Kitesurfing Key West: Mangrove tunnels, Board Grinding, Choking on a Blake’s Bar
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Full-on laid back Caribbean vibes in the corner of Florida. Blake Olsen takes his kite on a mangrove exploring mission in Key West with local business owner Richard Hatch.
“Key West is a one-by-four-mile island located at the southernmost tip of the continental US. It the closest your car will take you to the Caribbean and one of the most popular tourist getaways in the country. As the country is in a deep freeze this is about the warmest place you can find, so we made the most of this north front and headed out to some of our favorite islands in the Gulf of Mexico.
Richard Hatch, the owner of the famous restaurants Blue Heaven, Salute On The Beach, and Andy’s Cabana, took us out on his boat to one of our favorite islands in the Gulf of Mexico. @Scott Gerke a local DJ, content creator, and overall good person joined us last minute to make the most of this north wind. Luana Simmons a long-time friend, artist, creator, and employee at Blue Heaven joined in for the fun as well.
The Mud Keys are located fifteen miles northeast of Key West and consist mainly of red mangroves and some high land. It’s an ideal spot for boaters looking to hide out from the wind and to explore the natural beauty of the Gulf of Mexico. For over thirty years, Richard has been coming here with his friends and it’s one of his favorite spots. He’s been taking me here for the past eight years and it never gets old.
This was the first time I tried to kite through the Muds and, to be honest, was quite nervous about crashing the kite into the mangroves. These are not easy waters to navigate, the current is strong and mangroves are thick and unforgiving. Luckily everything went smoothly and the only casualty was from a Blake’s Seed Based bar slamming into the back of my throat.
Big thanks to Richard Hatch for taking us all out, Luana for filming and the Blake’s Bar hand-off, and Scott for flying the drone and coming out with us last minute.
It’s always a good time on the water no matter where you are, the most important thing is that you always enjoy it and make the most of every experience!