The United States is a huge piece of real estate. There are multiple oceans, lakes, rivers, lagoons and various flood plains that make for great kitesurfing setups. The opportunities for kitesurfing in the US are truly endless, but what are the 10 best USA kitesurfing destinations?
For example, you may drive through Iowa (a land locked state) a few days after a rain and see a flooded farmer’s field that is perfect for kiteboarding. The next day, it may disappear.
Best USA kitesurfing destinations
I’ve hit some strange spots like that over the years. I’ve been to 45 of the 50 states. So I feel relatively well qualified to share, what are in my opinion, the best USA kitesurfing destinations. These are 10 kite spots to rock when kitesurfing in the US.
South Padre Island, Texas
This is a sandy barrier island at the southern tip of the state of Texas, bordering the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a hot spot for traveling kitesurfers during the spring months of February through May.
Though it does get wind other times of the year, this is the island’s most busy time. On the Gulf side, small waves and cross-onshore wind are the norm. On the other side, the shallow slicks blow offshore and are glassy flat.
This is a perfect place to learn or to refine your skills. Compared to most American destinations, it is also affordable and low-key making it one of the best USA kitesurfing destinations. There are very few sky rises and most of the beach is undeveloped and ripe for exploration.
Long Island, New York
Just a few hours away (traffic permitting) from New York City, this summertime destination can be magical. On land Long Island has a lot of variety from jam-packed housing to more rural parks and beaches.
On the water there are some great flat water riding spots but be sure to check local rules before launching as some spots are protected. During the fall when a tropical south swell is running, conditions can be insane and only for experts. But for most of the year, kitesurfing in Long Island is chilled and friendly, although some would say extremely chilled in the winter.
If visiting Long Island for its kitesurfing you would be crazy not to spend a night or two of your holiday in New York City. As with any major city it can be expensive, but you can pick up great hotel deals outside of holiday weekends and peak season.
Normally we would suggest a city stay after the kitesurfing week to help you unwind. However, with New York you are probably best doing the city first and then unwinding during your Long Island kitesurfing trip!
Sherman Island, California
Without question, this is one of the premier spots on the entire west coast for kitesurfing in the US. Located a few hours inland from San Francisco, Sherman is a very popular summertime spot.
The delta blows consistently and strong throughout the summer months. There is a local crew that parks here for most of the summer and the weekends are awesome!
There are parties, demos and BBQs. Wear boardies here and be comfortable, while the rest of California is fully clad in long wetsuits. In my opinion one of the best USA kitesurfing destinations.
Belmont Shores, California
About an hour south of Los Angeles is Long Beach in Belmont Shores. It is the beginner and freestyle ground zero for kitesurfing holidays in southern California!
During the windy season from March through September, the afternoon thermal kicks in 4-6 days per week. Belmont has a breakwater a few miles off shore that kills all incoming south swells and makes for small chop on the inside.
This lack of waves is perfect for beginners and more advanced kiters use this energy for ramps. The prevailing SW wind is perfectly cross onshore so this is the home of local kite schools.
On a windy summer day, there can be in excess of 100 kites here but there is plenty of room for everyone. After a session, walk down to 2nd Street for great nightlife and tons of pubs.
Hood River Gorge, Oregon
A famous summer spot that was first made popular by the windsurfing community. When it blows, the Gorge is strong. Bring your small kites and anticipate the possibility of wind in excess of 28 knots on a good day.
If you’re into remote locations with tons of camping and nature leisure options, this is your place.
Not great for beginners due to strong wind, rolling surf, currents, gusty wind and crowds. This is a classic stop for kitesurfing in the US and one to tick off the bucketlist.
Florida Keys, Florida
This is a wintertime escape for two reasons. Firstly, it can be quite warm here during the summer and secondly, there isn’t much wind during the warmer months.
During the winter, there are endless nooks and crannies down in the keys. Some of the launches are pretty technical, so be sure that you stay within your ability.
Score some beautiful pictures down here riding in a tropical-like setting. Look out for sharks.
Crandon Park, Florida
This sweet little spot is located on Key Biscayne, located just off the coast of Miami. To ride here, you must be able to ride upwind and be in possession of an IKO rider’s card that proves this. If you don’t have one, you can do a test on site for a nominal fee.
This riding area is restricted to 30 kiters at a time so if you’re past that number, you can wait in line and launch when someone else comes in. This isn’t as bad as it sounds. Great spot with concession and a kite shop on site.
Pleasure Bay, Boston, Massachusetts
This is one of the most popular kiteboarding spots in the greater Boston area and in my opinion one of the best USA kitesurfing destinations. It’s a large bay with flat to lightly choppy water and descent wind.
Bring a wetsuit until about June through August. I like it because it is a city kitesurfing destination, plus there are not many kiters and a very friendly vibe. If you yield to beach goers and be polite to the locals they will welcome you.
Outer Banks, North Carolina
This is my favourite spot for kitesurfing in the US (continental). There is ocean kiting on the outside and plenty of flat-water slicks on the inside of the barrier island. The bend in the land makes for good kitesurfing in all wind directions.
The Outer Banks are especially good when there is a swell running. There are plenty of established kite schools in this area, featuring Real and Kitty Hawk Kites. Don’t miss the OBX on your east coast holiday.
This unique location is situated on the nation’s “third coast” – which is one of the Great Lakes. Lake Michigan to be precise. When it blows here during the summer or fall, you’re in for a real treat – fresh water that is usually pleasantly warm.
The cottage country vibe of the state of Michigan is apparent here and adds to the charm of kiteboarding on Lake Michigan making it one of the 10 kite spots to rock when kitesurfing in the US.
I hope you enjoyed what in my opinion are the best USA kitesurfing destinations, but remember it is my opinion, I am sure yours differs! If you likes this article you will also like Top 10 kiteboarding destinations in the United States which is another run down of the top kite spots by kitesurfing pro Mark Moore.