Kiteboarding on Nantucket
What is it like to kiteboard on Nantucket? Put simply the kiteboarding on Nantucket Island is a hidden gem that is largely undiscovered and few know about. We put this section on our website to lay out the rules of the road for kiting on the Island and provide a basic guide of where to kite on Nantucket.
Our ask: Please be respectful, please be safe, and have fun!
Most in New England think they need to take a road trip or fly down to the Outer Banks or Florida to learn how to kiteboard, go on downwinders to ride waves, or find endless flat water. What they don’t realize is that they can find everything and more that is easy to access and right in their back yard. The answer is Nantucket Island.
Where to Ride:
Click on the location below to learn more:
Nantucket is located 32 miles out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean off Massachussets – There are consistent winds year round with the strongest winds being in the Spring (May – June) & Fall (September – November). There is a consistent thermal Southwest breeze that fills daily throughout the summer. Wetsuits are generally required throughout the Spring & Fall but the Harbor heats up much faster than the ocean. No wetsuits are needed during the Summer & a thick wetsuit is necessary to ride during the Winter.
- Flat Water Riding – Nantucket Harbor: The Harbor runs East to West and is over 7 miles long. The north shore of the Harbor is called Coatue and has six sandy spits that stick out into the harbor and are numbered sequentially leading out of town (first to sixth point). The result is miles and miles of butter flat, shallow water perfect for learning. There are numerous other hidden flat water spots throughout the Island. Learn more about kiteboarding Bass Point or Pocomo Point.
- Wave Riding – The Coast: Because Nantucket is in the middle of the ocean it is exposed to swell that creates fantastic surfing and kitesurfing conditions. The biggest swells generally come from the south making the southern shores perfect for downwinders and big wave riding. The northern shore is more protected so the swell is smaller and more manageable making it perfect for your first ocean side sessions and progressing on waves. Learn more about kiteboarding Jetties Beach, Cisco, Madaket or Tom Nevers.
- Night Life & Culture – Unlike many other remote kite spots that require you to travel a great distance, Nantucket is full of nightlife, incredible restaurants, top-notch accommodations, museums, camps, and activities that allow for endless fun every day for the entire family.
Kiteboarding on Nantucket is a privilege not a right. Please leave beaches better than you found them, watch out for areas that are marked closed for bird foraging, stay off of dunes, and respect conservation areas.
- Beaches: The rule is: If lifeguards are in the chair, you cannot kite there. Stay away from crowded beaches and take special care to stay clear of beachgoers. Be aware of where your kite will land if something goes wrong, communicate clearly and respectfully if someone is walking into a dangerous spot, and be sure to never put others at risk.
- Navigation Channels: There is boat traffic on Nantucket including ferries, sailboats, and motorboats both within the harbor and outside of the harbor. Be aware of navigation channels and steer clear of boat traffic at all costs. Plan ahead to where you will end up if something goes wrong and adjust your strategy accordingly. If marine authorities inform you that you are in a bad spot, be respectful and clear the area
- Currents: Nantucket is a location that can have strong current – Particularly in Madaket and at the mouth of Nantucket Harbor. Review nautical charts & be aware of what the tide/current is doing and how it might effect you and plan ahead
- Surfers & Swimmers: Part of the main joy of kiting is that you have the freedom to go anywhere. Do not ride waves in the middle of the lineup. Be aware of swimmers in the water. If you see someone who is not kiting in the water, ride offshore clear of the person and avoid any issues altogether. There is plenty of ocean to share
- Emergencies: If you ever have to ditch your gear and swim back or lose a board alert the Nantucket Marine Police & Coast Guard as to what you lost, where you lost it, and let them know you are fine. That way, if someone finds the gear or reports it floating at sea, the marine authorities don’t launch a fruitless search for you
Spot Specific Rules:
- Pocomo Point: This is one of the favorite public access points to ride on Nantucket Harbor as you don’t need a boat to access it. During the peak season of July & August the spot is a “No Riding Zone” with two white buoys directly north, offshore of the point. During this time, you are permitted to launch from Pocomo but must ride immediately offshore away from the point and cross to fourth or fifth point on Coatue. No riding is permitted at Pocomo Point during this time as it puts children and other beachgoers at risk in case of kite crashes.
- Nantucket Airport: Southside downwinders are one of the most things you can do while kitesurfing on Nantucket. That being said the Nantucket Airport runway ends directly on the shoreline of Nantucket on Nobadeer Beach. There is a two mile radius exclusion zone around the airport – Either end your downwinder prior to entering the zone, land your kite and walk past it, or ride two miles offshore to stay clear of the zone.
We encourage you to get out, learn to kite, and gain a whole new perspective on Nantucket Island!
Most of all, please give us a call if you have any questions!
Jon & Jake