KITESURFING HOLIDAYS - MIAMI
If you could dream up a kite destination, it would have the perfect combination of excitement on and off the water and year-round warm weather. That place is Miami. Within one hour of the airport, 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 and if you're travelling with your family, Miami is sure to keep everyone busy. If you're coming on your own or with mates, South Beach is the place to be.
Summer is the slow wind season in Miami, with between one and three ridable 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 in the city. Each spot is within 20 minutes of the others. Matheson Hammock Park is a broad, shallow learning centre with perfect conditions for training on your own or utilising the full service schools. It is also a flat-water freestyle paradise. Based on the south side of Miami on Biscayne Bay, this spot has a really laid back feel with minimal rules and friendly locals. There are designated limits for launching, riding and jumping, all marked by buoys. 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. Crandon Park is 20 minutes north of Matheson Hammock on Key Biscayne and is a highly 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 in order to set foot on the beach. Once you do, however, you will be greeted by flat blue water and gentle waves on the outer sand bank. Check in at the front office and wear wrist bands and helmets every day. Lifeguards on duty and the riding scene here is more aggressive with lots of hotshot riders. Graduate at Matheson, then ride hard at Crandon.
The wind comes cross-on from left. Frontal winds average 15 to 25 knots October to May. In the summer they switch to a lighter thermal, and average 12 knots. Air temperatures sit at almost 30°C/88°C in the summer, and 20°C/70°F in the winter.
The water temperatures are stunning all year, hitting the 27°C/80°F mark in summer and dropping a touch to 20°C/70°F in winter.
Fly to Miami International (MIA) which is 45 minutes drive from Miami, or Fort Lauderdale (FLL), also around 45 minutes from Miami. 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. Miami has a large selection of restaurants and night clubs, where you can go crazy or stick to your budget. 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. We've mentioned the electric nightlife, but there's also family attractions, shopping, a cable park, diving and world class golf courses within easy reach.