Fort Desoto Park, located at the southern tip of Pinellas County, is one of the largest parks within Pinellas County. The park’s East Tip is home to the world-famous East Beach, Tampa Bay’s premier spot for kiteboarding. It offers easy access to miles upon miles of grass flats at Tampa Bay’s mouth. It’s a blessing in simplicity to have a grassy area to park, rig, and pack up your kite gear. The park has a rich history of local kiters (nearly 15 year), and we are privileged to still have the opportunity to kite this jewel of kiteboarding spots.
The Tampa Bay grass flats have a flat, shallow, and warm water that is ideal for speeding up your progress in the sport. The water is shallow and deep inside the sandbar, but choppy and rough on the outside. Low tide may make it difficult to ride. The water depth at high tides is usually between 2 and 4 feet within the sandbar.
Sometimes, this launch site can be very crowded. Parking can sometimes be a problem when the beach gets crowded. Parking along the road should be uniform to allow more space for kite launch and setup. For tips and information regarding the launch, don’t hesitate talking to locals if you are new. Because of limited space, it can be challenging to set up and launch the kite. After launching your kite, always aim it towards the water. You should wind up your lines as soon as you have landed your kite. Avoid updrafts in mangrove areas. If you intend to ride on the “backside”, please take your kite through the mangroves or around the East tip.
Best wind direction: NE-E – SE-S-SW
How to Get There
S.R. 679 a.k.a. Pinellas Bayway. The park entrance is accessible via a.35 fee. There is an entry fee of 5.00 per vehicle once you are inside the park. Annual passes can be purchased at the Park Headquarters and are valid for North Pinellas Kiteboarding Spots (Sand Key Park), Honeymoon Island Park, and Honeymoon Island Park.
This post was written by Aaron McClearnon, Owner of Elite Watersports. At Elite Watersports, We strive to provide exceptional service and genuine interactions with those interested in kiteboard in St. Pete. We hold dear our passion for being out on the water and maintain this as our foundation for all business practices.