Kiteboarding During Hurricane Season

Kiteboarding During Hurricane Season

Kiteboarding during hurricane season can be a safe and fun way to get some good sessions in during the off season. It can also be dangerous even for advanced riders. Do not attempt to get a session in during a storm if you are not an advanced rider who is familiar with wind 30 knots or more. You do not want to be the person who had to be rescued or got injured during a storm and made one of the local community kiteboarding spots banned for everybody. In this article we will go over how you can have a good session while also following the proper safety measures to have a safe and enjoyable ride.

Kiteboarding During Hurricane Season

It is important to be smart when riding in a storm or hurricane and for that you have to know how a hurricane works. Hurricanes actually have pretty predictable patterns which can make them safe to ride if you know what to expect. The winds in a hurricane and tropical storm both will spin clockwise. This makes choosing the right location to ride important as you know how the wind will be blowing. Use this information to determine the direction of where the wind is blowing. For example, if the eye of a storm is south then the winds will come from the east or southeast. Also the east side of a storm is going to be the side with the heavier rains that can cause rain bands as well. A rain band is not something you want to ride in as they are dangerous causing random and sudden gusts of powerful wind as well lightning and tornadoes. Another thing to avoid in a storm is deeper water, especially where there are strong currents. Storm surge may occur in these areas which causes large flows of water that can also be dangerous to ride in. 

Before even attempting to go kiteboarding during hurricane season it is important to check the proximity and strength to ensure it is safe to ride. As a storm is incoming, the wind strength will increase at a gradual rate. Wind speed will not spontaneously increase or change direction in the safe spots of a hurricane. Storm signs to avoid are rain bands or cloud lines that can provide dangerous conditions to ride in and these conditions should not be tested. Make sure to check the radars for rainbands and avoid riding if there are any approaching. The best time to ride in a hurricane is before or after the hurricane and not when it is at its peak.

Kiteboarding During Hurricane Season

As mentioned before, the unpredictability of a storm mostly comes from the east side. It would be smart to ride on the west side of the storm then but it is not 100% guaranteed there will be no lightning or rain bands on the west side, it is only far less likely. If you are located on the east side of the storm then ride before the storm brings rain bands or wait it out for the storm to pass to the north. As the storm passes there will be a lot less rain bands and other unpredictable weather but still keep an eye out for it.

The most important thing that you can do when thinking of kiteboarding during hurricane season is if you have any doubt or bad feeling, don’t go out. Don’t force the issue if you are not feeling comfortable or have an inkling that there could potentially be dangerous conditions that you could be caught in. There will always be more and better days to get a session in and it is not worth it to try to attempt something dangerous.

If you do find yourself in a situation where you are caught in a bad squall or wind gust it is important to stay calm. Avoid the shore as that is not a place you want to be as there are hard objects you can hit.  Ride with one hand on your safety so you can always release yourself if needed. If you do get caught in a big upgust the only thing that you can do is to try to navigate yourself down with your kite and avoid any object you could hit. Lastly, if you are on shore and are trying to help someone caught in a hurricane get assistance and don’t get in the way of a kite line or attempt to grab onto a rider or you could get lifted with them.


Kiteboarding During Hurricane Season

Some final tips are to get to know your local weather and study it for anything that could occur out of the ordinary during a hurricane. Hurricanes can be unpredictable so it is important to be ready for the unexpected at any point.  Watch your local meteorologists for their insight into the upcoming storms and also talk with other experienced local kiteboarders to get their insight and opinions on storm riding safety and when it is advisable to go or not.

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