Weather conditions for kitesurfing

Proper knowledge of weather conditions is necessary for any kitesurfer. Make sure to check the weather forecast as part of your spot assessment ! In a kitesurfing lesson we teach you exactly what to look for.

What kind of weather conditions are right for kitesurfing?

This really depends on your level and riding style. In kitesurfing we tend to talk about the wind speed in knots rather than beaufort. This is a more accurate scale to measure wind.

Depending on your kite and board size beginners can safely practise anywhere from 7 to 28 knots. Ideal conditions for beginners are between 14 and 22 knots. Advanced kitesurfers can ride in conditions over 28 knots. Extreme kitesurfers even go out in conditions well over 40 knots but as a beginner you should NEVER go out in stormy conditions.

To practise in the 14-22 knot wind range, you may need different kite sizes. A 12 square meter kite may be sufficient for 14 knots, however the same kite could have too much power when the wind increases to over 20 knots.

Weather sites for kitesurfing

We check up to 8 different source to make a call for our kitesurfing lessons. For a more detailed overview of weather sites check …….

 

The most common sources we use in The Netherlands are:

Windguru

 

Windfinder.com

 

Actuele Wind

 

Johns Wind

 

Buienradar

 

Can you kitesurf in the rain? 

Sure you can kitesurf when its raining. You are going to get wet anyways. However, the rain often has its effects on the wind. When the forecasted wind is light and it starts raining, usually the wind drops of shuts off completely. If there is strong wind, the rain often makes the wind much more unpredictable and the wind might get gusty. Luckily the clouds can give you a good indication of what’s coming.

Basic knowledge of clouds

 Different kinds of clouds can give you a good indication of approaching weather around you. Make sure to get familiar with the different clouds in the picture below.

 

Cumulonimbus

Also knows as the thunder cloud. This cloud can easily be recognised by its mushroom like appearance. The cumulonimbus forms when warm air id being pushed upwards by cold air. The cumulonimbus can cause unexpected gusts of wind. When you spot one, be prepared to get off the water or quickly react if the weather starts to change.

 

Cirrocumulus

Also known as the sheep cloud. This cloud often indicated there is not much wind or the wind is going to drop soon. If you see one approaching, make sure to get off the water to avoid swimming back to shore.

 

Cirrus

These clouds can often be found when its sunny and stable weather. If they fade away, chances are the wind is going to increase again.

 

Altocumulus

This cloud is characterised by being a similar to but thicker than the cirrus. Usually no rain will fall from this cloud but chances are a thunder storm is approaching.

 

Altostratus

A grey layer of clouds though which the sun is just visible. This cloud can bring a bit of rain but in general it is safe for kitesurfing.

 

Cumulus

These cloud don’t form any danger when kitesurfing. You do want to be aware of its big brother cumulonimbus. Make sure to get off the water when you see it approaching.

 

Stratocumulus

Looks very similar to the cumulus but more compact and often bigger in size. This cloud often contains rain but they are harmless. They can however be an indication for an approaching storm so keep an eye out.

 

Stratus

Characterized by low hanging grey clouds. Light rain can fall from this type of cloud.

 

When are the conditions right for kitesurfing?

For beginners the winds should be between 7 and 28 knots maximum. There may not be any cumulonimbus or altocumulus clouds approaching. If there is thunder of a big increase in wind forecasted, be aware and don’t go kitesurfing.