Last updated -08-2024

A guide to kitesurfing Sunset Beach.

Everything you need to know kiteboarding here. 

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Kiteboarding Sunset Beach Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay has some of the best kitesurfing beaches in Florida. Some are famous, like the Skyway Bridge, while others are low-key hidden gems known only to the local kiteboarders in St Petersburg. Sunset Beach is one of those hidden gem kite spots on the Gulf Coast, just outside of Tarpon Springs on the St Joseph Sound.

This area is a hotbed of secret kiteboarding spots like Fred Howard Park or Dunadine Causeway. If you live in or visit Tampa, you will never be lacking in prime kitesurf conditions or wind if you come during the windy season. The best-kept secret of Florida is that from November to April, it's far more windy than the kite industry, and non-locals give it credit for it.

This is simply because most tourism happens in the summer when it's hot and primarily kitefoil season. However, you can visit Florida during the winter for consistent wind, comfortable temperatures, and fantastic kitesurfing when the rest of the United States is frozen.

Sunset Beach is located in Central Florida, so you can expect moderately warm temperatures and amazing kiteboarding all winter.

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Table Of Content

  • Why you will love kitesurfing Sunset Beach Tarpon Springs, Florida.  
  • The best wind directions for Sunset Beach Tampa Bay
  • What you need to know when kiteboarding here.
  • What to avoid kiting here.

Why you will love kitesurfing Sunset Beach Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Picture a small island with sandy beaches dotted with palm trees and deep waters prime for twintip kiteboarding, kite foiling, and windsurfing. The vibes here make Sunset Beach a particular place, but the conditions are also convenient. The deep waters are a significant draw for the hydrofoil community. Much of Tampa Bay and the Gulf Coast is shallow, perfect for kiteboarding lessons and beginner kitesurfers. Still, many spots can be a challenge for wingfoil or kitefoil enthusiasts.

The road provides calm, flat waters and prime conditions for intermediate to advanced kiteboarders looking to practice big air or freestyle kiteboarding. This is also a fantastic place for wingfoiling, as you will not have to worry about chop getting in the way while learning transitions and repeatedly having to water start in difficult conditions often found in the open ocean.

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The beach here is scenic, with sandy beaches, ample shade, and plenty of parking. You would come to this location for a day trip to do more than just kite. It is ideal for cookouts and spending time with family and friends.

There are pavilions, public restrooms, and a playground if you have kids. The area near the island is reserved for swimmers and beachgoers with marked swimming areas. The city has a designated launching and landing area for kitesurfers, so we can all enjoy this local gem.

Best Wind Directions for Kiteboarding Sunset Beach, Florida.

S, W, N & Everything in between

Kiteboarding at Sunset Beach is best with a south, west, or north wind. North winds are most prevalent from November to February. As spring approaches, south winds will be more frequent here. South winds are less frequent but simply amazing when you get the opportunity to ride in them.

You can expect smooth, forgiving conditions as the south wind is unobstructed and has lots of open water to travel over. If you look at the map, you will see that north winds have a good deal of unobstructed water to travel over, albeit, with the angle of the coastline, they will be a little more gusty.

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Big air kiteboarders love the more robust, prevalent north winds we thrive on during our winters here. North winds are a regular occurrence; they are colder and denser, meaning you can use the gusts to your advantage for more air time! Freestyle riders looking for smoother winds would favor the springtime here. West winds here have nothing but ocean to travel over but objects downwind cause some rotary winds.

The island is some distance from the mainland, so you can expect the onshore winds here to be smoother than on most Gulf Coast beaches. A good rule of thumb is to stay upwind a distance of at least three and a half times the height of any obstacle downwind. The island creates little turbulence, but west winds are generally fun and rewarding here. If you're a wingfoil enthusiast or a kitefoiler, You can take advantage of the sheltered, flatter water on the downwind side of the island for easy waterstarts.

What to expect when kitesurfing Sunset Beach Tarpon Springs, Florida

Like many locations along this coast, the park here genuinely looks like something a kiteboarder would draw if asked to map out what the most amazing kiteboarding location would look like. You'll drive through a residential area and reach a long, narrow road with water on each side. The nature here is pristine and beautiful. Palms and flora shelter the road, but it's not so thick that you can't enjoy the gorgeous blue water here.

There is parking along the main drive-in and beautiful beaches for recreation. You'll come to the island, where the road splits and the restrooms can be found. There is a large parking lot here with lots of space. On windy days, you will find primarily kiteboarders here, but it can fill up on warm, light-wind days when the general public is here.

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You will see the main beach and kite launch areas just past the parking lot. This area is all sand with palm trees and offers a scenic view of the Gulf. There are rules here, so we can only launch from one specific location on the north side of the beach. There is a small area to enter and exit the island, but you can not kite anywhere near the beach or on the road. Unlike many kite spots in St Petersburg or Tampa Bay, the water here is deep.

On a high tide, you cannot walk back in. With the structured rules and deeper waters, there are better beginner locations than this one. We recommend visiting the Skyway Bridge in St Petersburg if you are a beginner kitesurfer.

What to be aware of kitesurfing Sunset Beach Tarpon Springs, Florida

Sunset Beach is a rare gem that must be protected to keep access to kitesurfing. There are a few rules to abide by, and they must be followed. Only launch from the designated area and quickly get out on the water.

This is a popular destination for non-kiters, so it is imperative we give beachgoers the right of way. Keep your gear organized and wrap up your lines to be considerate of space. Most importantly, do not kite in the swim areas or near the beach.

Kiteboarding here is a privilege, not a right, and we want to keep access for everyone to enjoy.

  • Yield right of way to all beach and water users.
  • Always launch kites towards the water when the wind permits.
  • Never launch kites near obstacles or pedestrians.
  • All kiters must use proper leashes.
  • Secure kites and wrap lines when not in use.
  • Only allow experienced riders to launch and land kites.
  • Clear the beach as quickly as possible after launching a kite.
  • Kiter on land or leaving the beach has the right of way.
  • Right-hand tack has the right of way.
  • Stay away from the swim area.

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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