Spot: Big Waves, Flat, Medium Waves, Shallow, Small Waves
Kitesurfing in the United States is bound to be a blast as the country's massive size and varied geography offers something for every level of kiter in every discipline. Whether you’re into ocean kitesurfing, flat water slicks, lake or river kitesurfing, you can find it in the US. The country has hundreds of kiting destinations and some of the best kiting conditions for every month of the year.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE UNITED STATES
A VARIETY OF KITESURFING CONDITIONS The United States has a spot for every level of kiter for every discipline. The East and West Coasts offer amazing wave kitesurfing, and the interior of the country has plenty of lakes and rivers that offer great kite conditions.
A NATURE LOVER’S PARADISE The United States has more geographical diversity than any other country in the world. You can surf or kitesurf giant waves in Hawaii, hike Everest-like Mountains in Alaska, snowboard in some of the best powder in the world in Colorado, flyfish world-class rivers in Oregon, and trek through beautiful deserts in Utah.
CULTURAL DIVERSITY According to a US Census Bureau survey from 2015, there are over 350 languages spoken in the United States. A long-time sanctuary for immigrants, the US still attracts people from every part of the world. The diversity of culture can be experienced in a variety of ethnic foods, music, and traditions available in the states.
EXCITING CITIES If you’re both a nature and city lover, the United States has a number of exciting cities that offer some of the best restaurants in the world, world-class art collections and entertainment, and top-notch healthcare facilities including the Mayo Clinic and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
KITESURFING IN THE UNITED STATES
It’s hard to compare kitesurfing in the United States to any other country because the US has such a varied landscape offering something for every kiter. Kitesurfing in the United States is as diverse as the country’s culture.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO KITESURF IN THE UNITED STATES?
Luckily for American and visiting kiters, you can kitesurf in the United States all year round. Whether you’re kiting on the California Coast (in the West) or Cape Hatteras (East Coast) from April through October, or chasing wind and waves in Hawaii from November through March, you can find wind and great kite spots all over the US.
It might be obvious for us North Americans, but it’s worth mentioning that many spots are less active from November through March. There are definitely hard-core winter kiters in the US, but many of them wear very thick wetsuits or drysuits.
WHAT ARE THE BEST KITESURF SPOTS IN THE UNITED STATES?
Kitesurfing is done in almost every state in America, and American kiters are no different than kiters in other parts of the world. If they can’t travel to kite the best spots in the country, they make the best of their local spots. That said, there are some renown spots worth mentioning that attract international kiters and domestic water addicts.
Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
Cape Hatteras Island, also known as the Outer Banks, is one of the most well-known kiteboarding spots in the United States. The area has some of the most consistent winds, and--more notably--there are kiting spots for every wind direction. Cape Hatteras offers both oceanside waves and flat bayside kiting, which makes it ideal for beginners and flat water junkies who visit Hatteras to kite the famous glassy slicks. There are bayside and ocean launch spots all along Cape Hatteras Island, starting in Rodanthe and continuing down about 25 miles past Buxton, NC.
Hood River, Oregon
Referred to as “the Gorge,” Hood River is often regarded as the birthplace of kiteboarding in the United States. All kiting is done on the Columbia River, which flows east to west towards the Pacific Ocean. The wind, during the most popular kiting months of May to August, blows west to east through a natural wind tunnel in this gorgeous canyon. Hood River is known for its strong, gusty winds, and the spot is host to one of the few Kite Parks in the world. Kite spots are located all along a 43 mile stretch of the Columbia, starting at the Cascade Locks and running to The Dalles, Oregon.
Located in southern Florida, Miami is a popular kite destination because of its beautiful, sunny weather. From November to April, the tradewinds offer consistent and reliable wind which is great for foiling and bigger kites. If you like kiting strong wind and massive waves, head to Miami between July and September during hurricane season. Miami has more rules and regulations for kitesurfing than most other cities, so it’s important to do your research and know all the rules before you go. If you drive about 90 minutes north, you can kite alongside some well-known kiteboarding pros in Jupiter, Florida.
