Last updated 3-8-2024

A guide to kitesurfing Fred Howard Park

Our favorite flat water location.

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Kiteboarding and Wing Foiling Fred Howard Park

To the northwest of Tampa and St Petersburg is a kiteboarding location out of your dreams. If you were to ask me to paint a picture of what kiteboarding heaven looks like, Fred Howard Park would not be far off. Imagine a small island off the mainland with a long bridge between the two. The bridge is a long jetty that makes the entire area a giant kiteboarding slick with flat water.

The island is a large parking lot with sandy beaches and palm trees. The main beach is massive and looks like a slice of paradise. There is no kiteboarding allowed on the main beach. There are two smaller beaches on the backside where kiteboarders and wingsurfers can rig up. It’s a win as it has the best kiteboarding with the glassy water.

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Table Of Content

  • Why you will love kitesurfing Fred Howard Park.
  • The best wind directions to kitesurf Fred Howard Park.
  • What you need to know when kiteboarding here.
  • What to avoid kiting here.
  • Where to get kitesurfing lessons in Tarpon Springs.

Why Fred Howard Park is great for kitesurfing, wing foiling, or kite foiling.

Tarpon Springs is a bit of a drive from Tampa and St Petersburg. It’s always worth the effort. There is ample parking as half of this island is a parking lot. The launch spots are on the north and south sides of the main road leading to the island. What makes Fred Howard Park amazing is the flat water.

This is the longest stretch and smoothest water you can find in Florida. The water is deep enough for foiling and forgiving enough for big air kiters. If the tide is low, you might have to use a shorter mast.

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The water here is pristine and beautiful. The sense of nature here has massive appeal. It genuinely feels like traveling to another country for a kite vacation. If you are a freestyle kiteboarder, this is the absolute best spot in Florida for the highly sought-after glassy conditions.

If you are a kitefoiler or wingsurfer, the conditions are forgiving and smooth for learning. At high tide, you won’t have to do any work to find deeper water. It can be a challenge to find such smooth water with enough depth for foiling in general. This makes Fred Howard Park a real gem.

If sandy beaches, palm trees, and flat water are your vibe, Fred Howard Park is your kite beach.

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Best Wind Directions for Kiteboarding Fred Howard Park.

S, W, N and everything in between

The wind quality is spectacular at Fred Howard Park. If you look at the map, you can see that south winds and north winds have almost no obstructions. This means you can expect these directions to be smooth and forgiving.

South winds anywhere tend to be smooth. North winds often tend to be stronger and colder. Colder wind can be more dense. Big air riders love strong north winds, while free ride and freestyle kiteboarders appreciate a good south breeze.

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The road and this kiteboarding island do an amazing job of keeping the water smooth. A west wind here will have some rotary winds as it passes over this island and back onto the mainland. East winds here will be too gusty to bother. At low tide, the water near the road is shallow but be mindful that a north or a south wind will push you into deep water quickly.

What to expect when kitesurfing at Fred Howard Park.

You’ll drive through a scenic park until you reach the road to the island. There is a beautiful view of the kiteboarding spot as you pull up. Half of the Island is a parking lot so it's easy to access the launch spots. Be aware there is a $5 parking fee here. You’ll have to walk down a small hill to access the kite beaches.

The launch area size varies on the tide. Be aware that tides come in quickly here. Any kites left pumped up on the beach can walsh away if you are not paying attention. The launch is forgiving at low tide. You will have to walk into the water a bit during high tide to keep your distance from obstacles on the beach.

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The water downwind of the road will be smoother than anything you have probably experienced. It’s also sandy and shallow there. Be sure to only ride on the downwind side and never let your kite get near the road. A single jump here will take you into deeper water with a seagrass bottom.

The further you go from the road, there will be small ripples and only a little chop. Comparable to most sand bar-based flat water spots in Florida. It’s still terrific.

What to avoid kiteboarding here.

Generally, the rangers do not mind kitesurfing or windsurfing as long as you are respectful and practice common sense. Never fly your kite over the road. It could be a hazard to the vehicles there. Keep a respectful distance if you are on the upwind side. As tempting as a road jump might be, do not ever attempt this. It only takes one mistake to get kitesufer here banned forever. Do so at the risk of being ostracized from the kiteboarding community.

The main beach here is beyond beautiful but kitesurfing is not allowed here. Kiteboarding is reserved for the two small beaches next to the road leading in. The water here is not shallow so some experience is required. Unlike most beaches in Tampa Bay, you can not simply walk back in. If something goes wrong, be prepared to do a self-rescue and swim.

The bottom is sand and sea grass but there can be shells. Booties are always a good idea everywhere in Florida. Keep your distance from beachgoers and swimmers. This is a popular tourist spot and they do have the right of way.

 • Paid Parking
 • Beach goers. Give people the right of way.
 • Don’t kite in designated swim areas.
 • Deeper water. St Petersburg offers many shallow beginner locations. This is not one of them.

Need help with gear or booking a lesson?  

The nearest kiteboarding school is located in St Petersburg. 
Elite Watersports has served the 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 Tampa

Fred Howard Park Kiteboarding

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