Launches

                           


Here are the launch sites. Where is the wind? 

The most relevant comment about kiting around New Orleans is that there is no single site that offers consistent riding. If the breeze is from the South, the first choice is Henderson Point. If its from the North, we are probably riding at Bucktown. Email us to get the scoop on where everyone is riding.  

Alex made this GOOGLE MAP with all the launch sites on it.

Lake Pontchartrain:

West End

The most popular launch for windsurfers. This is really a boat launch with lots of rocks and rebar, but it has nice grass to rig on. West End seems to have more wind when it blows from the East. Ridable on any wind direction that does not have South in it. ADVANCED ONLY LAUNCH. The best place to see current conditions for West End is West End. Rules: None, but wear shoes or boots due to glass and other dangerous trash. Be nice to the homeless guy living in the van.

West End Launch


Water quality for several sites on the Lake can be found on the Lake Pont Basin Foundation Website

Bucktown Harbor/Little Maui


Just to the West of West End is another launch or the place you will end up if blown down wind from West End. INTERMEDIATE Launch with another kiter to help. The path through the water is not completely clear WALK OUT IN THE WATER BEFORE YOU TRY TO LAUNCH. The bolder field to the left extends out about 50 ft so avoid that area. Walk out in the water to find the best path before you launch your kite.  Other than that, the Lake bottom is shallow and mostly all sand.  Look out for the marked crab traps since some may end up in shallow water. There is a dangerous big submerged piling (re-marked with a new crab trap ball) out about 100 feet from shore near the old Bonnabel Launch. The best place for current conditions is West End 

Bucktown Harbor


Rules: DO NOT ride in the boat harbor. Keep the area clean. No loud music, please. Be nice to everyone. Don't trip on the rocks when launching. Bonnabel Video





Ponchartrain Beach (UNO)

Pontchartrain Beach is closed again, sorry. Complain to the City Council. The only SANDY launch actually IN the City of New Orleans with 4 old concrete piers to give some flat water. Better when the wind is either East or West of due North. There are numerous pilings left from the old swimming area and pier.. Caution: If the water is high, not all pilings are visible. USE CAUTION. INTERMEDIATE to ADVANCED RIDERS.. Check out what the BEACH looked like in its prime Pont Beach. This may be the only place in the world where you can kitesurf at the same place where Elvis played. Use West End for current conditions. 

UNO Pontchartrain Beach Launch


Rules: If the police come, say you are windsurfing. Otherwise they will kick you out or write you a citation.

Dan's Old Neighborhood on Lake Pontchartrain

Dan sold his house but you can launch in front of the restaurant. The water is shallow and watch out for the old piles. Exit I-10 at Laplace, Go North on US 51 Service Road a couple miles. Turn right on Peavine Road. Once you get in the lakefront neighborhood, the restaurant is next to boat ramp. This ADVANCED launch takes a bit of skill. We will miss the STAIRS OF DEATH.

Dan's Launch

Rules: Don't try it without Dan.


Mandeville

Sketchy launch. Muddy lake bottom here. East to Southeast winds. Stuckey launched here for his Lake crossing.

This map is from Christian on the North Shore. ADVANCED ONLY LAUNCH.


Oak Harbor, Slidell

This is a new subdivision with canals and a small lake. Dan used to ride here before the original canals were filled with houses. At present, there is a large new lake and canals without construction. Don at Extreme Sports says we have the OK to ride here. The smooth water is great but it is usually gusty. Cleanest wind is SE, but if you don't mind wild gusts and lulls, you can ride it in any winds. From I-10 in Slidell take the Oak Harbor exit East, continue about a mile to the back of the subdivision.

Oak Harbor Launch


Rules: Look out for lots of stickers and slippery mud.


Sandbar at the Mouth of the Tchfuncte River, Madisonville LA

The sandbar at the mouth of the Tchufuncte River has submerged. You can still rig on the east side bank but you need a boat to get across the river. This is a great place to ride on any SE though N conditions. Ride in the river or out into the Lake where the water is shallow out 1/4 mile. Don't try it on weekends due to the large number of "boaters". Go to Madisonville turn South on Main St., drive to the Lake. Best wind is from LUMCON

Sandbar Launch


Rules: you need a boat to cross the river. Watch out for old fires and dog crap. Sorry, it's Louisiana.

Fontainebleu State Park, Mandeville

This is a nice small sand beach in a state park ($1 per person) on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain near Mandeville LA. The beach faces SW and is not very large, but the water is shallow out about 100 yards. Best wind direction is SE. Better in the Winter or during the week when no one is on the beach. Please rig and launch away for anyone on or near the beach. Look out for submerged junk near pier. Also there is a submerged piling about 100 ft out from the end of the pier. If any official asks what you are doing say "Windsurfing". 

