Wind and weather apps for kitesurfing

Which wind and weather apps do we use for kitesurfing? When we began kitesurfing we used teletekst to get up to date information. These days all necessary data is readily available online through wind and weather apps. This way it’s possible to get precise and real time information about the weather forecast and conditions. For us as a kitesurf school we live by the forecasts. We usually check up to 6 sources to make a decision or ‘’call’’ a day in advance. But you too can make a good estimate of whether the conditions are right for kitesurfing.

Weather and wind apps for kitesurfing

1. Windguru (tip)

This free version of this app gives you a general forecast on a 27 kilometre radius. You find information about the average forecasted wind speed, gusts, wind direction, cloud cover, temperature and rain.

2. Windfinder

This app gives the same information as Windguru but also includes the tides. We tend to combine both Windfinder and Windguru, however in our opinion Windfinder is slightly too optimistic at times

3. Windy.com

This tool is available online and as an app. Windy gives you a map view of your spot and the entire globe. Windy allows you to see what’s happening on a bigger scale rather than only a local forecast. Track low pressure systems, see where they’re heading and see what direction the wind will be at your spot.

4. Actuelewind.nl

All sites mentioned above are made for forecasting. However, you might just want to get real time data on the conditions before you drive to your spot for a session. This is where Actuele Wind comes in handy. This tool is also available as an app and includes 33 spots in The Netherlands. Connected weather monitoring stations provide you with the current measured wind speed, direction and a chart which tells you how the wind has developed during the day

5. Johnswind.nl 

A source we use a lot! This website is run by a meteorologist which combines a forecast with real time data about the wind on Hoek van Holland. In our opinion Johns Wind is pretty spot on most of the days. Just be aware that Hoek van Holland is the windiest spot in The Netherlands and local conditions can vary from this source.

6. Buienradar.nl 

An aspect you might forget when checking your forecast is the presence of rain. The rain can have various effects on the wind. With stronger winds the rain can make for gusty conditions. When there is little wind forecasted and there is rain, chances are the wind completely shuts off when rain falls. Buienradar.nl gives you forecasts per hour, 3 hours, 24 hours and even a 5 day forecast per hour!

7. Weeronline.nl 

Although we tend to use dedicated wind and rain apps and sources for our forecast, Weeronline is often used to get an overall indication of the weather. Things like thunder and weather warnings are often mentioned on this app.

How do we decide if lessons are happening?

The toughest thing is our business is making the ‘’call’’, on whether or not to give lessons the next day. We always track the weather the day in advance and mostly combine the sources mentioned above. We basically decide based on the following key points:

  1. We check Windguru, Windfinder, Windy.com, Buienradar, Weeronline and more
  2. It can’t be dangerous kitesurfing weather (too much wind, thunder, etc.)
  3. Our experience with making decisions about the weather
  4. The forecasted wind direction
  5. The weather of the past days
  6. The level of the lessons (beginner v.s. advanced)

How much wind is needed for kitesurfing lessons?

Different levels of kitesurfing courses require different conditions. The first lesson of your course will require less wind than your second lesson. In a beginner lesson we focus on controlling the trainer kite first which doesn’t need a lot of wind to make for good practise. Also the body dragging exercise doesn’t require as much wind as for instance your first water starts. Generally speaking these are the minimum conditions necessary for your lesson:

1 st lesson: at least 9 knots

2 nd lesson and over: at least 12 knots