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RickI 04-06-2006 06:25 PM

The Flats of Miami & Ty Luckett's Magical Pole Boat !!!
The area

Sorry for the delay in putting this article up. Still, there is some good stuff here not only on Ty Luckett's Magical Pole Boat but also on the Flats of Miami. When the wind is on, the latter may amaze some riders. Ty operates out of Hatteras for part of the year and Miami the rest of the time. I understand he is coming back to Miami at the end of this November 2006. You can find out more at his website,
Ty, Andrea and the "Pole Boat" at dock in Miami

Here is what Ty has to say about the pole or tower on his website:

"Ride the revolutionary "Kite Rite" Tower developed by Captain Ty Luckett. No wind necessary and lessons are offered daily. Learn basic board skills, Back Rolls, Railys or just test your new board. Riders leaving this lesson will know how to ride toe side and heel side even before flying a kite. The "Kite Rite" Tower offers a variety of benefits that will surely add to even an advanced rider's bag of tricks.

Allowing the rider to completely focus on the board skills portion of the lesson "the pole" pulls the rider out of the water at a 45 degree angle just as the kite will. The rider becomes quickly comfortable with edging and proper foot pressure which are necessities for kiteboarding success." Continued ...
Heading out to the flats with the Miami skyline drifting by
Ty's boat is totally tricked out for kiting with special racks, an air pump, loud hailer, beamy fast hull that draws inches of water, oh ... and the "pole!"
So we motor down along the western shore of Key Biscayne bearing southward towards Stiltsville and the Flats of Miami to the south of the island. The Flats comprise an odd 200 square mile area extending below Key Biscayne to Key Largo. It is a huge area, with tons of calm shallows, rideable with winds from ANY direction and with few people. SO MANY people want to visit Miami for the nightlife, beach scene, shopping, etc. AND they want to go kiting. Miami is a very populous place, 2.25 MILLION people and growing with few beach areas. All of these beach/launch areas have access issues that go back years. What to do? GO TO THE FLATS! SE coast riders want to go to Marco Island for westerly winds and inadvertently threaten access prospects. Why bother, it's better and closer to Miami here. There are only a few Sea Taxi/Instructor boats at present. In time I suspect that there could be more. It is that good out there.

I suspect that there are even waves a bit further to the east. The weather station at Fowey Rocks gives an indication of conditions here.
Here are the recorded wind averages for Fowey, about 6 miles offshore and 123 ft. high (N.B.).
Click image for full sized version
Still going, Andrea, a sponsored rider for Viking Surfboards is looking good
So, we arrive at the Flats. Ty calls Scotty who promptly "beams him up!"
It's a beautiful area with the Cape Florida Lighthouse at the tip of Key Biscayne in the distance
Having some fun now
The Pole Boat at anchor
Kent and some of the Cabrinha guys hang out. That's Andrea shredding along in the background
So what is all this pole boat stuff about? Andrea demonstrates by throwing a number of loops. The pole allows you the time without violent wipeout, most of the time, to work on timing, force of motion, etc. in some tricks. You don't even need wind for this part.
Checkout a video Ty has on his website of Anita's first time out on the pole. Anita lost her arm some years back and is wearing a newly acquired prosthetic arm and is progressing FAST. Her's is truly an impressive story. Just click on the image to see the video.
OK, so lets check Ty out on this thing

NOTE: LOTS of boats and folks like to pile all over one another like a basket of cats on a single sandbar near Stiltsville. Some guys even ride there among the closely anchored boats. If it is too crowded, guess what? It's too crowded and pretty much the same crap that we fight onshore, so spread out! There is tons of room here. Don't almost get yourself killed by hitting a boat here like this poor fellow.

This area is designated at the Biscayne National Park under Federal Authority. If we annoy the rangers enough it is possible to threaten kiting access even within this HUGE area. We can't allow this to happen.

The Park Website is located at:

Park Regulations are discussed at:

NOTE: Personal Water Craft, PWC or waverunners and other related small craft propelled by internal combustion engines are BANNED at this Park.

PLEASE ride responsibly and observe Park Regulations to avoid having kiting restricted here.

Some areas within the Park are CLOSED for conservation and other reasons, more about this on the Park Website and below:

The following areas are closed year round:
A. Arsenicker Key
B. West Arsenicker Key
C. Within 200’ of both Arsenicker and West Arsenicker Keys
D. Soldier’s Key
E. The rocky area past the jetty known as the bird observation area
F. Sands Key is closed to all public entry, except for the following: The established path between the keyhole and the ocean side of the island and the beach portions on the East Side of the island.