Fontainebleu Launch


Rules: Watch out for submerged piles and also beach tourists. If any accident ever occurs here, any chance of ever riding here again will end.

West of New Orleans:

Port Fourchon

PRESENTLY CLOSED This is a small sand barrier island with a flat water lagoon (shown as Bay Champagne on Google Maps) and Gulf waves. Any wind direction will work in the bay, but it is a long 2 hour drive from the city. Check the weather before you go. Lots of new beach erosion. The last time we were there, a police guy told us the beach was closed. It's a long drive to find a closed beach.

Fourchon Launch


Rules: Don't drive on beach. The best place for current conditions is Grand Isle

Grand Isle/Elmer's Island

Reopened.  A little bit farther than Fourchon. Grand Isle has the best set up for waves. SW is sideshore. BEGINNER launch. Elmer's Island (gravel road, just before Grand Isle) is reopened. Here you can drive on the beach but watch the tide. The road has a way of disappearing as the tide rises. Best current conditions is Grand Isle.


Rules: Don't park in driveways. You need to pay he toll for the bridge online, otherwise the fine is $20.

Cypremort Point State Park

This is where the guys from Lafayette ride. INTERMEDIATE launch, best if the wind has some West in it. Toll for park is $1.00. The launch is somewhat small, rig only what you are going to ride and don't leave an extra kite on beach. In summer months have your kites down, packed & ready to leave before sunset. That odd darkening extremely low cloud approaching at sunset would be a ravenous mosquito swarm emerging from the marsh to feed. From US 90 turn south on LA 318, Right on LA 83, then Left on LA 319. 

Cypremort Launch


Rules: NO GLASS CONTAINERS, Do not Kite in swimming area. Stay away from swimmers. but colder months typically no swimmers.

Mississippi:

 Gulfport

A bunch of guys from the Gulfport area usually ride at Kelly Ave, or at  Courthouse Road in Gulfport. Drive East on Hwy 90 for about 1 mile past the Gulfport Harbor. Good for East, South, and West. 

Gulfport


Rules: Check with local riders.

Henderson Point

In Mississippi just East of Bay St. Louis. One of the best launches from a real beach and good parking. The beach goes on for miles to Biloxi. This is the best place for BEGINNERS. Any South wind works here, but West provides smooth conditions with well spaced mini wave kickers. Because the land forms a point, the wind tends to be a bit better here if it blows from the West or East. This is where the Bay St. Louis scene was shot in the ACL Productions Ten4 dvd. 

Henderson Point

Good for BEGINNERS. For current conditions see BWYC Rules: Don't ride near tourists.

EXIT 13 Waveland/Nicholson Ave at Beach

A little closer to New Orleans than Henderson Point. Good BEGINNER launch. The beach here is SSE facing so sets up sideshore on East and SE. The sand here is a little nicer than at Silver Slipper. Exit I-10 at exit 13 Hwy 603, cross US 90 and head straight to the beach. 

Nicholson Ave


Rules: Don't ride near tourists.

Waveland/Silver Slipper Casino

Good BEGINNER launch, Good on NE around to South and some of the best FLAT WATER on SE winds. The only launch is Mississippi that will work for Northeast winds, but it tends to be gusty on North winds. East and SE winds provide a large BUTTER SECTION behind a big pile of concrete debris 200-300 meters east of the Casino. Follow directions to the Silver Slipper Casino. This beach is about 45 minutes from New Orleans. This is the closest BEGINNER BEACH. 

Silver Slipper Beach


For current conditions see BWYC  Rules: Don't ride near tourists..


Alabama:

Dauphin Island

There is a lagoon between Sand Island and Dauphin Island on the South side. This is an old picture,  Sand Island is now connected to the main Island at the fishing pier. The closest place to park is at the public beach which requires a short walk on to the spit. Another option is to park at the Golf Course. You can drive right up to the course and park. Just follow the signs and walk down the boardwalk by the clubhouse, past the beach bar to the beach. This is a much smaller beach and requires some attention as it can be crowded on the weekends. Walk east for a bit to find the open areas and launch near the hook that sticks out. Also, the Gulfport guys ride further West on the bay side during North winds.

Dauphin Island, AL


On north winds drive down to the western End and ride on the north side of DI.

West Parking Lot Dauphin Island



Plenty of places to ride, go get wet.

PicasaWeb Slideshow