Kiteboarding on St. Simons: What to Know

The Golden Isles are a family of islands situated along the Georgia coast, halfway between Jacksonville, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia. As the largest barrier island in the Golden Isles, St. Simons Island is known for its picturesque natural landscape, diverse marine life, and endless beach activities.

Surfing, kayaking, fishing – St. Simons is built for water adventures. It is also a kiteboarder’s paradise. What makes it so perfect for kiteboarding? An 8 foot tidal variation that constantly transforms the beachfront and offers extensive areas of shallow, flat water and optional ramps for added excitement are all the right ingredients for a perfect day out on the water.

Staying at one of our Lighthouse Vacation rentals will put you in the center of the action, giving you access to the many beach access points nearby to enjoy your kiteboarding adventure.

Here is your guide to all things kiteboarding on St. Simons Island!

What is Kiteboarding?

Photo Credit: yanik88

Kiteboarding is a unique water sport that combines elements of surfing, wakeboarding, paragliding, and windsurfing into one activity.

There are two essential elements: the kite and the board. Kiteboarders are harnessed to a hand-controlled kite that uses wind power to pull the board along the water. Unlike windsurfing, minimal wind speed is needed to start gliding along the water with kiteboarding. While it may sound simple, kiteboarding is considered an “extreme” sport and requires training before going out alone.

Since its creation in the 1970s, kiteboarding has evolved into a popular water activity. There are now many types of kiteboarding kites and boards, including unique combinations of both depending on the rider. Kiteboarding was officially recognized as an Olympic sport in the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics. Today, the sport of kiteboarding has an estimated 1.5 million participants worldwide.

St. Simons Kiteboarding Lessons

Photo Credit: Beata Janeczko

Georgia Kiteboarding

Located on Tybee Island, Georgia Kiteboarding offers a wide range of services for the aspiring kiteboarder.

Georgia Kiteboarding provides 2-hour kiteboarding lessons that are tailored to each individual. Lessons start on the ground, where you’ll learn the basic foundations of kiteboarding. Once you move to the water, lessons take place in flat, shallow waters, which are optimal for learning.

Georgia Kiteboarding also sells kiteboarding gear and wing foiling gear to ensure you have everything you need once you finish lessons.

Golden Isles Kiteboarding

Golden Isles Kiteboarding offers kiteboarding lessons for those looking to learn the foundations of this water sport.

Robb VanWie, the owner of Golden Isles Kiteboarding, is a certified instructor with over 12 years of experience in kiteboarding. He typically recommends 2-3 lessons for beginners looking to kiteboard. Lesson one involves learning the correct terminology, weather patterns, safety rules, and more. In lesson two, you will work in shallow waters to get up on the board. By lesson three, you’re up and cruising, learning how to navigate the wind.

All About East Beach, St. Simons Island

Photo Credit: Dorothy Blahnik

East Beach is the most popular public beach on St. Simons Island for good reason. This lively beach is the epitome of coastal Georgia: tall dunes, hard-packed sand, and pristine oceanfront views at every turn.

On any given day, you’ll find locals and visitors enjoying the many activities that East Beach offers. East Beach provides the backdrop for a wide range of beach activities, from kayaking to shell collecting to wading to sandbars.

Pet Friendly

East Beach is also one of the pet-friendly beaches on island, with restrictions during the summer months. Dogs are prohibited between 9 am and 6 pm, except between Access Points 1 and 6.

All the Info: Coastal Wind Sports

Coastal Wind Sports offers a range of helpful information for kiteboarders on its website. Before you head out, they provide regional weather information, including current wind conditions. They also offer information on local and regional tides. While they are based in Jekyll Island, their information is also helpful for those kiteboarding in St. Simons Island.

East Beach Access Points

Historic U.S. Coast Guard Station Access Point

Address: 4100 1st St. Simons Island, GA

The most popular access point is the Historic U.S. Coast Guard Station. This access point offers free public parking, public restrooms, and a concession stand in the summer. It’s the perfect home base for your kiteboarding adventures.

Massengale Park Access Point

Address: 1350 Ocean Blvd., St. Simons Island, GA

South of the Coast Guard Station, you’ll find Massengale Park, another public beachfront access. The park offers a playground, shaded picnic areas, public restrooms, and two public access points to East Beach.

Gould’s Inlet Access Point

Address: Fifteenth Street, Bruce Drive, St. Simons Island, GA

Gould’s Inlet is another well-known beach access point. Gould’s Inlet is a Wildlife Beach Area located at the northern tip of East Beach. Here, you will find people bird-watching, fishing off of the fishing pier, and enjoying a peaceful oceanside stroll. There is more limited parking here.

All in all, over 30 public beach access points fall along the St. Simons Island beach stretch.

Preparing for Kiteboarding

Check the Weather Conditions

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Kiteboarding really is dependent on the weather conditions that day. Be sure to check the wind, wave, weather, and tide conditions in St. Simons Island the day you plan to board. You can find all the information here.

Dress Appropriately

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More than likely, you will end up in the water a time or two during your kiteboarding trip! Wear a thick wetsuit to ensure you stay warm if you find yourself floating for a long time. For beginners, it’s also helpful to wear a floatation jacket.

Pack All of Your Gear

Photo Credit: adriaticfoto

There’s nothing worse than getting to the beach and realizing you don’t have all of your kiteboarding gear. Make a checklist of all of your gear before heading out for the day. You’ll need:

  • Kite(s)
  • Control bar
  • Board(s)
  • Harness
  • Pump

Enjoy the Process

Photo Credit: Gorloff-KV

Yes, kiteboarding involves a lot of preparation and practice. But, at the end of the day, what matters most is that you enjoy your time on the water. Know your limits, get the adequate training you need, and then get ready to enjoy the process!

Kiteboard and Stay on St. Simons Island

St. Simons Island is the perfect place to participate in countless beach activities, from kayaking to surfing to sailing. But perhaps the most unique water activity to try while you’re here is kiteboarding!

If you’ve always wanted to try kiteboarding, you’ve come to the right place. Our Lighthouse Vacations rentals are conveniently located next to East Beach, where you can enjoy kiteboarding with breathtaking views. With local lessons nearby, there’s nothing stopping you.

Happy kiteboarding!