If there’s one thing everyone loves about Miami, it has to be the beaches. However, many of these beaches aren’t just good for sunbathing; some offer genuinely decent launches for kite surfing. Frustratingly though, many of Miami’s beaches have strict limitations on kite surfing, though there’s still a few places where you can relax and get some solid quality time with the water. Indeed, Miami and South Beach have an alright mix of easy and somewhat technical launches, with most being fairly easily accessible. So, here’s a few of our top spots for kite surfing around Miami.
Crandon Park is one of two major kite surfing beaches in Miami. This watersports concession park is carefully managed, and you’ll have to follow the rules carefully. To even get in, you’re going to need an IKO/PASA level III certificate off the bat. You can get a quick introduction when you register on entry with Miami Kiteboarding. They’ll explain the basics, which pretty much just involve staying within designated areas. If you can deal with this red tape, you’ll have some calm, shallow waters and decent NNE, easterly or south winds to look forward to.
Matheson Hammock Park
The second major kitesurfing area is Matheson Hammock. If you’ve already visited the above-mentioned Crandon, then there should be few surprises here. Expect tight rules, including entry requirements proving you’re already a proficient sportsperson. Once you get on the water, remain within the designated buoys, and you’ll have a stunning beachline to soak up.
It’s a matter of some debate which of the two major parks has the edge over the over. Some locals prefer Crandon, while others swear by Matheson Hammock. In general, there isn’t too much difference. Crandon is usually a little busier, and probably the more popular of the two by a whisker. Matheson Hammock, however, does consistently offer slightly calmer waters, lending itself a little better to freestyle training. Overall though, both Matheson Hammock and Crandon are more or less the same deal.
Not far from Matheson Hammock, Key Biscayne is a somewhat less well known alternative to the big names. It’s also absolutely beautiful, with a picture-perfect beach front replete with palm trees and some decent places to grab a bite to eat. It can sometimes be a little less busy than Crandon.
Miami Beach is beloved by locals and tourists alike. Unfortunately, if you’re a kite surfer, then Miami Beach doesn’t love you back. Kite surfers have repeatedly been banned from this beach, though that doesn’t mean it’s totally off limits. Beach patrol has been known to tolerate kite surfers when crowds are low. For your best chance, arrive before or after hours. Launch well away from the bulk of beach-goers, keep a wide berth from swimmers, and you might just be ok.
The beach on 87th offers deep, choppy waters. The easterlies can come in to the shore, and there’s only one, extremely narrow corridor for launching. On top of this, there’s usually a lot of swimmers, especially on weekends.
From 21st onwards, you can expect more deep waters with some serious chop. On top of this, this stretch of coastline is massively popular with swimmers; so be warned. Having said that, on good days a well-seasoned kite surfer can have a good time around here. On the other hand, if you’re a beginner, you’re strongly recommended to give this area a miss.