A kitesurfer uses all his senses. That is what is so beautiful about this sport so close to the elements of nature. For example, with kitesurfing you have to constantly anticipate. Both on other kitesurfers, the particularities of the kitesurfing spot and on nature. On this page we mainly focus on the element of wind. With a wind force table and clarification about wind forces, gusts, Beaufort, knots and wind speed. All concepts that are important to understand. Ultimately, the wind determines whether you can kitesurf and what size kite you need.
Contents wind force table
Read wind force: keep scanning the sky
The situation on the water can change quickly. This way, during a kitesurfing session, you now and then look over your shoulder against the wind at the sky. That way you assess the situation. For example, with rapidly approaching dark sky, you can drop your kite on the side for a while. This way you can safely continue kitesurfing after the passing or fallen shower. look at the checklist with which you can estimate whether it is wise to go kitesurfing at a certain moment.
Wind in knots (kts)
Kite surfers often don't talk about wind force, Beaufort, meters per second or kilometers per hour. No, they are talking about knots (kts). A knot, abbreviated to 'kts' or 'kt', is a wind unit used in navigation and aviation. One knot is one nautical mile (1852 meters) per hour. A knot is therefore the speed of 1,852 kilometers per hour (km/h), or 0,5144 meters per second (m/s). If you want to know more about this, take a look at the articles wikipedia.
wind force table
The wind force table below helps you estimate the wind better and shows how Beaufort (Bft), meters per second (m/s), kilometers per hour (km/h) and knots (kts) relate to each other. You can also read about the effect of that wind on the water and the sea. In this way you can also estimate the wind force at the water itself.
|bft||designation||km / h||m / s||kts||wind force and the effect on the water and the sea|
|0||Style||0 – 1||0 – 0,2||0 – 1||The inland water and the sea are mirror-smooth|
|1||Weak||1 – 5||0,3 – 1,5||1 – 3||Small ripple waves on inland waters and the sea|
|2||Weak||6 – 11||1,6 – 3,3||4 – 6||Small short waves with glass tips that do not break. No frothy cups.|
|3||Mediocre||12 – 19||3,4 – 5,4||7 – 10||Small waves that break. Very small froths become visible.|
|4||Mediocre||20 – 28||5,5 – 7,9||11 – 16||Waves get a little bigger and longer. Foam cups are now clearly visible.|
|5||Pretty powerful||29 38||8,0 – 10,7||17 – 21||Moderate waves at sea and steep waves on inland waters. Foam heads are visible everywhere.|
|6||Powerful||39 – 49||10,8 – 13,8||22 – 27||At sea, the waves break and large white foam spots are formed behind the waves. There is blowing foam.|
|7||Hard||50 – 61||13,9 – 17,1||28 – 33||Waves at sea are getting higher. The foam patches now become streaks in the direction of the sea. There is drifting sand on the beach.|
|8||Stormy||62 – 74||17,2 – 20,7||34 – 40||Moderately high waves. The tops of the waves blow off and form thick foam stripes.|
|9||Storm||75 – 88||20,8 – 24,4||41 – 47||High waves. Rollers form heavy foam stripes. Wind-blown foam can impair vision.|
|10||Heavy storm||89 – 102||24,5 – 28,4||48 – 55||Very high waves. Heavy skipping roller forms heavy white streaks. Visibility is impaired.|
|11||Very severe storm||103 – 117||28,5 – 32,6||56 – 63||Extremely high waves. The sea is completely covered with foam stripes. Visibility is greatly reduced.|
|12||Hurricane||> 117||> 32,6||> 63||The sea is completely white with foam. No view due to blown sea water and foam in the air.|
Wind speed conversion example
To give an example of how you can increase your insight with the help of the wind force table, the image below. On it, foam heads are visible on the water in front Brouwersdam. This indicates wind force 4.
Wind force up to 12 Beaufort
The Beaufort scale does not go further than wind force 12. The wind force conversion table shown therefore also stops at wind force 12. Wind force 13 does not exist. After wind force 12, the scales switch to hurricane force. Hurricane strength is displayed on the Saffir-Simpson scale in up to 5 categories.
What wind to kite surf at?
The question of what wind force or what number of knots you need to kitesurf is often asked. And rightly so, because kitesurfing is addictive and the more you kitesurf, the better it goes. Kitesurfing with little wind has become increasingly popular. Kitesurfing is possible even at 8-16 knots (wind force 3-4). For example with a super high-performance foil kite in combination with a special kitesurf board with a hydrofoil underneath. With this you can even kitesurf from 5 to 6 knots.
3 little wind combinations
Do you also want to kite surf with little wind? Then read our blog about it how much wind you need to kite surf and the options. When you start kitesurfing, the ideal wind force is between 14 – 21 knots (wind force 4 – 5). Very experienced kite surfers, who love the more extreme side of the sport, quietly take to the water at more than 27 knots (wind force 7).
If you are going to start kitesurfing, the ideal wind force is between 14 – 21 knots (wind force 4 – 5)
Which size kite with which wind?
Kites come in different shapes and sizes. To give you an idea of which size kite suits your weight and the wind force or the number of knots, we have it overview size kite prepared for you.