How much wind does it take to fly a kitesurfing kite?

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When kitesurfing, weather conditions are just as important as equipment choice and rider experience. And although you can’t control the weather, it is important to know the wind needed to fly a kite.

How do you know if there is enough wind to kite?

The strength of the wind has a direct effect on the water, so observing the sea can give you an idea of how strong the wind is blowing and whether or not it is possible to kite. If you do not see any waves and the bridle is very weak, it is because the wind is below 8 knots and with this strength it will not lift the kite.

The wind needed to fly a kite should be above 12 knots, when a moderate swell begins to appear; you will be able to perceive a light breeze. Big waves and breaking waves are an indicator of a very strong wind, above 22 knots, and we do not recommend sailing in these conditions.

Wind needed for kiting

As it usually happens when talking about kitesurfing conditions, experience is a factor to take into account; professional riders can sail in winds that beginners do not control. That is why the wind needed to fly a kite is different depending on your experience, as we explain below.

viento necesario para volar un kite

Wind for kitekurfing beginners

If you are just starting kitesurfing, we do not recommend you to sail in winds higher than 22 knots. As for the minimum wind needed to fly a kite, you can start from 12 knots with a big kite.

Between 8 and 11 knots, it is difficult to sail, but it is a good wind to learn the handling of the kite on land, so we also recommend it for beginners.

It is also important to take into account the wind direction. For beginners we recommend side shore winds, when the wind blows parallel to the coast, and cross on shore, when it is directed diagonally to the coast; they are safe and easy to sail.

Wind for kitesurfing experts

More experienced kitesurfers can also start sailing from 12 knots, but have a much wider window. An intermediate rider can risk up to 28 knots, while experts even sail at 34 knots, when the sea is very rough.

However, winds above 30 knots are dangerous, and it is important to have rescue equipment.

In addition to side shore and cross on shore winds, professional kiters can also sail in on shore winds, which are directed directly towards the shore. In this type of wind it is important to stay well upwind, because you could end up constantly on shore without being able to sail.

Wind speed and kite size

On the other hand, the strength of the wind will also determine the size of the kite. As a general rule, the stronger the wind, the smaller the kite should be.

The following guide can be of great help to you, as we take into account both the type of wind and the rider’s weight.

Weight/Wing11 – 16 knots17 – 21 knots22 – 27 knots28 – 33 knots
50 – 60 kg8 – 10 m6 – 8 m5 – 7 m4 – 5 m
60 – 70 kg10 – 11 m7 – 9 m6 – 8 m5 – 6 m
70 – 80 kg11 – 12 m8 – 10 m7 – 9 m5 – 7 m
80 – 90 kg12 – 14 m10 m8 – 9 m6 – 7 m

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