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07.1.2019 Jeff Raney

How much Wind is needed for Kitesurfing?

Kiteboarding is a Sport Solely Fueled by the Power of the Wind!

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Unlike other water sports that require engines, gas, electricity, rowers, paddles or simply the circulating movement of waves, Kitesurfing utilizes Mother Nature's powerful force of the winds! When any of the four wind gods, Boreas (North Wind), Notus (South Wind),Zephyrus (West Wind) and Eurus (East Wind), decide to blow their mighty forces across areas of the Earth then you can guarantee that Kitesurfers are taking full advantage of it!!

Minimum Wind Speeds Required 

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Depending on your choice of gear, water surface conditions, skills and your weight will make your chances of kiting in light wind easier or perhaps harder. Generally, 5-7 knots is a fair minimal for the eagerly devoted and addicted Kiter to give it a whirl! Basically, in light winds you’ll need to utilize a larger size kite and kiteboard. And as mentioned above, good skills and your body weight factor in as well. Kitesurfing has now evolved to the point where the gear is so amazingly powerful that you don’t need quite as much wind to get out there and do your thing. Kitefoiling has become very popular around the world and now is the best alternative for kiting in light winds. The combination of a foil kite and a foilboard is the ultimate light wind set up! A foilboard or hydrofoil board is a surfboard with a hydrofoil that extends below the board into the water. This design causes the board to leave the surface of the water at various speeds which creates less drag.

Desired Wind Speeds 

The answer to this question is subjective and is dependent on each Kiters preference. From the extreme Red Bull King of the Air pros to just a regular Kiter that enjoys cruising around in his or her local spot, it’s fun for everyone! Think of it like this, the stronger the winds then the faster rides and the higher jumps you can get. But it also creates more potential danger for Kiters and is not recommended for beginners. In weaker winds, Kiters will ride a little slower and less height results in their jumps. Some light wind Kiters are just fine with ‘Mowing The Lawn’ and cruising at average and safer wind speeds. I personally have been kiting for 16 years and my minimum wind speed desired to get me out there is about 13 knots. But 20 knots and higher definitely increases the fun of it all.

I will never advocate or suggest anyone trying to kite in too strong of wind speeds that you’re not used to or feeling uncomfortable about. If unsure, always consult with a qualified Kiteboarding Instructor before attempting to push your limits!

The Power of Winds

When the speed of wind doubles from 10 knots to 20 knots, something increases by 4 (the strength, the force, the energy, the power, etc). Double the wind speed results in twice the mass of air molecules per second and the energy actually increases by a factor of 8 times!  Bottom line is the wind is very powerful and you should be aware of what the knots are when you are kiting.

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Published by Jeff Raney July 1, 2019
Jeff Raney