Kiteboarding Southeast Florida

Kiteboarding, also known as kitesurfing, is the hottest new extreme sport today. Get in the water, strap a board to your feet and let the wind take you. It may sound easy, but there’s obviously a lot more to it than that. Launching, handling, weather, hand signals, and rigging are but a few of the basic skills needed even before getting off the beach. Safety is probably the most important issue. Learning how not to injure yourself or others, is vital. Where to play the game and how to play it, is best learned from someone with proven experience and local knowledge.

For those with the desire to learn, few places are more conducive to getting schooled than the area around Ft. Lauderdale through Miami. From the sports inception in the late 90’s, Southeast Florida quickly earned itself a reputation as a Mecca for kiteboarders in the United States. Year round warm weather, sun, water, wind, and more than enough local talent to be able to learn from some of the best, are what makes it attractive.

There are two ways to learn. Self instruction, or take lessons. Deciding which is better may depend upon how much the individual is concerned about safety and how quickly they would like to become proficient.

Self Instruction

Not everyone feels the need for structured lessons. The “do it yourself” approach, usually means picking up a few basics from a friend, then going out and practicing to get it right. There are a limited number of learning tools that can help.

The website has been touted as the open source authority for rules, etiquette, and what should be considered the basics. This is a great place to start.

Next, seek out clubs and online forums to discuss and learn more about the beaches or areas you intend to utilize.

Magazines can also be good for picking up a thing or two. Kiteboarding Magazine (, Kite Boarder Magazine ( and Core (, are great resources.

Instructional videos or DVD’s are increasingly available and can help take the sting out of “flying blind”. The newest version can usually be found where kiteboarding equipment is sold. If not, look for advertisements in the magazines mentioned earlier, or check with the International Kiteboarding Organization to get a recommendation.

Collectively, these tools can give the beginner a good foundation. There is however, one unfortunate truth to trying to learn without an instructor. Trial and error may make for a lengthy and expensive learning curve.

Why Take Lessons

Lessons with an instructor are the fastest way to learn. Rapid proficiency helps prevent the amount of damage a beginner is likely to inflict on equipment, or in worse case scenarios, on themselves. Students have the option of learning on the school’s gear, which prevents having to risk their own. It also allows for variety and a feel for what works best.

Equipment discounts are regularly offered through the schools. This can help offset the cost of lessons.

Upon completion of a course, students are provided with documentation of their new skill level. This serves to show proof of proficiency, if required, for access to beaches and launch sites.

Another positive, classes are a great way to network and meet people who have a similar interest.

Which Schools

Sky Bandits provides P.A.S.A. certification and is also the area coordinator for the Florida Kiteboarding Association. Classes are held on the beach in Crandon Park at 4000 Crandon Boulevard, Key Biscayne (Miami), Florida 33149. Reservations can be made by calling (305) 947-8454 or online through their website at A three hour beginner’s course starts at $225. Kiteboarding excursions to the Caribbean are also offered.

Watersports Unlimited is located at 301 Sea Breeze Blvd, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 33316. P.A.S.A. certified, instructors follow students with a waverunner or jetboat to coach, assist, and rescue during lessons. They also offer helicopter kiteboarding getaway packages to anywhere in Southeast Florida through the Keys. Prices are $200-$500 for beginners depending on the lesson, and helicopter packages start at $500 per person per day. Reservations can be made by calling (954) 763-4020. They can be found on the web at

Big Kite Miami located at 4607 SW 71st Ave, Miami, Florida 33155. All instructors are either P.A.S.A. or I.K.O. certified. Lessons for children begin at $69 for 1.5 hours of instruction. 2 hour introductory lessons are $155 and are open to all age groups. Big Kite offers a variety of courses designed for just about every level, from beginner through instructor certification. Reservations can be made by calling (866) 924-KITE, and they can be found on the web at

East Coast Kiteboarding 1841 SW 81 Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33324, offers a two hour beginner’s class (land only), for $120. The water segment is a separate class for $120. Private lessons are $200. Reservations can be made by calling (954) 295-5778 or (954) 298-5023. See them on the web at

Additional Considerations

The only prerequisites are a desire to learn, the ability to swim, and a fondness for being in the water. Weekends are busy and summer sessions can fill up quickly. Reservations for classes are strongly recommended well in advance.

Most instructors belong to one or more professional kiteboarding associations. Professional Air Sports Association (PASA), International Kiteboarding Organization (I.K.O.), Florida Kiteboarding Association (FKA), all set high standards and benchmarks for instructors to follow.

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