Kiteboarding Launch Spots And Tips

Keep in mind that the much of the shoreline on Tybee is rounded, therefore you really need a little bit of onshore direction in the wind. Sideshore wind can easily become side-off if you go downwind.

All launches feature large beach areas except where otherwise noted. Most areas are sandy bottom with very few rocks.

Keep in mind that Tybee has a big tide difference. Waves can be flat at low tide whereas at high tide surf can be chest-high or more. The tide also creates currents which can be a big factor for riding and upwindability.

Other Tips:When launching give yourself as much room as possible between you and downwind objects such as rock jetties, piers, buildings or people.Use a tested kite leash that completely de-powers your kite. In many of the spots on Tybee you are almost sure to lose a kite if you let go, so use a leash.

2nd St - street parking all over. Relatively uncrowded and known for flat water, but can have decent waves on a NE, small jetties exposed, but clearly marked with signs. Wind direction: N, NE, E,SE

19th Street- Fun sea breeze spot with waves on the sandbars and shallow flat water inside, can be waves at high tide if there's swell, flat at low tide lagoons between sandbars at low tide for butter flat conditions. Avoid this spot in peak season during mid-day, it's way too crowded with beach goers. Go in the late afternoon when the wind thermals up and the beach clears out. Stay upwind of the South Jetty, the city isn't fond of kiting between the Jetty and the pier. Wind direction: S, SW, SE

Polk Street- West shore of island. Park across from city water dept and walk W on Polk street to the beach trail, don't park in residential are close the beach you'll get towed. do not drive down trail to the beach. Flat shallow water. Wind can be unstable or gusty at times at this spot if it just started blowing give it some time to fill in. Wind direction:WSW,N, NW, W

North Jetty- Park at the North beach parking lot by lighthouse, take the North most walkway to the beach. Walk Northwest past the jetty. Very uncrowded spot. Launch well away from the jetty. There's some submerge rocks and metal obstacles near the jetty. Don't go out very far unless you know you can stay upwind. Inside of the bay is a good safe area for newbies. Mostly shallow flat water on the inside, but can have some waves on a NE. On a very high tide the beach can be small making it an advanced launch. Wind direction:E, NE,NW if you can stay well upwind of the jetty and keep inside. Don't ride here if there is any S in the wind at all.

Chatham Ave- A popular summer seabreeze spot with a nice backdrop of deserted Little Tybee Island, tidal lagoons between sandbars create butter smooth shallow water area great for wakestyle and learning. Be careful of going too far downwind towards the docks, piers etc up-river. Also keep in mind that much of the marsh across the rivermouth is laden with razor sharp oysterbeds. As with many spots on Tybe, This spot is highly tidal dependent. For the most part the best time to ride this spot is on the outgoing from mid to low-tide as incoming tide can cancel out some of the wind. Wind direction:S, SE, SW, WSW

Beach etiquette and safety tips for kiteboarding on Tybee Island

  • Always consider other beachgoers when choosing a place to launch and land your kite, and always yield to them. Be courteous. Choose an area with plenty of room to setup. Try to have at least twice your line-length of space downwind. If you have to walk a little way to achieve this, do so.
  • Never never never let anyone help you set up, launch, or land your kite that isn't experienced with inflatable kitesurfing kites despite how much they beg or how stunning they look in a bikini. It's a recipe for disaster, just politely decline the help.
  • Kiteboarding is a new and spectacular sport that looks very interesting and unusual to the average beachgoer, be prepared to answer a ton of often seemingly stupid questions. Be polite.
  • Always be ready to lend a hand to assist other kiters whether you know them or not. You may need the favor returned sooner than you think.
  • Do yourself favor, pack up gear when not in use, especially roll up your lines . Most damage happens to equipment out of the water.
  • Secure all inflated kites with sand that are not in use, even in light wind. A puff can come out of nowhere and send your $1500 kite skidding over debris/people down the beach or out to sea.
  • Don't mess with anyone's gear without their knowledge, even If you think you're helping them out. This may disrupt their normal setup routine.
  • Don't be afraid to correct another kiter that is doing something potentially dangerous ie. launching with children playing directly downwind of them. This goes especially for a visiting kiter that may not care about blowing the spot for the locals. You don't have to be a smart ass about it, also share some tips about the conditions in the area or an anecdote about the last session to smooth things over.
  • Forget about launching in stormy conditions. Summertime thunderstorms can come out of nowhere. The wind usually picks up right before a storm front approaches and may seem nice and steady, it's tempting to launch. However, if you see black clouds approaching, forget about it. Winds in those storms can change direction instantly and double in power, not to mention the static/ lightning factor. Do yourself a favor and walk away.
  • Don't forget common sense safety. Always consider what could be the worst case scenario in a kiting situation, and allow for it. Do not venture out any farther than you are able or willing to swim in. The US Coast guard is not meant to be a free rescue service.