Kitesurfing - Seattle
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With a solid kiteboarding community of only a few hundred locals, Seattle is a low key destination where you can really escape to. What it may lack in sun and sand it more than makes up for with picturesque mountain ranges and green forests as a stunning kiting backdrop. Locals are friendly, welcoming and more than happy to spend hours talking everything kiting with you over a brew in the local pubs.
The greater Seattle area has about 30 different beaches, each one becoming a killer spot with the right wind direction and tide. There are spots suited more to the advanced rider than the beginner, and vice versa. Jetty Island is the most popular site in the summertime because of its shallow warm waters and predictable thermal winds - perfect for beginners. Golden Gardens and Carkeek Park are slightly cooler in water temperature and are best enjoyed if you can stay upwind. Magunson Park is more for the advanced rider as is Useless Bay with perfect head high waves. There are also some epic snowkiting spots near by. From only a 30 minute drive there's plenty about for you to explore, including Lake Keechelus at Snoqualmie Pass proving great allround riding opportunities for all abilities.
Wind in the Puget Sound region can be tough to forecast, but when it does blow you'll be spoiled for choice with kiting spots. Winter and autumn have the strongest winds and nine metre to 12m kites are most commonly used at this time. A short drive to the Washington coast will deliver some serious wave riding, otherwise you can enjoy the flats with mild chop. Spring and summer time eases up on wind speed and 12 to 15 metre kites will be needed to get the most out your time here. A three millimetre wetsuit is recommended at this time with a thicker one for the colder months. Air temperature ranges from 13°C / 55°F to 29°C / 85°F in the summer and 2°C / 35°F to 13°C / 55°F in winter. The water can get down to 10°C / 50°F in winter and up to 22°C / 72°F in summer.
Seattle International Airport (SEA) is a 20 minute drive south of downtown Seattle. The city itself is a major metropolitan area with over three million people, so you will be centrally located to everything including all supermarkets, bars and tourist attractions. There are some amazing restaurants here as well as some street vendors for grab 'n' go snacks. Make sure you ask the local kiteboarders all you can about the local spots so that they can inform you of any hazards to watch out for or recommend any routes to take. Renting a car is a good idea, especially if you want to escape the astronomical cab fare from going from spot to spot.
Seattle is full of museums, zoos, aquariums, parks, shopping centres, farmers markets, and lots more. It is a very active city so why not rent a bike and go exploring or take out a .kayak or hit the SUP. And after you're spent, hit the local pub and finish the day off with a brewski