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Eagle 06-17-2006 12:27 PM

Area Launch Site Hazards
If you are unfamiliar with the West Skyway launch site, also known as the "backside of the Skyway", check out the spot on a low tide to identify multiple hazards in the water before attempting to ride here. Speak with the more experienced riders at this launch site who can provide assistance and point out the areas to avoid.

There are remnants of an old boat hull which is partially submerged at low tide and completely submerged at high(er) tide and you want to avoid this at all cost. A large portion of the boat hull was relocated to deeper water, a section still remains and should be avoided.

The wreckage is marked with a homemade buoy consisting of an old crab trap buoy and a milk jug. The buoy is connected to the hull with q-line. Its the only buoy in the immediate area and is pretty visible. There is a large area of white sand surrounding the wreckage and it stands out among the sea grass.

Watch out for the oyster beds around the mangrove islands, sharks in the deeper water and the middle aged men lurking in the bushes.

This launch site is not recommended for beginner riders and should be avoided until you are a competent and experienced kiteboarder.

There is a very limited area to set up and launch a kite. Kites and people have been damaged at this launch site. There are many other SAFER options available in the area for beginner/intermediate riders to progress their skills.

Sat photo of the site and more info here:

A heads up for kiters to use caution at this launch site due to large concentrations of oyster beds located on the grass flats and along the mangrove shoreline.

One of our locals found one the painful way so please take the time to become familiar with this site before you ride here.
Remember that oysters are beneficial to the health of the bay, so avoiding them will prevent injury to you and damage to them.
Broken glass and a variety of man made items are scattered throughout the shallows and along the beach so protecting your feet would be a wise choice.

Take a look at these aerial photos of the launch site marking areas to use caution and/or avoid.


A variety of hazards here including metal signs, cars, road and bystanders not to mention slippery algae along the shoreline which makes transit into the water a potential hazard. Very little room on the beach, plenty of room on the water, might consider water launching the kite or walk a distance away from the shoreline when launching.
Set up and launch your kite in the area with the most space, launching the kite towards the end of the road or near the mangroves is a bad idea. If you don’t know where to launch your kite please ask one of the experienced kiters for assistance.

This is by no means a complete list of all the hazards present at local launch sites, update the thread with new pertinent info and please use common sense when kiteboarding on our area beaches.

C. Moore 06-17-2006 01:50 PM

Eagle as always.. Good post. Thanks

Gio9 07-13-2006 09:43 PM

Ft Desoto
Eagle.. I said east beach but it does not sound that great now that I read this post.

Where do you recommend. I'd like shallow water.. good open beach to set my gear up.

Prefer not wearing my water shoes... so no oyster beds.

I want a good place to get some circuits in to learn.



JoshTaylor 07-13-2006 10:17 PM

East beach is fine for you to learn.
no need for watershoes there as long as you are real careful out in the water, and try not to touch the bottom.

just like always be aware of your surroundings and be very careful.

toby wilson 07-13-2006 11:38 PM

Not so sure about the watershoe comment Josh! I remember putting my hand down to brace a fall at East Beach and spending a miserable drive to the hospital and then an hour waiting to get 5 stitches sewn into the palm of my hand not too long ago...I'd suggest booties AND gloves at ANY of our launch sites...with the exception of maybe the gulf beaches and there is still a risk even then...

JoshTaylor 07-13-2006 11:43 PM

tru, but i can't ride with either of thoes.. i guess it's just personally preference.

I hate riding with booties.
i don't ride with them anymore.

toby wilson 07-13-2006 11:50 PM

It's all good...

toby wilson 03-29-2007 03:01 PM

Boat Hull
Does anyone know if the boat hull was ever removed from the backside? If not, we need to try and get a crew out there to find a way to dig it out or at least get a new buoy attached to it...just a suggestion...having the buoy there was nice, it is just a matter of time before someone else slices themselves up, most riders new to that launch have NO idea that it is even there...

C. Moore 04-10-2007 12:10 PM

I thought I would put this together. I left out a lot of spots, but I wanted to get most of the dangerous ones listed.


invisible 04-10-2007 01:26 PM

For south skyway, I think you meant anything but south... you can ride there from NE to NW.

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