CAUTION: You should not kitesurf in winds above 25 knots until you have have logged at least 30 sessions (30 hours on the water).

Good wind is a prerequisite for kitesurfing.  Checking wind and weather forecasts in advance, and assessing them on arrival at your location, will increase both your enjoyment and your safety. 

Strong gusts can overpower you and send you airborne with very serious consequences. You can wreck your gear, get seriously injured, or even lose your life.  If in doubt, don't go out.

Assess the wind direction carefully.  Cross-onshore is best for kitesurfing.  You can kitesurf in other wind directions but they pose different challenges.  For more information see WInd directions.

The following steps provide a guide for assessing wind conditions.

1. Check local Internet sites for a good forecast

You may also be able to set email alerts for good wind conditions.  

Example sites (Australia): Predictwind  and/or Seabreeze 

Predictwind forecast

2. Check Internet sites for for current conditions

Example sites (Melbourne, Australia): Baywinds

Bay Winds Melbourne

Bay Wind

3. Check upwind locations to see what is coming

There is a reasonable expectation that conditions upwind will reach your location.  This can give you an indication of how consistent the wind is, and weather it may increase or decrease during your session.

Bay WInds South Channel

4. Check Internet weather radar for any squalls, thunderstorms and rainfall

If storms are forecast or coming, exercise great caution.  If in doubt, don't go out.

Example site (Melbourne, Australia): 128 km Melbourne Radar Loop

BOM Weather radar Melbourne

5. Choose your location based on wind direction

Aim for sideshore or cross-onshore wind.  Avoid offshore winds.

6. Choose the right kite size 

Select the right kite size for the wind and your body weight. Go smaller rather than larger if there are strong gusts.

7. Keep an eye out for weather and wind changes once on the water

Come in and land your kite as soon as possible if you see storms coming, or the wind speed increases significantly when you are on the water.

There have been occasions when kiters have ignored obvious weather and wind changes and suffered serious consequences. Note that a squall can miss you but the gust front can still blast you from the side of the storm cell.

For experienced riders, see also

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