Kiteboarding Marathon Key: Coco Plum Beach
The Florida Keys have many kite spots, but this one is a hidden gem you may not know about. It is only a few miles away from a much more well-known kite spot, Curry Hamock, but doesn’t tend to get as busy. This strip of beach often shares similar wind conditions, making day-of wind research a snap. The location also has small facilities including a shower to rinse off for when you’re done. This is not a tourist laden beach, as it is off the beaten path. If you don’t know about it, chances are you won’t find it on accident. The locals you do see here will let you be.
The beach itself it quite narrow, so set up can be tricky depending on the wind direction. The good news is that there are several divots in the tree line making a pocket that is out of the wind with certain directions. This evens the scales as far as set up goes.
The water is super shallow. Even when you’re so far out that the people on the beach are just dots, the water level only hits your knees. It is also pleasantly warm. This is the tropics after all, so no wet suit needed. Water shoes are recommended as there are small rocks and slippery moss on the sea floor, so be careful.
Due to the flat nature of the Keys, in this spot you can kite in very low wind. With a seventeen-meter kite we were able to go all day at this spot in 9-10 mile per hour wind. During the wind season, it’s often far better, with 20 mile per hour wind being common. Any cross or onshore wind direction is good at this location, although I would caution beginners away from directly onshore wind as the tree line could damage your kite if you aren’t skilled enough to stay upwind and away from it.
Overall, this spot it best for intermediate kiters, looking to stay away from crowds. The open water is perfect for learning with no risks of running into anyone or worrying about right-of ways. There is plenty of room for practicing things like transitions, small jumps, or even just staying upwind. If this sounds like where you are in your kiteboarding journey, I highly recommend giving this place a try!