South Padre Island Kiteboard Rules & Safety
Provided by the SPI Windsurfing and Kiteboarding Association
“Working to protect water access in a safe and clean environment.”
- Hazards- No cars or watercraft allowed downwind of launch. Use launch and landing areas with no hard objects for at least 100 yards downwind.
- All kites need a safety leash on the water and a sandbag on the beach.
- Beginners should launch and learn downwind of the main launch area.
- Test and practice your quick release.
- Launch with your kite at water’s edge and use experienced launchers, not spectators.
- Launch signal is “thumbs up.” Landing signal is “pat your head.”
- Launch low and go. “Noon or neutral” can loft you in a gust. Don’t fly kites on land.
On the Water:
- Stay 100 feet away from kiters, windsurfers, swimmers, surfers, and beach users. Going close is not cool.
- No transitions or jumps within 100 feet of beach or directly upwind of others.
- Never ride under another kite; you should reverse direction or move downwind.
- Never fly your kite over anyone. Reverse direction or fly at 12 o’clock.
- Kiters should pass downwind of windsurfers and surfers area or reverse your direction. Don’t kite through their area.
- Push the limits far away from others. Ride like Grandma upwind of others and near the beach.
- Fishing boats and jet skis are fast, often intoxicated, and deadly silent when approaching from downwind – keep your eyes open for them.
- Don’t ride farther from shore than you can swim. Know self rescue techniques. If you wear a board leash then wear a helmet. Never ever let your lines wrap around you. Use available safety tools including: lessons, kite leash, quick releases, helmet, impact vest, sandbag, knife.
- Beach access is a privilege. Kiting is already prohibited at numerous U.S. beaches. Each kiter must speak up and respectfully demand safe and courteous behavior from everyone.
- Dogs – Always wear your leash and don’t bark. Ask Mom or Dad to please scoop your poop.
- South Flats County Park – Some wind shadow and personal watercraft. $4 per car/day…often free.
- North Flats – Private area leased by the SPI Windsurfing and Kiteboarding Association. Members only. Vehicles needs annual sticker ($25) or monthly pass ($15) available at all windsurf and kite shops on the island. One of the best kite sites in the U.S. It’s warm, windy, friendly, and shallow.
- Kiters park 100 yards downwind of windsurf area.
- Park close together and 200 feet from water line.
- Keep out of windsurf area and windsurfers.
- Isla Blanca County Park - $4 per car/day. Launch south of the 2nd (North) pavilion only.
- Don’t launch if the beach is crowded.
- No riding in the shore break near the swimmers.
- Never ride through the surfers or their lineup.