Leo Carillo General Info

As the crowds have increased every summer, the several year old rules about launching only
after 5 pm on weekdays with the lifeguard's OK, is in daily effect. On very windy days when
the beach is clear of beach goers the guards may allow launch earlier.  Weekends are very
crowded and launch can be prohibited, or with luck, after five and often north of Leo North beach
at the lifeguard tower of Staircase Beach.

Leo is the only true side shore, thermally induced spot with a sand beach and lifeguards
that will accept beginner to advanced kiters in Malibu.  The small size of the beach makes
access limited for new bees when there is a crowd out. This translates to, if there are to
many people on the beach, surfing and kiting, it is not a good day to try the first body drag. 
Nine marginal thermal months out of the year we have it to ourselves. It is during the summer
months that beaches like Belmont down south are a much better choice for the beginners.

Be prepared for very gusty, rotor conditions if the only launch allowed is up at Staircase.
Launch, and immediately get out into water.  Keep the kite away from the cliff and any beach
goers who might be against the cliff walls. Ask the lifeguard in tower 5 if it is ok to launch your
kite at North Beach even if you think you have enough space between beach visitors. 
Do not kite in the area between the rock and orange windsurf/ kitesurf buoys,
and Leo's main beach.  This is a surfing only area.  You can be ticketed for
violations.
Kite leashes are mandatory at all Malibu spots- Hands Free Spinning Leash Information here
   
No launching a kite when anyone is within two kite lengths of you, or of course
inside the circle your kite would describe in the air.
Assisted launches are suggested.
  
Keep kite straight over head if you are down and others are approaching when
you are learning.

Always walk your kite over the water.

Do not set up your kite and leave it on the beach all day waiting for a session as the
guards want the space open for the beach goers.

If the day is very crowded, do not be surprised if launching is denied.
Other options are going north to County line if you are very advanced, south to Northern
portion of Nicholas Canyon beach,  north to Hueneme Beach south of the pier, or if the
tides, winds and crowds are OK, the northern entrance to Broad Beach above Zuma
Beach.
Leo North beach is mostly sand and the kite area is naturally limited on the
outside by heavy kelp.  If you are a beginner and plan to body drag through the
small area, please do so when there is not several advanced people in the zone.
The beach is very narrow with a fence against the parking lot having claimed
it's share of kites over the years. You are better off going down to Zuma to sand drag
if it is off summer season.
   
Do not body drag through the surfers at Heavens the surf break at the north
end of North beach.  Limit your dragging from just above the lifeguard tower at
Staircase and end before the rocks just north of the Ranger/lifeguard supervisor
housing on the beach. DO NOT launch on the small beach just south of the
triplexes and north of the cliff wall. On days with lighter winds and the advanced crowd
at a minimum, be sure to body drag only to the blue junior lifeguard trailer and then
head in as the large rock wall at the south end of North Beach can be treacherous and
a smaller rock just north of it can often not be visible under the water.  
  
If you are down in the water with your kite and you are ok, please signal the
lifeguard by putting one hand on your head in the standard ok sign. If in need
of immediate assistance, wave with both hands over head.  It is difficult enough
watching all the water and beach activity for a guard.  Having to keep a
constant kitesurfer watch can drain precious resources and result in possible
closure.  I have pushed the self rescue ability of kitesurfers to my fellow
guards over the years.  Be prepared to self rescue and ask the unit guard the
days surf and rip conditions if you are unsure.

If the beach is packed with people and you have done a down winder to Leo North
beach and must land, do so by putting your kite into the water. South of Leo Carrillo's
main surf break and the stairs, and north of Nicholas Canyon beach is an area that is
good to end your down winder. Be sure to come inside the kelp bed at the Leo stairs
and be prepared for gusty winds with the rotor off of the Leo Tower Two point.  Work your
way down the inside of the kelp and come in south of the rocky area near the Palm tree
on the hill and before the wheel chair ramp at Nicholas (Zeros surf break) beach.
An increasing number of people are showing up with kites bought off friends or
the internet and with no lessons.  This is highly frowned upon as these people
are dangerous and jeopardize the spot.  Expect to be contacted by one of the
locals with a standard,"Do you have any experience?", type of inquiry.  Such a
small beach gets filled quickly and though there are better, more advanced wave
spots to the north and south, Leo is where most of the locals learned and a bit
of attitude unfortunately exists regarding people learning and crowding the
spot.  Leo gets the best thermal summer winds and draw a big crowd in a small
area.  If you are pretty new, plan on coming on a weekday and getting in the
water before the wind is strong enough to draw out all the more advanced people.

Please be courteous to all beach goers and guards and realize what a privilege
for us it is to just have access here.  Several of the local lifeguards are
learning to kitesurf here presently in front of their homes.

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Local Info

 

The local contact at Leo Carillo can be reached at leocarillo@scka.org
Local windinfo : (iKitesurf)
SurfCam: None