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Most launches around DC are pretty sketchy, especially in the immediate DC area. Use a buddy. Here are some places to try, with approximate driving time from DC, usable wind directions(cw=clockwise), better launches and less gusty locations first.Many spots are parks that have limited hours and may charge entrance fees. Do a web search, email me at pjaffe (AT) yahoo dot com, or post to the group for directions and additional information.Some entries are also on http://www.kitebeaches.com/ NO WARRANTY IS EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED. USE THESE LOCATIONS AT YOUR OWN RISK! KITEBOARDING IS POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS, YOU COULD BE MAIMED OR KILLED, ETC…
One special risk near DC: The Potomac, particularly after heavy rains, has been known to contain raw sewage. I contracted giardiasis once after over four years of regularly kiting in the river with no problems. I can’t say for sure that it was from the river, but it’s definitely possible. I was knocked out for a week and spent a lot time at the doctor. It really, really sucked. Don’t let the water get in your mouth! More on such hazards at http://www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming/ If you are new to kiteboarding, it is worth your time and money to take lessons. Post to EastKB or do a search to find an outfit.
If you are a novice, using a life vest or impact vest that provides flotation is highly recommended. A helmet is a great idea too, whether you use a board leash or not. Don’t wait until you cut your head open to get one like most folks. In addition to the above, I also carry a hook knife (which I’ve had to use) and a whistle. Some kiters also carry a strobe for emergencies. Be sure you have a kite leash and reliable, functioning safety/depower system. Please be conscientious when using these or any spots.
Note there is ban on kites in Ocean City during most of the day at certain times of the year.
Sandy Point can get very crowded with beachgoers on weekends. It always pays to be courteous, safe, and cooperative. Taking care of launch sites by picking up trash and generally being a “good neighbor” will help build goodwill that we will need when we face more kite bans. All other water and beach users have right of way over you. Be respectful. Stay away from them. Distance is your friend. DON’T BE THE ONE THAT CAUSES ANOTHER KITEBOARDING BAN!
So … about those spots:
– Assateague Island, DE – 3 hours, but Hatteras-quality site & conditions – Good for all directions. Westerlies on the sound side and easterlies on the ocean side, N or S for either. Can be crowded, especially New Road sailing area. Recommended for novices. Fee varies, generally ~$6. Local shops: East of Maui 302-227-4703 H2Air Kiteboarding 1-866-FLY-H2AIR – Assateague Federal Park, MD – 3 hours, just south of Ocean City. Easterlies oceanside, westerlies bayside, N or S work for either. Park fee is $10 and is good for 5 days. $20 for an annual pass. Bayside launch at the canoe and bike rental, ocean side at the south beach. Tons of mosquitos during warmer, less windy weather. Bayside recommended for novices.
- Terrapin Park, MD – 1 hour – SW cw to NNE It’s a .4 mile walk from the parking area to the launch, but one of the best areas you’ll find near DC. Shallow several hundred yards out during low tide. This is the probably best, closest spot for novices near DC. Gets big chop in higher winds. Keep clear of other beach users. No fee. Local shop: East of Maui 410-573-9463
- Sandy Point State Park, MD – 1 hour – ENE cw to SW Crowded with beachgoers during summer. Use care when kiting between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Beware of the rock jetties that have injured several kiters. Gets deep fast, strong bay currents during tidal changes. There have been several Coast Guard rescues here. Don’t become another one. Bay chop. Many boards have been lost here due to current. Fee varies, ~$6. http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/sandypoint.html Local shop: East of Maui 410-573-9463
- Flag Ponds Park, MD – 1 hour – N cw to SSE ~$6 park entrance fee, half mile walk to beach. Shallow, a good choice for novices. Avoid beachgoers and stay out of the fossil hunting area while kiting. Many shark’s teeth and sharp shells on the beach. Open daily, Memorial Day through Labor Day, 9am-6pm. Open weekends year round.
Be sure to leave the beach and park on time as not to anger the rangers! http://calvert-county.com/flagpond.htm
- Brownies, Chesapeake Beach, MD – 1 hour – N, NE to SSE ~$10 park entrance fee, 3 min walk to beach. Shallow, a good choice for novices. Avoid beachgoers and stay out of the fossil hunting area while kiting. Many shark’s teeth and sharp shells on the beach. Open daily, year round.
- Mayo Beach, MD – 50 minutes – N cw to SSE – Private, requires $70 annual permit(price in 2006). Sandy beach. 4150 Honeysuckle Drive, Edgewater, MD 21037, Office / Fax (410) 222-1978 http://www.aacounty.org/RecParks/Parks/mayobeachpark/index.cfm
- Triton Beach, MD – 50 minutes – SW to SSE – Private, requires $75 annual permit(price in 2011). Sandy beach but protected with jetties.
- Leesylvania State Park, VA – 45 minutes – NE cw to SW Sandy beach launch area next to rock jetty. Gets deep fast. Beware of burrs that will puncture bladders. ~$5 park fee. Park staff cagey about kiting and other water sports due to swimmer drownings in summer of 2003. Wear a life jacket.
- Fairview Beach Yacht Club, VA – 1.5 hours – W cw to E Privately owned; owners currently welcome kiters. It won’t hurt to try to pay the ramp fee or to buy something at the bar & grill post-session. Shallow to about 150m out. Reasonable beach.
- Mason Neck State Park, VA – 45 minutes – SW cw to NNE Shallow water, narrow beach launch shared with windsurfers and kayaks. Booties recommended. Decent for beginners, except prevailing NW winds are usually directly onshore and usually gusty. Many kite-eating trees. ~$5 park fee.
- Spectator “Beach”, VA – 30 minutes – N or S, or damn close. This location is really only usable if it’s low tide. Booties HIGHLY recommended. Lots of broken glass, often logs, downed trees, and miscellaneous trash. – Kim’s “Beach”, VA – 35 minutes – E cw to W Another launch that needs low tide and probably an assist from another person since there isn’t really a beach, just flotsam, glass, and overhead trees. Wear booties.
- Belle Haven, VA – 20 minutes – N cw to SE – Drift or reel launch only, the sticky, soupy mud from the sewage plant is waist-deep in most places. Lots of debris, logs, underwater concrete & rebar, etc. Not really recommended. Don’t do this one alone. Other possibilities, details for some on http://www.ikitesurf.com/ or http://www.kitebeaches.com/: Western shore Bay spots, north to south
- Elk Neck SP, MD
- Gunpowder SP, MD – entrance fee http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/central/hammermanarea.html
- Rocky Point SP, MD – entrance fee – North Point Park, MD – Dundalk, southeast of Baltimore
- Breezy Point, MD – private, entrance fee
Originally compiled by Paul Jaffe in the summer of 2000 Last updated 2011/08/24 Retrieved from “http://www.eastkb.com/wiki/index.php?title=DC_area_kiteboarding_spots“