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New to Kiteboarding in Tampa/St Pete FL

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New to Kiteboarding in Tampa/St Pete FL

Postby TheFlyingDan » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:10 pm

Hi all, I've been wanting to get into this for some time and am finally on a list for lessons. I'm in the Tampa Bay area on the gulf coast of Florida - an area which, since I've been paying attention over the last couple months, is really light on the wind.

Any advice on starting out when you live in a place with light wind? Planning on getting a 12m or so to start (175 lb, most winds 10-20 mph unless it's a front pushing 20-30 or calm and in single digits, like most days) and then deciding afterwards if my 2nd would be for light wind or heavy wind days. Any advice on gear, technique, etc would be great. If you're in the area, even better!

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Re: New to Kiteboarding in Tampa/St Pete FL

Postby Antispun » Sun May 18, 2014 7:24 pm

Hey welcome to the forum! I'm also quite new and have just recently gotten on the water for my first time. I just moved from St. Pete and always saw kites on the water by the Skyway. I gathered my gear early on but did a lot of research on what I was buying. Not saying this will work for everyone, but it worked well for me. First, I found some general charts of weight : kite/board size recommendations (most company sites will have a graph of some sort below the gear). I also watched the changes in weather to see what wind range I wanted to have covered. Aside from just reading the graphs though, I also looked up multiple reviews/forums on how that particular year/size was rated (how I actually ended up on this forum). Being in Florida still, I picked up a 9.5m Kahoona and 14m Convert w/ a 135cm slingshot board (I weigh 145lb, and gathered it all from a month of picking through craigslist). From what people claim, this should have me covered from 10-27mph winds. Hope this helped a little!

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Re: New to Kiteboarding in Tampa/St Pete FL

Postby Rando1994 » Mon May 19, 2014 2:29 pm

Please forgive my rant:

All the internet gear research in the world will not give you what you need for kiting. And that is competent, thorough instruction. Here in the Tampa area we are blessed with amazing riding areas and also amazing instructors. Find a qualified instructor and take lessons before you buy anything. Your instructor will be able to help you with all of your equipment decisions based on your weight, skills, and potential. Our launches are getting more and more crowded and yet we remain a tight community. If you show up at our launches and are not prepared and exhibit behavior that could cause damage or injury to yourself or others, you will not be treated kindly. There is no excuse for not getting lessons. None. If you are reading this forum, you can easily find stories of people that are now dead due to kiting mishaps. If you don't know how to rig, launch, ride, go upwind, and land without being a major hazard, then do not show up at the beach.
Beach access is a tenuous enough thing as it is. If some kook gets himself killed or worse kills a tourist, we are going to have major problems with access. Do not be THAT guy.

OK, rant over. See you at the beach!

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Re: New to Kiteboarding in Tampa/St Pete FL

Postby dracop » Mon May 19, 2014 4:48 pm

Here is a link to help you out.

For S Florida, I would encourage you to get two kites, a light wind and a high/moderate wind kite as those are the two predominant weather patterns we get here (15-20 mph and 22-30 mph, usually due to cold fronts). ... lator.html

I have generally found the chart to hold true. One catch is that as wind goes down, the larger kites also assume you step up to a larger board and that is not evident on on the kite size chart. As a beginner, buy the lightwind board first and the moderate/high wind board last of all gear purchases as the lightwind board will be easier to learn on even in stronger winds when you are first starting out.

Definitely get lessons through at least the waterstart stage and make sure you go over safety and upwind body dragging. Dont try to shotgun this as you can and will get hurt.

Im a big fan of starting with a trainer kite to get body dragging down, then doing a few lessons for safety, setup, and waterstarts, then practicing on your own until you can ride upwind. The FL kiting season is about to end as is true for much of the USA, so there will be huge discounts on gear shortly. Most schools will give you the gear you need for lessons so you may wish to hold off buying gear for now until you get thru the lessons and we start the next season.

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Re: New to Kiteboarding in Tampa/St Pete FL

Postby anthonykiter25 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:29 pm

This post is a few years too late but for anyone reading this that is new to kiteboarding, you want to take lessons! Tampa Bay area still has access with all their spots and no regulations, so it is important we all work together to maintain access. Taking even a few hours of lessons in the beginning stages will make kiteboarding so much easier because controlling the kite is counterintuitive to what your reactions tell you to do. Even if you're one of those guys thats watched hours of youtube videos, you will forget everything the second you get out on the water with a full size kite. For lessons, local blog and local launch sites check out the website

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