Fort Desoto North Beach
Fort Desoto North Beach is one of our favorite places to kiteboard in the Tampa Bay area. It is also a popular spot for beachgoers and is voted one of the best beaches in Florida. When kiteboarding at North Beach, be courteous of others and launch at the furthest point north.
It is a privilege to kiteboard at Fort Desoto North Beach. To maintain access it is important to only kiteboard in the designated zones. Do not kiteboard in swim zones. To launch and land, walk to the northern most tip. The walk is a half mile from the parking lot. Refer to the map below for exact launch location.
Ideal Conditions for Fort Desoto North Beach
Wind Direction: N, NW, W, SW
Hazards: Beachgoers, Strong Currents, Deep Water
Tides: North Beach Fort Desoto is affected by tides. On a low tide, there may not be enough water to kiteboard in the lagoon. Be aware that currents can sometimes move quick. Strongest currents are located close to the beach or on the outside of the lagoon. Here’s where you can check the tides at North Beach.
Fort Desoto North Beach is a great place to ride on a N or NW wind if you’re an experienced rider. View the map below and make sure to launch and land only in the “launch” zone. This is important because North Beach is popular among beachgoers. The best place to ride after launching is by the sand bar island to the northwest of the launch. You will have to do a few tacks upwind on a N or NW wind to get by the sandbar but once you are there, it is all shallow and butter flat water. There’s a short channel, about 100 yards wide, that runs along the beach. At high tide this channel can become very choppy and during tide changes the current moves quick through this area. Our recommendation is to go out into the shallow water and tack out there.
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 right when you reach the first intersection. Continue around the turn and head north until you reach the last parking spots. Park as far north as possible, after parking you’ll have to walk about half a mile north to the northern tip of north beach.
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!