Hey Guys -

Just got back from our family vacation to Destin Florida. Although kiting wasn't part of the original criteria for picking our vacation spot, it sure worked out nicely for me! Destin is a barrier island like Outer Banks/Hatteras. The only difference is that it is on the Gulf coast so the water is 84 degrees! The wind during the summer is typically light, spring and fall are the time to go for good winds. However, I lucked out and got three great days of riding. Actually could have gotten more, but we were doing some other family activities.

I met guys from the two local shops down there who were both very cool and very helpful. Walter from Liquid Surf & Sail ( www.liquidsurfandsail.com ) and Mike from XL Kites ( www.xlkites.com ). Both shops offered lessons and had jet skis available for support in case anyone got in trouble. They were also very willing to talk with "tourists" about things I needed to know before heading out. Like wear booties because jellyfish like to hang out along the shore at the launch site. If you plan to go down there, give these guys a call for their local knowledge.

The place to ride is an area between the bridges to Ft. Walton Beach and Destin along Highway 98. There are a few miles of beach on both sides of the road with no hotels, restaurants or anything. It is totally undeveloped and far away from the masses of people near the fancy high rise condos. There are a half dozen places where there are pull-offs where you can park. Some have restrooms and even showers. Depending on the wind and your riding preference you can ride ocean side or sound side. The sound offers an area a few miles long where the water is waist deep for about 150 yards offshore. The sound is probably a mile or more across. The ocean offers some great small wave riding with plenty of opportunity for long down-winders.

Here are some pics of the Sound Side....and me riding before a massive thunderstorm rolled in.
Click to view attachmentClick to view attachmentClick to view attachment

And for the Gulf Side...did I mention the white sand beaches?
Click to view attachment

What a blast. Can't wait to go back!