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Key West, Florida

Nov 29, 2007

Author: Paul Menta

Imagine each day seeing the island disappear as you enter flat, warm, shallow water that stretches for miles and miles. There are not many places in the world where you can have this much freedom or steady wind while feeling so safe. There is a 15-mile section of flats with wind in any direction and smooth, flat water. Most areas are shallow without obstacles, so you can push yourself to the max. Mainly a flatwater spot, there are also sick waves if you take a trip out to the reef. Key West is a drinking town with a tourist problem, but it’s an easygoing place with about 120 bars and fun to keep you busy. —Paul Menta

Getting there: Miami and Fort Lauderdale have connecting flights to Key West, or make the three-hour drive. The Kitehouse also offers a shuttle service.
Conditions: Flatwater with water temperature about 20°-30°C.
Best time of year: Late October to June.
Local knowledge: Avoid getting so drunk that you can’t enjoy the next day. Use sunscreen. It doesn’t seem so bad, then you burn like crazy. Go to dinner or party at the Kitehouse and have a drink at the Green Parrot.
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