Kiteboarding Local Rules and Guidelines – Miami Beach

Please read, understand and promote these local rules:


 Who can kite in Miami Beach?


Miami Beach is a very popular and crowded destination. Only experienced riders can ride, it is NOT for beginners. Miami Beach riders must be experienced and able to accomplish all of the following:

  • Stay upwind and ride safely
  • Efficiently body drag upwind to both directions
  • Self-launch safely
  • Self-land safely

Beginners can kite in Miami Beach only if accompanied by an experienced City of Miami Beach – licensed certified instructor.


Launching & Landing a kite in Miami Beach


  • Only ask experienced Kiteboarders to launch and land you
  • Always land/launch your kite downwind of beachgoers/bystanders
  • Avoid kiting and launching close to beachgoers
  • Launch the kite and quickly get out past the buoys or boat markers
  • Avoid flying the kite on the beach over sunbathers
  • Launch and land from designated areas away from beachgoers
  • Don’t jump near the shore or close to swimmers
  • Roll up your lines when not using your kite


Kiteboarding Right of Way in Miami Beach


  • Incoming kiter gives right of way to the kiter who is launching, except when unpredictable stormy conditions arise; then the landing kiter should have right of way over the exiting outgoing kiter
  • Upwind kiter keeps kite high; Downwind rider keeps kite low
  • Opposite tack rule: A wave sailor coming in (surfing the wave) shall keep clear of a wave sailor heading out (jumping the wave)
  • Same tack rule (on the wave): All wave sailors shall keep clear of a wave sailor in front of or nearest to the peak of the wave (the breaking part of the wave)
  • The overtaking kiter gives way to the slower kiter
  • Look before you turn or jump
  • Do not jump close to shore
  • Always give way to swimmers, surfers and other boats
  • Maintain 2 line length downwind buffer
  • Always maintain a safe distance from swimmers


East, Onshore & Light Winds: Dangerous Kiting conditions in Miami Beach!


These conditions require extensive experience and special caution.  Use your body dragging techniques to safely move away from swimmers and start kiting from there.  If you cannot stay upwind, do not kite in these conditions. Miami Beach gets more crowded especially during the summer months, weekends and holidays. During these busy times please take extra care on how to judge conditions and your level of kiteboarding. Kiteboarding is unfamiliar to many beach goers, so take extra care in maintaining a safe distance between your equipment and swimmers, and ensure that swimmers do not feel threatened by your presence with the kite.


Kitesurfing teaching guidelines

  MBKS does not support illegal teaching – all lessons must be through a City Licensed Concession

  • No Kitesurfing group lessons are allowed on Miami Beach.
  • Only an experienced certified instructor can teach on Miami Beach; non certified instructors cannot teach beginners in Miami Beach. There is zero tolerance for this policy.
  • Certified instructors may teach only one student at a time and the beginner must be accompanied at all times by the instructor.


Kiteboarding Safety Guidelines

  • Take great caution in launching in strong onshore winds
  • Kite with a buddy
  • Never kite in offshore winds
  • Don’t kite when a thunderstorm is close by
  • Carry a safety knife on your harness
  • Always use a kite leash
  • Never jump close to people or objects
  • Help other kiters in need and assist them to launch/land
  • Respect the right of way rules and other water users


Preserve safe access


If you see uncontrolled riders or unsafe kitesurfers grab other MBKF members and go talk to them to explain the local rules. If needed or unsuccessful request the help of lifeguards. We are all in this together so pitch in and be ready to keep riders and beach goers safe and work to preserve access. Keep the beach safe and avoid complaints by explaining the rules to non-locals and beginners. Spread the seeds of safety!


Tips from the Locals


  • Please be courteous to lifeguards and beachgoers, swimmers, surfers, paddle boarders. Help us preserve our spots!
  • Light onshore winds on a crowded beach day are treacherous! Don’t go out!
  • The kite schools on 23rd and 25th street are there to help; set up your kite next to them
  • Go out of your way to help launch, land, and rescue a fellow kiter
  • Encourage beginners to take proper lessons and never teach someone in Miami Beach unless you are an experienced certified instructor
  • Summer months are the most crowded by many beachgoers and families enjoying the ocean; take extra care on these days on understanding wind conditions and your kiteboarding abilities
  • Always body drag away from swimmers to get started
  • Do not block pathways for emergency vehicles. Do not park your kite behind garbage cans. Do not store equipment in that area; city trash vehicles may destroy your equipment if unattended
  • Do not store equipment on grass protected areas.
  • Always help and follow directions from lifeguards
  • Fly safe, have fun, preserve access and get involved!


Check out our page about Miami Beach Kite Spots