Updated: Mar 23, 2020
This is our number #1 trick that every kiter; beginners and well seasoned vets, can use in their wind forecasting to see how exactly wind direction will directly affect each kite spot. So weather your heading to a new location around the world or dialing in your local spots, this is our go to move when we check the wind forecast.
Our little trick is executed using a laptop, but we'll also share our favorite forecasting apps for smartphones below.
The #1 Trick every Kiter can use in Wind Forecasting.
The first thing we do especially when we are kiting anywhere new, is to first open Google Maps.
Type in the location
Switch to Satellite view. - this alone could be a game changer for you but stay with us for the real trick :)
Zone in on the kite spot but be sure to include the whole area you'll be kiting
Next, we like to use Wind Guru to illustrate the Wind Direction.
Open Wind Guru in a new window (not the same tab as Google maps)
Find the nearest location you'll be kiting.
Adjust this window size- try long and narrow so it only illustrates the weeks wind direction.
Position both windows, so you can see the wind direction against the satellite view of the kite spot, try overlaying WindGuru over maps.
The #1 Trick to see how wind direction will affect the location for kiteboarding
Google maps will always load location with North pointing towards the top of your screen. North displayed in Red on the direction icon.
We like to use Wind Guru as it clearly shows Wind Direction, also will load with North pointing towards the top of your screen.
Using both of these together you can clearly see how the wind will be coming in at the spot.
This is not even a one time trick since Satellite view is constantly recaptured you can always get a glimpse of how the spot can vary with wave size.
Using Google Maps Satellite View with Wind Gurus Wind Direction
Determine the Best Wind Direction for kiting
what direction is cross shore? cross-onshore?
Determine when is a dangerous Wind Direction for kiting
what direction is Off-Shore or dead On-Shore?
Is there a NO wind direction?
for example- land mass, group of hotels etc. that could block wind
Different hazards with different wind directions?
In our Kite Beach example in Cabarete: the reef & rocks at the East point of Kite Beach wouldn't normally be a risk in the usual Easterly, being upwind of the kiteboarding zone along the stretch of Kite Beach. -If the wind changes direction to a Westerly this reef becomes a hazard, you would not want to get dragged over this reef should something happen like you can't relaunch your kite in time, line snaps etc..
How could the tide affect the spot?
Expose rocks? reef? otherwise submerged dock piers?
adding or taking away a few extra knots with or against the tide?
Spot any deep water channels or rips at beach breaks & shallow reefs.
Reef breaks can be especially well illustrated using Satellite view
How could the tide affect rips? -especially at beach breaks- (ex) long shore sweep on high tide? extra current? etc..
Satellite view can even illustrate the swell lines, how waves wrap in and where they break.
You should now have a pretty good birds eye view of the kite spot and how wind direction will affect the location for kiteboarding. Now with the playing field in the back of your mind checking the wind forecast on the fly or from your phone should be a breeze.
Checking the Wind Forecast from your smartphone:
We like to use surf-forecast as it uses different data stations that can sometimes be more accurate then Wind Guru, also it gives you a wave forecast. We use both surf-forecast and Wind Guru together to get an all around picture when checking the wind forecast.
Next we like to use the smartphone app Windy, this is a great tool for every kiter.
Windy shows the wind forecast visually, although it will not illustrate Thermal Wind (if any) accurately.
To come up with the most accurate wind forecast, check more then one platform :)
this applies for wind and waves!
We hope you enjoyed our number #1 trick that every kiter, beginners and well seasoned vets, can use in their wind forecasting to see how exactly the wind direction will directly affect each kite spot.