Fort Desoto East Beach
Wind Direction: NE, E, SE, S
Hazards: Deeper water and mangroves to the far west of where people launch
East Beach Fort Desoto features a grassy launch area and flat water. It’s a personal favorite and you’ll always find a good group of kiteboarders here. If you’re learning how to kiteboard or are new to kiteboarding, make sure to stay upwind and stay clear of the mangroves. The bottom in some areas can be muddy so booties are recommended.
The water depth here is on average 3ft deep from the far west side of the launch all the way east to the channel right before Skyway Bridge. When the wind has any East in it the Skyway Bridge creates a buffer from the water so even on a high tide the water at East Beach stays flat. When the wind blows out of the South and there is a high tide at East Beach the water can become choppy.
To get to Fort Desoto take Pinellas Bayway South all the way to the end. Theres one toll before the park that costs $.50. The park costs an additional $5 to enter or you can pay $75 for an annual parking pass. When you pass through the front booth, turn left when you reach the first intersection. Continue heading east, pass “East Beach”, and the road will turn and open at the end where you’ll be able to park off the side of the road. The common spot where local riders park is approximately 50 yards before the lone tree and stone bench.
Fort Desoto is a state park so kiteboarding here is a privilege. You always want to respect and listen to the park rangers, they are good people and enjoy having us here. Alcohol is prohibited at Fort Desoto. There’s numerous trash and recycling cans at East Beach so please make sure to keep the park clean!