiting at Christmas

Postby Eduardo » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:01 pm

a visitor's perspective: view it as random sampling. I've visited Tampa + Miami about 20 - 30 days each usually about 3 day trips randomly scheduled in Dec/Jan over multiple years (not for kiting but I always bring kites). My hit ratio in Tampa is about 10%. Miami at least 50%, maybe 60%. The best I can tell is that Tampa seems to only get about 1 day/week solid when cold fronts come but Miami seems to get more - maybe they get the pressure gradient edge of the more reliable easterlies of the Caribbean between the fronts, not sure and maybe a local weather guru can explain it. Anyway it's all logged on ikitesurf.com and their meters at the main beaches that I've checked seem reasonably accurate so you can do your own research. I'd suggest you make a forecast based decision when you get there and bring the big stuff so you can play in 10-15 knots. I've found forecasts a few days out to be very accurate. The beach/water are very nice everywhere.

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dyyylan
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Re: Florida kiting at Christmas

Postby dyyylan » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:36 pm

Eduardo wrote:a visitor's perspective: view it as random sampling. I've visited Tampa + Miami about 20 - 30 days each usually about 3 day trips randomly scheduled in Dec/Jan over multiple years (not for kiting but I always bring kites). My hit ratio in Tampa is about 10%. Miami at least 50%, maybe 60%. The best I can tell is that Tampa seems to only get about 1 day/week solid when cold fronts come but Miami seems to get more - maybe they get the pressure gradient edge of the more reliable easterlies of the Caribbean between the fronts, not sure and maybe a local weather guru can explain it. Anyway it's all logged on ikitesurf.com and their meters at the main beaches that I've checked seem reasonably accurate so you can do your own research. I'd suggest you make a forecast based decision when you get there and bring the big stuff so you can play in 10-15 knots. I've found forecasts a few days out to be very accurate. The beach/water are very nice everywhere.


Yes, unfortunately I'd say those particular months are between Florida's two seasons. During the first part (october to late november, early december) we get lots and lots of north wind. december/january is kind of hit or miss but can still be pretty good. february the wind shifts and we start getting warmer southerlies that slowwwwwwwly start to die off by about May.

I agree with you though, Tampa seems to be a lot more unreliable than the east coast. This season has been very good so far though, so who knows what will happen.


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