Wind-leashed high-flier and Skybanditz founder Francisco Escudero has blown spectators away at such competitions as the Velocity Games and the Bahamas kite race. He is the North Miami Beach area coordinator of the Florida Kitesurfing Association and founder of Skybanditz, where he and his trained staff conduct all manner of surf- and sky-borne expeditions. They outfit maritime adventurers with all the proper kiteboarding, kayaking, and paddleboarding gear, as well as lead kayak tours through Marine Stadium and several small islands. They also give guests the option to explore the high seas on their own or with friends. Instructors, meanwhile, cover safety and proper techniques during kitesurfing programs that range from beginner level to Level X, an echelon they reserve for students who are ultra-advanced or genetically related to flying squirrels.
Aquatic explorers paddle kayaks and ride stand-up paddleboards through the bay, riding the waves on equipment from South Beach Kayak’s bayside shop. The staff rents out kayaks to customers of all experience levels, providing complimentary overviews of paddling basics for beginners and leading hour-long lessons that cover higher-level skills, such as boosting speed by lassoing a bald eagle. They also lead group and private tours, many with whimsical themes such as the “Fool Moon” tour, which wends its way through the islands at sunset to close with weenies and s’mores roasted over a roaring bonfire.