Power Kite Forum

Anyone ever been to kite beach ?

Ed Cline - 11-6-2019 at 03:10 PM

I'm looking over the conditions at JI GA. in a ten day forcast.
Looking for a string of days with favorable wind .
Tide is another issue, for now the wind.

I also have the tracks posted here from JIBE. It reveals a NE to SW beach at almost 45 degrees.

So.. what can someone tell me about usable wind directions at this beach?
Maybe you even have the best links for this kind of figurin'?

Randy - 11-6-2019 at 05:23 PM

There are better folks than me who can answer but the beach bends in various areas.To the North end due east is onshore. As you go south ese is better. However you can make a go of it for NE to SE or worse if the beach is wide enough. You just have to zig and zag a bit. If you are good going upwind you have a lot of flexibility. And you can always do downwinders if needed.

Randy - 11-6-2019 at 05:47 PM

Also you can't go south of the warning sign that is a bit n of the water tower.

pbc - 11-6-2019 at 08:57 PM

I've sailed there a lot and Randy pretty much summed it up. The island is a long arc a bit of a point right at Kite Beach. The place we call Kite Beach is about 100 yeards north of Great Dunes Park, which is the easy beach walk-over. Most folks walk out at the Great Dunes Pavillion and then walk north the short distance to Kite Beach where the pedestrian population is lower and the beach is wider. It's easier to launch there.

For good flying, you need an easterly, onshore wind. ESE is probably ideal. If the wind is blowing from the NE, go north from Kite Beach. If it's a SE wind, go south from Kite Beach. If you are going south, the southern limit is the last walkover before the last water tower. Watch for the "No Dogs" sign. That's the southern limit.

If you go North, the limits are the tide, your skills and the channel between JI and St Simons. The trip north can be technical, but it's my favorite. I like technical flying. From Kite Beach, you can fly 4 miles north to the tip. About 1.5 miles north there are these weird rocks in the beach. They look like dark sand stone. They can create some navigational challenges. About 2 miles north, the beach narrows and you can get wedged against the wall of granite rip-rap. Your kite will be flying over the rip rap. The rip-rap continues for perhaps a mile as the beach narrows even more until you reach Driftwood beach where the rip rap fades out.

Driftwood Beach is not driftwood at all. It's where the sea inundated a live oak and cedar forest. What's left are full-sized live oaks now dead on their sides. This transitions into lots of pointy bits created by even older dead trees still stuck in the mud. Do not hit the pointy bits! There are multiple paths through them, but you are advised to travel at sub-light speed through the pointies for a few passes until you have made some good tracks to follow. The pointy bits fade out and transition into a pine forest as you progress north. There's a lot of room here so resume light speed as you head north to the final bend. Have fun on the wide beach at the end.

Make sure you return home before the tide steals all of your beach. During JIBE this year, the tightest spot was right where the rip-rap met Driftwood Beach. Study this spot closely as you head North or you might be walking south. It's a very long walk to Kite Beach from Driftwood beach.

The northerly run presents many challenges for kite relaunch. Between the narrowness, the rip-rap, the dead trees, the pointies, and the very tall pine trees there are plenty of threats to your kite. Remember to follow the golden rule: don't crash If you can't follow the rule you might have to walk home. I've been told it's a long walk.

pongnut - 11-11-2019 at 12:45 PM

WOW! Great description Phillip. So detailed, I feel like I just watched a National Geographic documentary on that beach :D

Ed Cline - 11-11-2019 at 03:56 PM

Hey thanks for the info. I got busy and lost track of my post.
So much better than a google map.
Lot of North wind these days on my field and at JI.
Between Mr Phillip and Randy I can at least see that I don't seem to be missing any great wind so far. I'm gonna stay ready and wait for a window. Again thanks. :D