Kiteboarding Marathon Key, Anne’s Beach
If you’ve ever looked into Kiteboarding in the Florida Keys, you’ve probably heard of Anne’s Beach. For years it held the title of the most popular kiteboarding spot in the Keys. Unfortunately, it took hurricane damage a couple years ago and most kiters moved on to Curry Hammock. Anne’s Beach has been renovated and has opened back up to the public, but according to locals, just six kiters there is considered “extremely busy” at this current time.
So, what’s it like there now? There are two parking lots connected by a walkway. You could park at either and use the walkway to access the water where ever you please, but I recommend using the southern parking lot as it is right next to the biggest beach, which will make set up much easier. Unfortunately, it is not big enough to launch from, you will need to water launch. On the up side, because it isn’t too busy anymore, you should have plenty of room and plenty of time to launch. On the downside, because its not busy unless you brought a friend, you’ll probably have to do a solo drift launch.
Once you’re out there, you’ll have a good time. Because this is the keys, the water is super shallow. For the most part it only ever comes up to knee level. There is a channel a ways out that you’ll have to watch out for where the water does get considerably deeper. However, the tropical environment means no wetsuit necessary. I do recommend water shoes at this spot as the water is littered with small rocks and, unfortunately, human litter.
Northeast to southeast wind directions will work at this spot. The Keys are nice and flat so even an offshore wind will work fairly well, just be careful if you are a beginner. There are no real waves here so a twin tip board is all you need. Conditions tend to be very clean. There is plenty of room once you get out of the water for everyone, even the “extremely busy” conditions. With a long stretch of water and multiple beaches to access, there isn’t anything to worry about here.
Overall, I’d recommend this spot to intermediate kiters. The launch area can be tricky due to its small size, but everything else is smooth sailing. Just come prepared and pray for wind and you’re guaranteed a good time.