South Padre Island in Texas is indeed a killer spot for kiting. Unfortunately, winds were too light pretty much the whole time I was there. I got in an hour on a 16m kite one day. I had fun, but walked up the beach a few times. Had the wife not been lounging on the beach, it would have been good to have her pick me up in the car a few miles downwind, and I could have gotten more kiting in.
I can only imagine the full potential of this spot when it's windy with regularity, which it usually is. I just happened to go at a not-so-great time and all the mild tropical storms in the area tended to shut the wind down.
The cool thing is the layout of the island enabling you to catch wind on many different directions. Depending on the direction, you can kite on the Laguna Madre Bay side or the Gulf side. On some areas of the North Flats section of the island, these two are separated by only a few hundreds yards of dunes. The surf side is killer, and the bay side is waist-deep butter for a humungous way out. Warm winds and warm water are a nice change! The people were very friendly, but you definetely know you're not in the Bay Area when it somes to choice of food, coffee and beer.
Maybe a future trip at some point will be rewarded with more wind, but al in all, it was still totally relaxing and worth the trip just to get away. We got a good deal, so it wasn't expensive, but it's kind of a drag when you get skunked. Hopefully the same won't happen in 3 weeks on Kauai!
Check out the pics of the beach here:
http://www.bayareakiteboarding.com/medi ... hp?album=4
The beach is awesome, you can drive on the hard-pack sand for miles, there's so much room. That's a nice change from tiny launches also.