I arrived yesterday for 4 days of kiteboarding. I was able to try my, new to me, cabrinha contra 15m light wind kite today and i like it. I also used my long bar and the combo was extraordinary, a session saver for sure.
Anyway, i am staying right across the street from the convention center. The winds here are typically SE. the launches are beautiful. I met a half dozen kiters today and not one was a local.
The vibe here on SPI is super friendly. I have been here in winter, and now in fall and have watched the wind meters from afar only to say that this place get consistent wind all the time.
I think everything here is really cheap, reasonable prices for seafood and everything in general.
I flew into harlingen because southwest flys there. I brought 4 kites:15,12,9,7 to cover most wind and i rented a twin tip when i got here. Made the most sense.
The water is shallow forever...launching in ankle deep water at north flats was a new experience. You wouldnt want to biff hard 2-400 ft from shore. $20 montly membership or 30$ yearly get you access to gated launches through the local kb club association.
South Padre Island rocks and is a well kept secret.