Still other restrictions apply as discussed in:

Anyway, pool's open and the water is better than fine! Checkout the Flats and while you're at it why not go for a spin on Ty's boat?

Stay tuned, more to come on the Flats of Miami and The Kitehouse offering sea taxi and instruction there.

RickI 11-08-2006 10:21 AM

Some more info about running the flats:

For the first few times out there it would be good to go with someone that knows the area, like one of the sea taxi operations or a friend. The flats are easy to get to but channels through them can be deceptive. Also, be careful with the tides some boats get stranded at low tide on the bar or shallower flat areas. You don't want to get stuck too far away downwind or down current. Being too far down current AND in deep water is not a good thing, particularly if your boat is hung up on a low tide. Tidal current can move off the flats into deep water with some speed. Kiters use this to add to apparent wind at times but you don't want to get flushed into deep water and not be able to get back by accident. If you get stuck in shallows at a lower tide or just motor into the wrong area and start tearing up the bottom that is illegal as well and can result in some hefty fines. You're at the northern limits of Biscayne National Park. Also, motoring out at dusk or after dark is not a good idea either, even commercial guys get out in good daylight that know the area well.

More information appears at:

Tide info for the Biscayne Channel area:

It is a great place to go to but there are some precautions to follow too. Running with guys that know the area for the first few times is a good idea.

RickI 11-08-2006 02:53 PM

I didn't realize it but the woman shown in the video clip from Ty's site is a particularly special person. She suffered a loss on an arm some years back. Not to be held down she has pursued a lot of activities the doctors said she would never be able to participate in again. She became interested in kiteboarding, tried a school but was unable to get into it. She met up with Ty Luckett of Hatteras Kiteboarding and with some design and tinkering on safety releases, time on the pole boat she has successfully been training to kite. WELL DONE Anitia and Ty! What a great example for what can be achieved if you commit to it and work hard.

Here story follows from


Originally Posted by anitabills
Hi Folks, So ar I am the only female one arm kiter, oh well. I am very new to this board as well as kiteboarding. This sport has been my dream ever since I move to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina 8 years ago. I have written to both one arm kiters yesterday and have been reading everyone's threads trying to learn what I need to implement to be able to succeed in my new challenge. As I had written the other two guys, my instructor and I both feel that I need to consider getting out should trouble be in the air, sort of speak. I had told Ty Luckett, my instructor when we first started back in the spring of this year, that I like what I have left of my body and I don't want to lose any more. :girl:
I have mastered the board and have tried body dragging but the challenge for me right now is the safety net, to get out should I ever have to. After seeing the web site on Christophe Ballois, his stump looks about as long as mine but due to some reconstruction on my stump the biceps muscle was split and wrapped around the bone so I could keep the amputation below the elbow. By doing this it took away from my stump the ability to hook like Christophe, so I am working with a new protheses, which in my 23 years of being a one hander person is a first for me. (you see you can do things without a hand better than someone without a leg). I have loved challenges and sports all my life and find this one just as exciting, especially after someone here on this island told me that there is NO WAY I will be able to kiteboard. Don't tell me I can't because I won't place limitations on myself.
Anyway I don't read or speak French so getting in touch with Christope would not work but I would love to hear what you have to say about getting out.
This is what we came up with
A new protheses which was made for canoeing/kayaking called the hammerhead and I just got it last week, so I am going to try and fly my trainer kite on the beach to see if I can control and unhook with one hand...wahoo, I am so glad Ty told me about this site. To know that there are others out here just as crazy as I am to do the things we want to do. Life is good...

RickI 11-10-2006 04:50 PM

Have any of you every been annoyed by over crowding at Miami launches, wind launch limitations, not enough room for long downwinders, too many regs at Crandon Park, worried for too long about losing access and spending too much of YOUR time trying to maintain it???

Well there's hope not only for sustained access but also even BETTER riding conditions and the Flats is it.

It would be good to hear from folks that have been out there under good conditions. It would be good to promote the Flats as a way of taking pressure off the few shoreside launches and to boost sea taxi operations out there. How many folks have ever paid for a dive charter? There isn't much difference other than in my opinion a Flats kiting execursion would be a hell of a lot more fun!

So, let's hear about those positive experiences out there.

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