When it comes to kiteboarding the wind is everything, though it is possible to go in any direction you want regardless of the wind for the beginner that isn’t so easy. Moving upwind is far more challenging than going downwind, what are the ideal winds for kiteboarding? Ideally you want winds that flow parallel to the shore or that are blowing towards the shore at an angle, these are called “side onshore winds”.
Conversely when the wind is heading straight from the sea to the shore, referred to as onshore winds can be dangerous, they can blow you directly on to land. The same goes for winds blowing in the opposite direction, from shore to sea, if you lose control of your kiteboard you can end up being blown out to sea, you don’t want that either.
Wind Speed is Important
When you first start out kiteboarding you should train on the beach first and not in the water, use a kite trainer and stick to days where the wind is somewhere between 7 and 20 knots. To get yourself familiar with the kiteboarding zone, take some time to snorkel and swim around the beach (check this guide). Once you have some practice time under your belt you can worry less about the wind speed and direction as you will be able to handle stronger winds blowing in different directions. Bear in mind stick to wind below 30 knots. Experienced or not wind gusts can be dangerous and you will find anything above 8mph tough to manage.
Now let’s talk about trying to surf in those low winds. If you’re only chance to get on the water is one of those really calm days with little or no wind, don’t despair. You can kiteboard in winds that are as low as 5 knots but you’re going to need different equipment. For low wind days you’re going to need a larger board, larger kit and longer lines. Anything lower than 3 knots and you probably won’t get any surfing done.
When the wind is high that turns into large and choppy waves and if you are a beginner or even an experienced surfer those can be a lot harder to surf. If you are a newbie to kiteboarding then try and stick to waves that are under 3 feet tall. Once you have more experience then you are better able to handle bigger waves. On really windy days waves can hit more than 15 feet, that can be an accident waiting to happen so be very careful.
When you first start off kiteboarding be very wary of the wind and only board during winds you can handle, as you gain more experience you can try working up to more difficult waves.