Last updated 4-22-2024

A guide to kitesurfing the 520 Slick.

Everything you need to know kiteboarding here. 

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Kiteboarding the 520 Slick Cocoa Beach.

Cocoa Beach is well known as a surf town but is also a famous kiteboarding destination in the wind sports world. The beaches here are clean and offer some of the best kitesurf wave conditions on the southeast coast of the United States. Chances are you already know this, but you need to know all the hidden gem kitesurfing and windsurfing spots on the inland rivers. 

The 520 Slick is one of Florida's most famous kite locations for good reason. The water here is shallow with a sandy bottom and glassy flat from the causeway and mangroves upwind of the slick. You can use the wind gusts off the mangroves for an elevator effect and higher jumps or ride westward past the mangroves for smoother wind and perfect freestyle kiteboarding conditions.

Florida is the best place for kiteboarding in the United States during winter and should be on your radar. When the rest of the country is covered in snow, you'll find warm conditions here and lots of wind from all the cold fronts moving up north. Every town has a vibe, and usually, several kiteboarding beaches that cater to every discipline. 

Cocoa Beach has a sizeable kiteboarding community, many beautiful beaches, and some of the best kitesurfing spots in the world. The 520 is one of our favorites, and this guide will share everything you need to know when kiteboarding is here. 

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Table Of Content

  • Why you will love kitesurfing at the 520 Slick Cocoa Beach.  
  • The best wind directions to kitesurf the 520 Slick Cocoa Beach.  
  • What you need to know when kiteboarding here.
  • What to avoid kiting here.

Why you will love kitesurfing at the 520 Slick Cocoa Beach.

The kite location is famous for its flat water, good vibes, and plenty of space. The 520 slick is a long stretch of beach along the Banana River. Nestled between Merit Island and Cocoa Beach, this is the most popular kiteboarding destination in Cocoa Beach. The sandy bottom and shallow water attract kiteboarding schools and most local kiteboarders here.

Warm faces and a good community here will always greet you. The locals are friendly and stoked. Florida has many kiteboarding beaches, but only a few have rock-solid communities. This is one of those community hot spots where locals congregate. You're sure to make some new friends on your visit. 

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The mangroves provide an excellent wind shadow, keeping the water clean, and you can use them to catch large gusts for bigger air. If you want to practice freestyle, check out the riding area to the west near the bridge. There are no mangroves, and the wind is smoother than the launch area. If you jump right where the mangroves start, the wind is always a bit gustier here, so you can get more air time. 

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Best Wind Directions for Kiteboarding The 520 Slick Cocoa Beach Florida.

N, NE, W

The best wind here is a North blowing directly offshore from the causeway. This wind direction will be the smoothest and have the best water conditions. The wind here at the launch area is gustier than other locations you might be used to. The further east you sail, the gustier the wind gets. The further west, the smoother the wind gets. Near the bridge on the causeway is a large opening in the mangroves.

Here, you will find the smoothest wind. It is possible to ride here on a northwest or northeast wind. As you sail further from the shore, the water will get choppier, and the wind will be gustier. Many riders will still be here in these directions, and you can still find flat water in the shallows near the shoreline. 

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Some locals ride here on a west wind. This wind will be gusty and choppy, like a northwest wind, with no flat water. We ride the ocean these days for smoother wind and sometimes smoother water. Jetty Park or Cherie Down Park are fun kiteboarding spots on a west wind. The waves here are enjoyable, so have a kitesurf board ready.

What to expect when kitesurfing the 520 Slick Cocoa Beach Florida

The 520 Slick is probably unlike any kiteboarding location you have visited yet. At first glance, it might look a little intimidating. The wind blows offshore here; you can't launch from the beach, and gusty wind can be next to the mangroves. 

But the thing is, this spot offers fantastic conditions and a warm community of passionate kitesurfers, and once you understand how to drift launch, you will find some major perks to riding here. 

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The Slick has plenty of parking right next to the setup area, including trailer parking for large vehicles. The staging area is mostly grass. You have to drift launch here as launching upwind of the mangroves is hit or miss. Some people will do this, but your kite can fall into the mangroves. There are two openings with sandy beaches where you must walk your kite into the shallow waters. 

The riding area is large, shallow, and mostly sand, but there can be pointy things underwater. Channel markers indicate where the water goes deep. If you sail past them, there are shallow points again. The best wind here is offshore, so stick to the shallows and know how to self-rescue. It is possible to get downwind, and you might have a long swim back in. Never sail out further than you are willing to swim back in.

What to be aware of kitesurfing the 520 Slick Cocoa Beach

The 520 slick is a unique and fun kiteboarding location. It's one of the few spots where beginner kiteboarders can ride in an offshore wind. The shallow, flat water is appealing for better takeoffs, and it's easy to walk out if things go wrong. Take caution with the offshore wind here. It is possible to get downwind and have a long swim back in.

There can be deep water past the boat channel, so keep that in mind.The setup area can be wet, gusty, and slippery. People land their kites here, but we do not recommend launching a kite here. It's too easy for a solid gust to slide you into the mangroves or a significant lull in the wind to drop your kite into them.

Space is limited here, so keep your lines wrapped up when not in use and stack your kites together if you have more than one pumped up. We don't recommend setting up more than one kite as the wind is shifty, and unattended kites can blow away. 

  • Drift launch only.        
  • Slippery landing area.
  • Wire fence by the freestyle area - be careful exiting here.
  • Beach goers. Give people the right of way.
  • No parking on the grass.
  • The wind gets gustier the further east you sail.

Call us for more info on kiteboarding in Florida.

Elite Watersports has served the Tampa and St Petersburg area for years. They offer kiteboarding and wingsurfing lessons. They also have a retail shop equpit with all of the latest kitesurfing gear. 

If you need help give us a call. .

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Ryan "Rygo" Goloversic


Kiteboarding Cocoa Beach

The 520 Slick 

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