In this wind guide for kitesurfing there is all you need to know for kite surfing, we will cover the following topics:
- Wind speed
- All about Wind directions
- The Wind window
- Wind and weather forcasts
- What kite to use
- FAQ about wind and kitesurfing
Wind Speed for kite surfing
The speed of the wind is important for kitesurfing and is measured in different units. To understand the windspeed it is good to know the differents units.
- Beaufort scale (bft)
- Knots (kts)
- Meters per second (m/s)
- Kilometer an hour (Km/h)
- miles per hour (mph)
In witch the Beafort is most commenly used in weather reports. Knots is most used in sailing, kitesurfing and windforcasts. Therefor it is good for every kitesurfer to know the wind scaling in Knots. To know the differents between the units of measurment here is a windtabel comparing al the measurments.
Understanding the windspeed is one part of the story, the other is to know in witch wind you are able to kite. Under 10 knots, or 3 Beafort its almost impossible to kitesurf.
Best windspeed for kitesurfing
The best windspeed for kitesurfing is between 12 and 30 knots. Where the windspeed from 12 till 17 knots is consider light winds. Therefor are bigger kites being used and you can’t go that fast or high in the air. Wind between 17 and 24 knots are being consider perfect kitesurfing weather. Here you can use a broad variety of kites and tricks. The last part are the stronger wind, 25 knots and more. This is not best suited for beginners. in stronger winds the smaller kites are being used and is best for jumping high. But this is also depending on materials and other variables. Check out The rights kite size to read all about that.
All about the wind directions
We probleble all know the wind rose. North, south, east and west. But knowing where the wind is coming from is only relevant if you combine it whit your kitesurf spot. Besides for the wind rose the direction where the wind is coming from in relation to the beach is more relevant for kitesurfers. There are a few different options in de direction of the wind;
- Onshore wind
- Offshore wind
- Side shore wind
Onshore wind is when the wind is blowing from the water right on the beach. This makes kitesurfing possible but can be hard for beginners or kitesurfers that have trouble moving upwind. Because the kite is blowing you direclty towards to beach, you need enough distance to the beach to start safley. Onshore winds are the best for spots with long shallow water. Where you can keep the distance to the beach while you waterstart.
onshore winds are in general steady, depending on the spot. If the wind can travel freely over the water there aren’t any gusts of wind. If there are obstacles in the water, if can still be gusty.
Offshore wind is the opposite of onshore, this is when the wind blows from the beach right into to water. This is very dangerous to go kitesurfing because you need to gain upwind to get back to shore. Also for experience riders this is a no-go. Even if you can kite well if you are in trouble, you can’t get back to the beach on your own with your kite. If the wind is offshore for your spot, it is best to find onother kitespot. Some kitespots offer Boatrides upwind, if needed. Best to check on the spot and talk to the boat and make the proper arrangements, before heading out it. But in general off shore wind is a no-go for all kitersurfers.
Cross offshore is the wind direction between offshore and cross shore. The wind will blows from the beach diagonal over the water. This makes cross side shore also a no-go for kitesurfing for the same reasons as offshore winds. Both directions make it hard to get back to the beach. You need to ride upwind the get back. But even if your are a good rider, this is not the conditions to go kitesurfing.
Side shore wind
This is probably the best wind direction for kitesurfing. Side shore, or cross wind, is when the wind follows the shoreline. When going kitesurfing with sideshore wind you can head out in the water kitesurfing in one direction, and you can head back to the beach riding the other direction. This makes it a good wind conditions for any kitesurfer, even beginners. For beginners it is good to know your preferred site, if you have one to kitesurf. Depending on your preferred leg you can find it easier to start off to one side, but make sure you always practice both ways. Practicing both ways makes it easier to start in any condition and you can come back every time. Depending on your location and wind direction make sure you can always come back to the beach yourself.
Beside from this wind guide for kitesurfing, you will learn al about the possible wind directions and kitesurfing in your kitesurfing lessons.
The wind window for kitesurfing
Knowing and understanding the wind window for kitesurfing is essential for ever kiter to know how to kitesurf. The perfect wind guide for kitesurfing would not be complete whitout the wind window. Basically, is the wind window the hole area where the kite can be in, as you are flying the kite. So when using 20 meter lines, the wind window is an area of 20 meter on your right, left, front and above. The kite can’t be behind you if you are standing with the wind in your back. to understand it more we have enclosed a video explaining the wind window for kitesurfers in detail.
Wind and weather forecasts
Knowing the right wind direction and strength is important. Before kitesurfing you can check the upcoming condition on your kitesurf spot. Here are a few options to check out the weather and wind condition on your favorite kite spot. By checking the weather before a kite session you know what to expect.
Beside from the wind, make sure the weather stays good during your kite surf session. Some sun is preferred but some rain won’t hurt you. Make sure there is no thunder while you are on the water.
What size kite to use
Each type of kite has different sizes, depending on the weather, your skills and board you want to use a different size kite for different sessions. Check out the Right kite size to use. You can also use the kite size calculator the get the best size for you.
Common Kitesurf questions about the wind
You need wind of 12 to 30 knots to kitesurf in. Depending on your materials, other conditions the ideal wind can vary. The best wind to kitesurf is a steady wind between 20-23 knots.
Yes you can kitesurf upwind. To do so you need the right amount of board speed and build the pressure on your rear leg. With more wind it is a bit more easier to do so.
Are you missing some info or still have a question after readng this wind guide for kitesurfing? please let us know.