CAUTION: Kitesurfing storm fronts and winter winds is for strong intermediate or advanced riders only. It is definitely not for beginners.
Kitesurfing storm fronts can provide you with some good sessions in the off-season, but great caution is needed. Storm are usually accompanied by rain, cold temperatures and very variable wind conditions. Very strong gusts can come with little or no warning.
Cold wind is denser and more powerful than warm summer and tropical wind - add +5 knots to the wind speed to allow for this.
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.
Here is a guide for watching the weather and choosing when to head out.
You may also be able to set email alerts for good wind conditions.
Example sites (Melbourne, Australia): Baywinds
There is a reasonable expectation that conditions upwind will reach your location.
Example site (Melbourne, Australia): 128 km Melbourne Radar Loop
Aim for sideshore or cross onshore wind. Avoid offshore wind.
Select the right kite size for the wind and your body weight. Go smaller rather than larger so you can more safely handle strong gusts.
Note: We don't recommend going out in wind greater than 40 knots.
Note that a squall can miss you but the gust front can still blast you from the side of the storm cell.
If you are starting to get static shocks - typically in the elbows or knees - keep your kite low and land your kite. The higher the kite (especially true during jumps) the greater the shocks. Avoid being this guy !
The cold water chills hands and feets even with booties and gloves on, so don't stay out too long.
So you have 12 months experience, have taken all the necessary precautions, but the mother of all gusts comes in and hammers you and things are rapidly going pear shaped. What do you do?
The following suggestions have been provided by other kiters: