Kiteboarding Weather Conditions: How Much Wind Do You Need? 

Kiteboarding Weather Conditions: How Much Wind Do You Need? 

Kiteboarding needs not only the right location and the right equipment but also requires consideration of the prevailing wind and weather conditions. 

Kiteboarding, unlike other water sports that rely on motors, electricity, rowers, paddles, or waves, requires the use of Mother Nature's powerful wind force. Matching the right wind conditions with the right kite size, the board size, skill level, and body weight are essential aspects of Kiteboarding. 

This is why it's so important to monitor the wind conditions before you head out. The wind is what creates both the power and speed needed for kitesurfing. In other words, you won't be able to get your kite in the sky if there isn't enough wind. You'll have to pay attention to different elements related to wind direction — where it originated and its relation to the land and sea. These factors can influence whether or not you'll be able to fly.

Thus, kiters dread the windless days and or the off season. In this blog, you'll learn about what should be the ideal weather conditions for Kiteboarding and how much wind is required for someone to kiteboard.

What Is the Minimum Wind Speed Required for Kiteboarding?

In general, a kiteboarder needs about 12 mph of wind to get up and ride. Lighter riders can ride upwind in less wind, while heavier riders (over 200 pounds) will need to ride at 15 mph. Moreover, a professional rider can rip in under ten miles per hour on modern boards and race kites, but this is the exception, not the norm.

Kiteboarding Weather Conditions: How Much Wind Do You Need?

It's important to not just monitor the speed of the wind, but also the quality of the wind. For example, if there are strong winds, beginners should avoid launching their kites. Offshore wind can be dangerous for inexperienced riders because of the risk of being blown out to sea.

Keep in mind that a kite's ability to fly is determined by several different meteorological, technical and personal factors. You'll want to consider elements like the average wind speed, the size of the kite, and the kiteboarder's weight. Before we unpack more information, there are a variety of secondary variables to think about. Let's discuss them! Remember that you might need a minimum wind speed to water relaunch and finally body drag yourself back to dry land. 

Check the weather forecast to make sure there won't be any wind lulls in the upcoming hours. Furthermore, turbulence is also not a positive indication. Strong gusts of wind will cause your kite to crash to the ground if it dies off. 

What Other Factors Should I Consider Before Deciding Whether or Not to go Kiteboarding?

Wind direction: Always ride on the side of the beach. You could be blown out to sea by the offshore wind. For new riders, side-onshore winds are the best bet. They allow you to fly away from the shore on your outbound tack and make it very easy to return to the beach. Side shore winds are parallel to the shoreline. These are ideal winds for new riders because they keep wave action to a minimum while also allowing quick outbound and inbound riding. Let's look at the optimal kite wind speed range for a 165 lb rider on a standard medium-aspect-ratio bow kite:

  • 8-10 knots for a 17 sqm kite.
  • 8.2-11. 8 knots for a 16 sqm kite
  • 8.9-12.4 knots for a 15 sqm kite

If you are unsure of what a bow shape kite is or other kite shapes check out our other blog discussing them. 

Some additional factors to consider include:

  • Kite size: There are several different types, like delta kites and C-kites, as well as different sizes of kites. Depending on factors like wing size, there will be minimum and maximum wing speeds needed to launch and fly them. 
  • How busy the location is: While it's best to never kitesurf alone, it's also a good idea to avoid super crowded and busy beaches. You don't want your line to unintentionally run through a big crowd and injure others.
  • How skilled or advanced you are: Different types of wind bring different challenges for riders. Being aware of your skill level and the types of weather conditions you can safely handle reduces the chances of accidents and injuries. 

How Can You Tell if The Wind is Suitable For Kiteboarding?

All of this talk about how much wind you need to ride is fine, but how do you determine wind speed? One of the simplest methods for many beginner kiteboarders is simply taking out a wind meter (anemometer). Using this device is a good idea, but you should not rely solely on these figures to determine whether or not to go out and what gear to bring. For example, measurements can frequently differ from one meter to the next. Same goes for the apps such as ikite surf, windy, etc. 

Along with checking the weather and wind forecasts, it's also a good idea to consider the water temperature. Even if the weather is mild, the water could still be under 60 degrees, which could put you at risk for hypothermia if you fall in. 

Another critical thing to do is to watch and talk to other kiteboarders on the beach to figure out what size they're using. Then, depending on the weight and board size variations between you and them, you can change your own size selection.

Kiteboarding Weather Conditions: How Much Wind Do You Need?

It's always a good idea to travel to the beach itself and trust your instincts. If the conditions don't look favorable, don't launch your kite. You can also contact your local kiteboarding shop, like Elite Watersports in St. Petersburg, Florida, for advice if you aren't sure. 


Kiteboarding requires many different factors to determine how much wind you need. This includes kite and board form and size, rider weight, wind and sea conditions, and most importantly, skill level. In this regard, Elite Watersports is here to help you! They are the best at teaching Kiteboarding lessons. So, contact Elite Watersports for tips on how to have an awesome kiteboarding experience or to book a lesson. In addition, feel free to give them a call to see where to go and any other questions regarding weather. 

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