What does a good kiteboarding spot look like?
The answer to this question will vary based on what kind of riding you enjoy as well as your skill level. For instance, most riders enjoy flatwater riding, but wakestyle and kitesurfers often enjoy waves to use for jumps and surfing. There are, however, a few attributes that can be applied to all riding styles.
First of all, the spot should have some kind of ride-able wind. While most of the world receives ride-able wind at some point, certain areas are more reliable. Islands with trade winds are very predictable and consistent, making them a great choice for an immediate payback. If you are not lucky enough to live or visit an island ripe with trade winds, then chances are your wind is a result of weather change or seasonal change. Here in Michigan we receive wind all year, but the most frequent and strong winds arrive in the fall and winter. Figuring out your area's peak season can be as simple as visiting a wind forecasting site or asking an experienced rider. It is also important to note the predominant wind direction that time of year. For instance, you plan a trip based on a windy season but fail to notice that the predominant wind is offshore and gusty, making it unsafe to ride... bummer.
Another important attribute to a kiteboarding spot is its safety. A clear launch zone, limited beachgoer traffic, at least 3 ft of water, and being free of downwind obstacles are all especially important for new riders. Different areas may also have safety concerns that include excessive riders, heavy current, large waves, tides, reef, dangerous animals, and quickly changing winds. When in doubt... don't go out. Some experienced local knowledge may cost you lunch or a beer, but it is well worth it. Taking a lesson specific to the area is always a good investment. An instructor can quickly become a tour guide, cameraman, and riding partner for experienced kiters.
If you are in our area, feel free to give us a call at 1.800.622.4655. We will point you in the right direction.
Years Riding: 1
Preferred gear: RPM, Vector, DLX, Boots, Subwoofer, Pyro