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Old 03-17-2010, 08:09 PM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,657
Default Heading to Miami and the Keys ... in 2001


Have a great time in Miami. Early May should still bring some light to
moderate frontal winds, roughly at one week intervals The wind slides around
clockwise with each new front that comes down. I would bring a full quiver
of kites and plan for winds from 10 to 15 mph with some 15 to 20 mph days
possible. The wind goes higher, (like this last week, 25-30 mph), on rare
occasions. As May goes on the fronts weaken and the tropical depressions
coming across the Atlantic supply the wind in the warmer months along with
weak to moderate afternoon thermal or convection winds. There are lots of
guys on wakeboards and often on kites smaller than 16m in Biscayne Bay in
Miami. Depending on your weight and the wind you may want to bring along
longer directional board if you have one for the lighter days. Reproduced
below is a message that was put on the "Florida-kitesurfers" list on

Unfortunately, there are very few launches in the Keys that I know of that
are good for wind from most directions. The Islamorada launch at the
Islander Hotel should be good for winds from NE (sideshore) to SE (onshore)
to SW (sideshore). It is the only place in the Keys short of Smathers Beach
in Key West where I think you may see other kitesurfers.

See Mapquest



For winds from SW to NNE you will have to move over to the Florida Bay or
Gulf side. Plantation Harbor in Islamorada on the Golf side has a very small
public beach that may support kitesurfing in a pinch but it is very technical
and tight. Further south below Layton there are lots of roadside parking
areas on the Gulf side but there is a pesky powerline, relatively high over
the water that goes along side A!A that may be too large a water hazard to
mess with. You could stay at the Marina Del Rey Bayside hotel in Key Largo
about a half and hour north of the Islander and try to launch on the Gulf
side there. It is a bit less tight than Plantation Harbor but not
overwhelmingly so. There is a state park at Looe Key that may offer some
potential Atlantic side launching areas for NE to SE winds.

The launches in Miami are quite good for most winds. For sheltered waters
Crandon Park on Key Biscayne is nice for NE to S winds, Bear Cut off Virginia
Key is good for more or less the same winds but has a more congested
launching area with lots of windsurfers and trees. Hobie Cat beach on
Virginia Key just to the West of the Sea Aquarium is good for SW to WNW
winds. South Beach on the ocean has good ocean sailing in N to S winds.
Crandon is very popular with kitesurfers, saw 15 there last weekend.

Depending on the forecast you could plan to spend some time in Miami and in
Islamorada. Two very good weather reporting and prediction sites for our
area are:

Iwindsurf for current conditions:


and for prediction:

The beach at the Islander really doesn't exist. It has hard packed coralline
sand up to low a coral rubble seawall that serves to hold the sand in place.
You have to do some minor moutaineering to get down into the water. The
water there is generally shallow and calm almost regardless of the winds.
The beach at Crandon at at Hobie beach is sand with the trees somewhat
setback. The trees are much tighter at Bear Cut with lots of coral rubble.

In summary, Miami has good launches with wind from a variety of directions.
As to the Keys aside from the Islander Hotel in Islamorada and Smathers Beach
in Key West, other readily accessible launches are more rare.

Have a great trip,

<< Does anyone know what conditions I should expect in the Miami/keys
area in early May?
Is it consistent enough for big kites (Wipi 16) and a wake board?

Thanks for any info since my girlfriend has been ragging on me for a
couple of years about going to Miami and I finally gave in...I already
feel the hangover!

R >>
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
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