KITEBOARDING HOLIDAYS - MIAMI & FORT LAUDERDALE
The perfect combination of excitement on and off the water plus year-round warm weather. Miami is within an hour of the airport, where you will find perfect flats, a four-mile downwinder in waves, launch spots for every wind direction and a cable park for low wind days. When you're not riding, or if you're travelling with family, Miami is sure to keep everyone busy. On your own or with mates, South Beach is the place to be to mix it up with like-minded riders where there's always fun to be found. Less than an hour north of Miami, Fort Lauderdale is a beautiful city built on the intracoastal waterway that runs up this coast of Florida. The inland waterways have become home to some of the yachting world's biggest and most prestigious models, but off the coast, the kiteboarding is excellent here with a long history of action being had in these parts.
CAPTION | Miami's got everything, even waves / PHOTO - TKS Miami
Summer is the slow wind season with between one and three ride-able days per week. As winter rolls around you'll be looking at five days on the water per week, averaging 14 – 20 knots. Three main riding areas give you plenty of options: each within 20 minutes of the others.
Miami Beach has a perfect four-mile stretch of waves from 87th Street down to 22nd Street. These beaches are regulated by lifeguards who expect you to stay out of the swim-zones, otherwise you're free to attack these shoulder high waves; perfect for intermediate riding upwards and showing off for the cute tourists. A little more open to a dead northerly wind, downwinders from 87th to 23rd street are popular. TKSMiami do a downwinder drop-off and pick-up service.
Crandon Park is 20 minutes north of Matheson Hammock on Key Biscayne and is a regulated learning venue and intermediate to advanced stomping ground. No self-teaching here. You need to pay for insurance and have IKO/PASA level 3 certification to ride here (insurance can be paid daily, contact Miami Kiteboarding or TKS Miami for details). Once you do, however, you will be greeted by flat blue water and gentle waves on the outer sand bank – although on a north swell you can get chest-high surf. Check in at the front office and wear wrist bands and helmets every day. Works best on NE, E and occasional SE winds. Lifeguards on duty and the riding scene here is more aggressive with lots of hot-shot riders.
Matheson Hammock Park is a broad, shallow learning centre with perfect conditions for training or utilising the full service schools. It is also a flat-water freestyle paradise. Based on the south side of Miami on Biscayne Bay, there's a really laid back feel though it is regulated. There are designated limits for launching, riding and jumping, all marked by buoys.
The greater Fort Lauderdale area features 23 miles of stunning Atlantic shoreline from Hollywood in the south to Deerfield Beach in the north. Advanced riders can learn wave riding at the beaches south of Fort Lauderdale at Dania and Hollywood.
WIND, WEATHER AND WATER
The wind comes cross-on from left. Frontal winds average 15 to 25 knots October to May. There are usually really solid conditions October to November and October to January is usually best for waves. In the summer things switch to a lighter thermal, averaging 12 knots. Air temperatures sit at almost 30°C / 88°C in the summer and 20°C / 70°F in winter. In the water you're looking at the 27°C / 80°F mark in summer and still 20°C / 70°F in winter.
It's a good idea to hire a car as these spots are 20 minutes apart and, as this is Miami, there's way more to see and do than just kiteboard!
A huge selection of hotels are suitable for the budget traveller, plus there are luxury beach-side hotels just minutes away from each spot. Most people stay on South Beach even if they are riding on Key Biscayne. Check in with TKS Miami or Miami Kiteboarding for the best ones. Fort Lauderdale is also packed with beautiful accommodation, with everything from high end resorts in the marinas and the most well known and reliable hotel chains, to smaller guest houses and budget motels. You can find what you need here, too.
CAPTION | Fort Lauderdale Beach / PHOTO - Kiteworld
Click HERE for Accomodation in Miami and Fort Lauderdale or click on the tab above
MIAMI KITEBOARDING are a fully affiliated IKO centre, teaching all levels seven days a week at Crandon Park. They also offer SUP, kayak and also have a kiteboat! Their fully stocked shop features Cabrinha, Shinn, Slingshot and Starkites.
Languages spoken by staff: English, German, Spanish, French and Russian.
FORT LAUDERDALE KITESURFING SCHOOL teach all levels and is run by Graham Goodwin who has been running kitesurfing courses in the area since as early as 1999. Employing special instructors at a number of destinations, they will guarantee you a safe start. They also have a kite shop, offer SUP, wakeboarding, sword fishing, scuba diving, accommodations and more.
ACCREDITED BY: PASA
Click HERE for shops and schools in Miami and Fort Lauderdale or click on the tab above
FOOD AND DRINK
Miami has a large selection of restaurants and night clubs where you can go crazy or stick to your budget. You can also Party at South Beach, South Miami, Coral Gables and Coconut Grove. During the day, families will be happy at Matheson with a protected lagoon for the kids.
There are plenty of non-kiting kicks. As well as the electric nightlife, there are also family attractions – including zoos and children's museums - shopping, a cable park, diving and world-class golf courses within easy reach. SUP is pretty big here – hit up TKSMiami or Miami Kiteboarding. Why not take a yacht charter or go on a sailing adventure. And within a few hours you can combine your trip with a visit to Disney!
CAPTION | SUP Excursions / PHOTO - Osocarras
CAPTION | Art deco, South Beach / PHOTO - Kiteworld
Fly to Miami International (MIA) which is 45 minutes drive from Miami, or Fort Lauderdale (FLL), also around 45 minutes from Miami.