This is the second in a series of posts for new kite surfers.
We are all ruled by the weather, the more obsessed you get by kitesurfing, the more you will obsess over the forecast, praying for more wind, less wind, waves & sun! So finding a good way to check the forecast is essential.
You can kind of split weather sites into two types: the global guys who offer forecasts for every beach around the world and all the info we could ever need to plan your next session, whether its your local beach or a holiday on the other side of the world. The other set of sites are the local ones, focusing on a specific area, generally run by a knowledgable local with insight and a webcam throw in for good measure.
There are two big players in wind forecasts – Wind Finder & Wind Guru. Both offer a similar service with great forecasts for every place under the sun and are an essential bookmark in your browsers – you will load these sites many times a week, if not compulsively every day ;-) It’s hard to choose one over the other but you’ll probably find that one gives you results that match your home beach better than the other – or you’ll hedge your bets and monitor the both of them!
A couple of bits of advise when looking at these result.
Firstly, though they typically take into account local wind effects – sea breezes, thermals etc, you will probably find that places with strong thermals might be slight under estimated. For instance in Cape Town both these sites predict when the Cape Doctor wind with arrive, with amazing accuracy, but you typically add an extra 5 knots on to the forecast when its gonna be strong.
The second thing to look out for is the swell predictions. You won’t get these for every location but it can be helpful, particularly for beginners, to be able to see if the waves are going to make life a little hard for you before you get too excited about the wind forecast! But do realise the swell height is not always a clear indicator of how wavy it will actually be – period and direction are vital and will be specific to each location, but you will pick up those connections, to your local spot, over time.
Its gonna be hard to list all the great local sites that offer insight for kite surfers in every area around the global but here goes on a list, starting with just the sites we at Progression can personal testify as being helpful from our travels.
- Worthing area – WeatherCam
(If you live in anywhere between Brighton and Ferring this site is essential!)
- Chichester – Chimet
- Cape Town – Wind Reports – delayed live wind reports or SMS for latest wind
- Blouberg – Best Kiteboarding Shop – Webcam and real time wind
- Blouberg – Mac Wind – Simple live wind averages from the lake behind Dolphin beach
- WindAlert – Real time weather from weather stations across the States. Great mobile apps with wind notifications too.
- Most schools have a webcam & realtime wind on their site – to many to mention directly.
- Seabreeze covers the whole country with a mixture of forecasts and live wind reports