KITESURFING HOLIDAYS - TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA
The Tampa / Saint Petersburg area offers an amazing all-round holiday destination - great kiting, a cable park, all the nightlife you can handle and a huge variety of fun things to do with the family, including the Busch Gardens, Dali Museum and Adventure Island water park. The pristine waters of Tampa Bay also offers great fishing, paddleboarding, parasailing, diving and more!
Tampa Bay packs in a wide variety of kiteboarding spots, including butter flat water and 20-plus mile Gulf coast downwinders. Fort Desoto Park in Saint Petersburg is one of the locals' favourite kite spots, which includes flat water fun on the shallow, grassy flats of East Beach and some of the best wave riding in the area at North Beach.
Tampa Bay is kite-able on any wind direction and has about 15 popular kiteboarding locations in all; many of them are shallow grass flats and very beginner friendly. The Gulf of Mexico is also accessible from many areas, including St. Pete Beach, Pass-A-Grille, and Indian Rocks beach. Gulf kiters can also enjoy a 20 mile downwinder with the convenience of the Suncoast Beach Trolley for a ride back upwind to your hotel or car.
A complete list of our local launch sites can be located at: kiteboardingtampabay.com/tampa-st-petersburg-launch-sites.html
WIND, WEATHER & WATER
The Florida windy season runs from October through May, with the best months for kiting being December through March. The hot Florida summers typically have few opportunities to kitesurf, with air and water temps approaching 90 degrees. The weather in the Tampa Bay area is typically warm and humid, although winter cold fronts can bring cold north winds with temperatures down into the 40s fahrenheit / below 10°C.
The weather in Florida is typically warm, averaging 21 - 17°C / 70 - 80°F in the fall and spring months, and 10 – 15°C / 50 - 60°F in the winter months. Summertime temperatures usually reach 32°C / 90 °F or more and can be uncomfortably hot. If you are visiting during winter months, it is recommended to bring a jacket and a couple of pairs of jeans.
Although this is Florida, believe it or not, it can get surprisingly chilly here at times.
Water temperatures range from 14°C / 58°F in the winter, to almost 32°C / 90 degrees in the summer. Most kiters wear boardshorts year round, and occasionally a shorty wetsuit or neoprene heater top.
Tampa International Airport (TIA) is the area’s largest airport and is located in Tampa, approximately 25 minutes from St. Pete Beach. Cab fare from the airport is $54 and a number of shuttle services can get you there for around $40. Renting a car for your stay in Tampa Bay is recommended, though. You could also fly into St. Pete / Clearwater Airport (PIE), which is closer to the beaches, but as it is a smaller airport, expect to pay a higher price for your flights.
It is highly recommended to rent a car as cabs are expensive ($2.50 per mile) and there is a lot to see and do around the area. The Suncoast Beach Trolley and PSTA public buses are okay to get around the beaches, but do not run to most of the good kiting spots.
Currency: United States Dollar ($) - £1 = $1.6 / €1 = $1.3
St. Pete Beach is a good central location to easily enjoy all the beautiful kiteboarding spots, the beaches and the nightlife. If you are looking for a great kiter-friendly hotel, Postcard Inn on St. Pete Beach offers beachfront kiting and Paddleboard rentals, SUP instruction and one of the most popular beach bars in town. From there you can enjoy beachfront kiting and those fantastic Gulf downwinders.
FOOD & DRINK
As the Tampa / St. Petersburg area is a big tourist destination there are a wide variety of things to do and places to eat. Hundreds of restaurants serve the freshest Florida seafood, catering for all budgets. Find lively beach bars with live music and downtown St. Petersburg has an excellent club scene for dancing and drinking with the hottest guys and girls in Florida! Bars close on average at 3am.
The Tampa / St. Petersburg area is a fantastic place to enjoy the best of Florida’s coastal areas as well as all the museums, parks, water parks and the cable park for wakeboarding. The waters of Tampa Bay are also great for Stand-Up Paddleboarding with lessons and rentals available at Saltwater Kite & Paddle. Other businesses in the area offer fishing trips, parasailing, diving, kayaking, waterskiing and more.