How much wind do you need to Kitesurf?

Alex Pastor 465 days ago 6 min of reading
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Ever wondered if your local beach if good for kitesurfing? Learn how much wind you need to be able to kitesurf depending on your board, kite, weight, and weather conditions

The amount of wind needed to kitesurf depends on a variety of factors, including the size and type of kite you are using, your weight, and your skill level. As a general rule, most kitesurfers prefer winds that are between 12-25 knots (13-29 mph). However, it is possible to kitesurf in winds as low as 6 knots (7 mph) with a larger kite, very flat water, or if you’re able to kitesurf with a foilboard. On the high end, you can also Kitesurf in winds as high as 50 knots (58 mph) with a smaller kite (5-6m). It is important to note that the wind conditions can change rapidly and unexpectedly, so it is always important to pay attention to the weather forecast and be prepared for a wide range of conditions. 

Other things to take into account:

Wind direction

Kitesurfing can be done in a variety of wind directions, but the best conditions are typically found with winds that are blowing consistently from a single direction, and make sure that it’s side shore, on shore or side/on shore. Keep in mind that with completely onshore wind and waves you need to be experienced to be able to ride upwind and jump the waves that will push you downwind.

If the wind comes offshore it’s dangerous as it can push you further offshore if for some reason you aren’t able to ride upwind enough, or if the wind drops. However, it’s possible to ride on side/off and offshore conditions, but you need to have a rescue service available at your spot. In Tarifa we have a rescue service for our Kitesurf lessons in Los Lances when the wind is offshore, and you can also buy a rescue voucher with Sea Rescue/ New Angels. 

Wind strength

As mentioned earlier, the ideal wind strength for kitesurfing is generally between 12-25 knots. However, it is possible to kitesurf in winds outside of this range with the right equipment and skill level. If the wind is too weak, it may be difficult to generate enough power to ride, that’s why a lot of experienced riders started using foil boards, as you can kite from 5-6 knots. If the wind is too strong (over 30 knots), it can be difficult to control the kite and you may be at risk of being overpowered if you are not very experienced. If you’re in doubt, make sure to check what kites other riders are using at your spot before going on the water. 

Wave size

In general, larger waves are more suitable for experienced kitesurfers who are comfortable riding in more challenging conditions. As I mentioned before, you should be able to jump if you want to ride with large waves, as jumping is the best way to pass them. Smaller waves are generally better for beginners or for practicing new tricks, they can be used as ramps to make your jumps bigger. 

Other factors

Other factors that can affect the wind conditions needed for kitesurfing include the size and weight of the kite, if you want to kite in very light wind, make sure your kite doesn’t wait so much so it can fly easily and not backstall. A great kite for lightwind is the Airush Ultra or similar. The weight of the rider is obviously the most important factor to decide which kite to use, and the last one is the type of board being used. It is important to choose the right equipment for the wind and wave conditions you will be riding in. For more information on how to ride Upwind you can check our video down below.