About Tybee Island
Tybee Island, a barrier island located along coastal Georgia (and near the city of Savannah) is an island full of character and one of the most relaxed communities you will find on the East Coast. Separated 12 miles from historic downtown Savannah, the city of Tybee Island marches to its own beat. It is easy to feel as though you’ve escaped from all “normal” civilizations and entered into a new dimension. For kiteboarding, Tybee Island has some of the most diverse riding conditions you will ever experience. In about 5 miles you will find everything from outstanding, flat-water spots to ocean riding and waves. The conditions vary due to the massive tidal change and strong currents. At times, you may be the only person in the water with miles of flat water or waves around you.
How to get there:
Fly into Savannah/Hilton International airport. You can take a cab or shuttle but we’d recommend renting a car so that you can get around the area easily. If you are driving and still don’t have a GPS or iPhone, here are some directions from the airport. < should I just copy and paste directions from gmaps?>
You can ride on Tybee Island all year long but typically the best months to visit are April, June and July. May can be “hit or miss” because of the rain but sometimes it is absolutely perfect. The winter months are really great here as well since the beaches are empty and there aren’t many kiters riding. The water temp stays warm throughout the year but the air temp can drop to about 35 degrees in the coldest months here.
Main Riding Spots:
The main riding spot on the island is called “The South End”. The prominent wind direction in our area is, south, so you will find most riders taking advantage of the flat water in front of the massive sand bars during low tide on the south end of the island. During west winds, Polk Street can be ridden. Although this location should is not suitable for beginners since it is straight onshore and can be very choppy. The North End is great for the winter NE winds. This is typically where most downwinders will begin. “Your Moms Place” is an expert riding spot that remains somewhat of a secret among the local kiters and is one of Tybee’s gem kite spots.
Tybee can be ridden in all directions and there aren’t really any rules or regulations enforced on the ridding spots there. The only, unwritten, rule would be to stay away from the pier and swim areas. Our local kiter population is still pretty low in comparison to other Kiteboarding destinations around the world.
There are a few ways to get around the island. We have a golf cart business called Island Hopers that will taxi you around the Island for a small cost. We also have a Taxi business called “The Crab Cab” that can take you around the Island and also transport you to downtown Savannah if you are looking to check out the sites off the island. You can also rent a bike and easily ride around the Island since it is only about 5 Miles long.
Places to stay:
If you are looking to camp, you can stay at the Tybee Island Camp ground or rent a paddleboard and camp over on the uninhabited island called Little Tybee. There are a few budget hotels on the island or you can also stay at a Bed and Breakfast. For a luxury stay, we would recommend staying off the Island at the Mansion on Forsyth or the Bohemian hotel on the river. Both hotels are luxurious and in great locations.
You really can’t come to Tybee Island without experiencing a meal at Huckapoos Pizza Restaurant and Bar. This place will give you an overall summary of what Tybee Island is all about. Don’t go here if you are looking for a normal restaurant experience and excellent table service. If you are looking for Coffee, don’t miss “The Tybean”. Here are few others, Tybee Island Social Club, North Beach Grill, and Lighthouse Pizza. If you are venturing off the island, check out Zunzis, B. Matthews, Blowin Smoke and don’t ever forget about the best burger place in the world, GREEN TRUCK!!
After traveling to some almost all of the the “best” Kiteboarding destination in the United States I believe I have enough comparisons and can honestly say that I think Tybee Island is the most underrated Kiteboarding destination in this country. When the conditions are right, I would bet money that there is no other place in this country that can compare to Tybee.