South Padre Island, Texas
Like Cape Hatteras Island, South Padre Island is a barrier island that offers warm water oceanside and shallow, flat bayside kiting almost year-round. The island offers consistent winds averaging knots in the high teens. The wind is most consistent between March and July, and South Padre’s hurricane season is August through October. You can expect stronger, but less reliable winds during this time.
San Francisco, California
If you’re looking for that iconic photo under the Golden Gate Bridge, Chrissy Field is where you want to be. The spot is infamous for its gusty conditions, high volume of boat traffic and strong currents, but a lot of kiters will risk it for the photo opp. It’s an expert level spot for sure. But San Francisco has other great spots for beginner to advanced kiters, including Alameda and Third Avenue in San Mateo. The water is cold in the bay. You’ll be wearing at least a 3/2mm in the summer, but the wind is strong.
Long Beach, California
Belmont Shore in Long Beach is an ideal location for both beginners and experienced kitesurfers. This sunny Southern California spot has plenty of space for launching, a breakwater that blocks the waves and cross onshore thermal winds that are strongest from April to November. Long Beach will be the venue for the 2028 Olympic Games kitesurfing event, the spot hosts an annual kite expo and is only 30 minutes away from Los Angeles International Airport.
Sherman Island, California
Just an hour drive from downtown San Francisco, Sherman Island boasts some of the best kitesurfing conditions in the entire Bay Area. The water and weather are warmer than the bay, and the winds are very reliable during the summer months. Bring small kites for the strong winds, and get ready to have a great session.
Waddell Creek and Scott Creek, California
If you’re looking for great wave kiting, you’ll need to leave the bay and head for the ocean. Just north of Santa Cruz, both Waddell and Scott Creek offer great waves, strong winds, and a picturesque setting. Scott Creek has a beautiful point break, making it an excellent spot for new wave kiters looking for an easy drop-in. The waves are bigger from September through April, but the water is chilly, so bring a thick wetsuit.
Maui and Oahu, Hawaii
The Hawaiian Islands have attracted watersports fanatics for decades. The wind blows year-round, but the best months to kite are May through October. Although you can find wind on all of the islands, the most popular kitesurfing spots are located on Maui (Kite Beach) and Oahu (Kailua) where the winds blow anywhere from 15 to 35 knots. Kiters should be aware that all of the kite beaches in Hawaii have strict rules and regulations. For example, you can’t start kiteboarding on Maui until 11 am--which is tough when the wind is blowing at 9 am! It’s important that the locals and tourists follow the rules so that kiteboarding will continue to be allowed on the Hawaiian beaches.
ABOUT THE COUNTRY
Brief History of the United States
Founded by a bunch of rebellious Brits looking for personal freedom, the United States is now the world's largest economy and accounts for about a quarter of the global gross domestic product. The country has also made significant contributions to the kitesurfing community. In addition to being host to the very first King of the Air competition, the US is also headquarters for many well-known kitesurfing brands including Naish, Cabrinha, North, Slingshot and Crazy Fly. If kiting isn’t your thing -- and it probably is if you’re reading this post -- you can play pretty much every other sport invented in the US.
Other Attractions in the United States
Because of its size and diverse population, the United States has something for everyone. Whether you’re an outdoors type or city snob, you can entertain yourself in the US.
You can surf or kitesurf giant waves in Hawaii, hike Everest-like Mountains in Alaska, snowboard in some of the best powder in the world in Colorado, flyfish world-class rivers in Oregon, and trek through beautiful deserts in Utah.
A long-time sanctuary for immigrants, the United States still attracts people from every part of the world. The diversity of culture in the US can be experienced in a variety of ethnic foods, music, and traditions in most of its exciting cities.
Getting to the United States
Flying to and around the states is easy and convenient. Transatlantic cruises are available to the United States if you have the time, but we’re guessing that isn’t the kind of “on the water” time that most kiters are looking for.
Once you arrive in the States, car rentals are usually reasonably priced depending on the season. Keep in mind that American cars have the driver seat on the left side of the car, and cars are driven on the right side of the road.
The best season in the United States for kiteboarding depends on where you are going. You can find places to kiteboard any time of the year.