Islamorada, FL, USA Ã¢â‚¬Â¦
offers some prime kiteboarding conditions - calm, warm shallow waters, frequent winds in the 10 to 20 kt. range with normal blue skies and sunny conditions. There aren't many beaches so assisted launches and landings are the norm in the abundant shallow water. Islamorada is in the middle Florida Keys or about 80 miles or roughly two hours drive south of Miami, FL.
Brad Lange of Extreme Sports/Florida Keys at Holiday Isle Resort in Islamorada has put on some great events. Brad comes from an ultralight background and provides flight instruction as well as wave runner tours and other water activities through his business.
Brad Lange and his wife Malea at 2002 Kiteboard Masters
2002 Islamorada Kitesurfing Festival Ã¢â‚¬â€œ
This was a great event with a large turnout of riders from all over. This event allowed the winning riders to advance to the PKRA Kiteboard Masters competition that followed in Miami Beach, FL. The winds were good and the riding hot!
2002 Kitesurfing Blowout
It was planned as an expression session and downwind kiteboarding run all the way from Islamorada to Key West. Neil Hutchinson of kitesurfusa.com and Key West to Cuba Crossing fame helped to research and put the concept together. Unfortunately, ideal winds werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t on so the downwinder had to be put off for better conditions. Neil was thinking of trying this again on a more last minute basis when better winds might be more certain. A bunch of prominent kiteboarding types showed up including Dave Loup, Gary Menk, Hamish MacDonald, Zach, a new young up and coming rider from NW Florida and a lot more wind driven guys. Even though winds were offshore, thanks to Brad and others on waverunners it was still possible to do some safe shredding offshore, over the shallows. The cooler temps and offshore winds may have steered some folks away but I sure enjoyed some fast runs on the flats.
AND later this month, March 26-31, 2003 Ã¢â‚¬Â¦
2003 Islamorada Invitational
A new kiteboarding competition that is to include a 17 mile downwind run. You need to be invited to compete, but not to come on down and watch the fun. To be invited you need to register and SOON. For more checkout:
The winds historically are great in March, for what happened in 2002 checkout:
http://www.iwindsurf.com/windandwhere.i ... nd+Archive
So if you are interested in the Invitational or are looking to do some riding and would like to visit the Florida Keys, stop by in Islamorada. While you are there say hello to Brad at Holiday Isle in Islamorada and checkout some truly prime shredding when the wind is on. Remember to bring your kite leash! Also, this is a somewhat technical launch requiring good kite control and the ability to stay upwind (out of the boat channel and waverunner play area!).