Hey everyone! I've been dying to get the opportunity to start kiteboarding since I first saw it a few years ago. This summer I finally have the time and resources to start up! I'll be staying on the east coast of Florida around Crescent Beach area. Still haven't actually gotten on the water riding yet, but I've taken land lessons and have flown kites my entire life (2-line and 4-line revolution); as well as wake boarded a bit and was sponsored for skateboarding growing up, so my board control is pretty good as well. So far I've picked up a couple items, but am gathering everything with a budget in mind. Got a 2011 9.5m Kahoona and a 2010 slingshot Darko 135 so far(Both for really good deals off CL). My research has been telling me I'd most likely need to get a 14m kite to finish up as well as a harness. Any direction towards a good kite to look for? I'll be looking to start jumping and riding a bit aggressive as soon as I get comfortable so I'd be fine with having a little extra learning difficulty for better gear in the long run. Any advice or people to meet in the area to meet up with will be greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading - Justin
I am new to the sport as well. The big spot around Jax is Huguenot Park. If there is wind you will probably find someone there. On low tide usually on the ocean at the point. On high or on a west wind probably in the lagoon area. Take some lessons or at least get someone with local knowledge to help you out as some of the hazards are not very obvious. Look up kitesurfjax.com. Jon is someone who has a lot of knowledge and does instruction also. I know he is selling a ton of gear but I don't know if it is on his site or not. As far as the kites, the wind is pretty light and most of the time people are riding in the 14m range(weight and skill dependent obviously)
Justin, glad you're stoked to get into kiteboarding. Definitely take lessons. You will be glad you invested upfront in good instruction. You'll avoid a lot of headaches (literally and figuratively), learn how to use your equipment safely (including learning what to do when things go bad), and you will progress much, much faster. Trying to learn kiteboarding on your own is a bad idea. Wait to buy your harness and second kite until after your lessons. You'll be more informed after using your instructor's stuff and more likely to buy just the right harness and kite. Have fun!
Thanks for the replies guys! I actually ran into Jon while buying a kite from craigslist; picked up a 14m Cabrinha Convert. He gave me all the lessons he could after purchasing the kite, he was a really great guy! The weather didn't allow us to hop in the water unfortunately. On the bright side, just this afternoon I saw a bunch of kites down at Matanzas inlet, so I ran down and talked to some of the guys. Ended up getting a quick water lesson from a local (Stefan), and was up and riding within an hour on the Cabrinha! I've got all the gear I should need for awhile now, including a helmet and impact vest. I was also told there's some other places near by with calmer water a lot of people tend to kite at. I'll definitely make my way around the area throughout this summer and work with getting more comfortable riding. Hope to see ya'll out there on the water!