Winter Blues

Author: Amy Gatlin

The groundhog saw his shadow, and Jack Frost keeps nipping at the noses of people in the Central and Northern United States, setting the tone for the winter blues.  Winter holidays are over, snowboard and ski trips have been taken, and you’ve been cooped up for a few months.  The days are slowly getting a little longer, teasing of the warm weather that is to come. The excitement of Springtime is coming! In addition, it’s boat show season; new boat models, products, wakeboards, and surf boards are on display, drawing in both novice and advanced riders.  Whether you are a water sports enthusiast or not, this time of the year sets the tone for some serious Spring fever.

Kirby’s School of Wake, has the perfect remedy for Spring fever, and just happens to be located near several awesome beaches, in Fort Myers, Florida.  Ft. Myers is in Southwestern Florida, and definitely offers a unique vacation experience.  Its eight beautiful, white sand beaches, with crystal clear water are the perfect way to break up those winter blues. Ft. Myers is also home to the Caloosahatchee River, where Coach Kirby provides wakeboard and wakesurf lessons at the Esplanade Lake Club.  A short drive to the north or south provides the opportunity to visit several other beaches, giving a Ft. Myers vacation the opportunity to include several mini vacations, in one.  In the Fall of 2022, Hurricane Ian devastated Southwestern Florida, causing significant damage to the Ft. Myers beaches and restaurants.  The town is rebuilding; the beaches and restaurants are open. The residents are excited to welcome tourists and to share their hometown.

Naples is 30 miles south of Ft. Myers.  Its beaches are on the Gulf side.  Here, you will find white sand, blue-green water, and gentle surf.  With eight beaches in Naples, it is easy to find the beach of your choice – isolated or crowded.  There are a variety of activities to do on the beaches of Naples, including shelling, skimboarding, and sometimes surfing, if the waves are large enough.  If your heart is set on wakeboarding or wakesurfing in Naples, it is less than an hour drive north to attend a lesson with Kirby’s School of Wake.

Venice is the home to very unique beaches, and is just 60 miles north of Ft. Myers. For the shark enthusiasts, Caspersen Beach has you covered. Caspersen Beach is unique in so many ways, but the first is its grayish-black sand! Stop at one of the local souvenir shops and purchase a sifter so you can wade in water and sift for shark teeth.  You are almost guaranteed to find multiple teeth, while there.  For those who do not want to venture into the waters at the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World,” and want a different kind of adventure, set up a lesson to wakeboard or wakesurf in Venice.  Kirby’s boat is located just one hour south, and is worth the drive time.

Kirby’s School of Wake has been fortunate to be able to offer lessons throughout the entire winter season, despite the hurricane damage the town endured in the earlier months.  Kirby said there is no better place to beat the winter blues, than to book a trip to Ft. Myers, visit the beautiful beaches, and sign up for wakeboard or wakesurf lessons.  Kirby offers lessons, both on the river and at Revolution Cable Park.  It is the perfect way to channel the built up energy from the winter, learn a new sport, or get a jump start on Summer training so you can quickly pick up where you left off at the end of the season.  The weather has been incredible this Winter, with abundant sunshine, and temperatures well above 70 degrees each day; the water is warm and inviting.  Kirby recommends taking videos during the lesson, so you can review the instructional tips and techniques and apply them to your future individual riding sessions.  A lesson with Kirby, and some time at the beautiful beaches of Southwestern Florida will leave you feeling fresh and rejuvenated, putting those winter blues behind you.

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