Last updated 3-3-2024

The Rules for common sense kiteboarding in Tampa

Be safe and have fun!  

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Are there any rules or regulations for kiteboarding in Tampa Bay?

Some parts of Florida are regulated. Fortunately in Tampa Bay, common courtesy and the basic sailing rules of navigation are all you need to know. Be safe, give beachgoers the right of way, and leave the beaches better than when you came.

In this blog, we’ll explain the rules of navigation and general beach etiquette. Safety is the number one priority. Take care of yourself and be respectful of others. We’re here to have fun and to escape everyday stress. Let’s all play nice on the beach.

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Table Of Content

  • Rules for kiteboarding in St Petersburg & Tampa
  • Kitesurfing Etiquette in Tampa Bay
  • Where to take kiteboarding lessons in Tampa.
  • Help buying your first kiteboarding kite

Rules for kiteboarding in St Petersburg and Tampa.

Here are a few general kiteboarding rules for when setting up your kitesurfing kite on the beach and launching. Common sense is paramount. There might be times when you have to break a rule in the name of safety.

Common sense rules for kitesurfing 

  • Give beachgoers and swimmers the right of way.
  • Don’t fly your kite near or over crowds.
  • Don’t kite out further than you can swim back.
  • Don’t do tricks or jump next to the beach.
  • Don’t kite dangerous weather or offshore winds.
  • When launching your kite, you have the right of way.
  • If you see someone launching, give them the right of way.
  • If you see someone walking out with a kite, give them space.
  • Use situational awareness. If a rider coming in is in distress, let them land first.
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The rules of navigation apply to kiteboarding. Here are some things to keep in mind when on the water.  

Genrally, kiteboarders can spot a new rider a mile away. More offten than not, we give them plenty of space. The community is warm and welcoming so don't worry too much. Make sure you learn these basic guidelines and you'll do fine.

Kitesurfing Rules of Navigation 

  • When riding the upwind rider keeps their kite high.
  • The downwind rider keeps their kite low.
  • The right foot forward rider has the right of way.
  • When in doubt, no collision is acceptable.
  • If someone isn’t paying attention, do what you must do to avoid hitting them.
  • If you’re a beginner, you can always bring the kite to noon and stop.
  • Kiteboarders going out have the right of way.
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Kitesurfing Etiquette in Tampa Bay 

Some more kiteboarding etiquette is making sure everyone has space to ride and do tricks. This means watching the general flow on the water and giving people ample room. When body dragging after a crash keep your kite at a 45-degree angle. That way other riders can sail above or below it.

Before a transition take a look at your surroundings.Make sure there is room. Don’t ride someone's bumper! Meaning, give other riders ample room. Don’t be the person preventing someone's transition because you were riding too close behind them.

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Always pay attention to what is downwind of you. On the water and the land. Your kite can cover a lot of distance in a short amount of time. Avoid launching upwind people, or solid objects. Don't take chances upwind of people, other riders, or solid objects. Things can happen so it’s best to have plenty of room to crash your kite downwind and a nice runway of water for you.

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Jumping etiquette is important. Everyone wants to jump and get the most out of their session. The rider upwind should always look downwind before a jump. Make sure there is no chance someone will tack back in front of you. That said, the downwind rider has some responsibility as well. Be mindful of who is jumping and where. Don't be the person who cluelessly rides downwind of everyone trying to jump.

When jumping follow the natural rhythm of the beach. Notice where everyone is jumping and try to do it in the same place. Make sure there is no one downwind of you. Never short tack. This means doing a quick transition downwind of someone about to jump. Be aware of people around you and don’t cut them off. If you’re always just downwind of a rider, slow down and give them space to jump.

Kitesurfing Etiquette in Tampa Bay 

Keep your gear managed on the beach. When not in use, make sure to wrap up your kiteboarding lines. Be considerate and keep the kite launch area clear of bags, pumps, harnesses, and kiteboards.

Keep all your extra equipment out of the way or in your car. If you have extra kites pumped up, you can do something called housing your kites. This simply means stacking your kites on top of each other.

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Be helpful to other kiteboarders. If someone needs a launch or a land, lend a helping hand. Kiteboarding is a community-based sport and we need each other.

If someone doesn’t know the rules of your local beach or safety hazards, be the person to share the insider information. Let them know where the shallow areas are, or where the best place for Kitefoling is.

If you are a new kiteboarder, feel free to ask a local or the shop in town for advice. Just be mindful of other kiters' time and read the room. Sometimes we can be in a hurry to get on the water.

Where to take kiteboarding lessons in Tampa

We teach kiteboarding in one of the best kitesurfing locations in Florida. Skyway Beach is safe, easy, and fun. The location is protected by a large sandbar. The water is shallow and flat.

This means you'll be able to get up on a kiteboard faster here than in the ocean or a more challenging location.

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Our professional instructors will teach you everything you need to know to get started kiteboarding in Tampa bay. You'll get a great introduction to our kiteboarding beaches, the community, and the general flow of the area.

Need help buying your first kiteboarding kite? 

If you still have questions, need lessons or kiteboarding gear, the team at Elite Watersports can help you out. Stop by our kitesurfing shop located in St Peterburg. 

Feel free to reach out and ask us anything kiteboarding related.

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Ryan "Rygo" Goloversic



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