Wind Theory Print

Wind Theory for Kiteboarding and Kitesurfing

". . . its just wind, it blows all over the place."

If we understand how wind works, we can harness it, and adapt to it, because it will not adapt to us.  Above all, wherever you plan on kiteboarding, make sure you research the area you plan on riding, look at the area around you, asses the wind conditions, and decide if everything matches your ability, gear, and amount of risk you are willing to accept.

To The Point:

     When wind hits any object, it changes direction and becomes less predictable; try not to be upwind or downwind of any obstacles.  When wind is squeezed though a smaller area, it increases in speed.

The Detailed Explanation:

Venturi effect

    Wind acts very similar to water.  The Venturi effect happens when wind is squeezed into a smaller space, and consequently, the wind increases in speed.  The reverse is also true.  When wind becomes less confined, it slows in its speed.  This is just like water moving through a hose.  When the hose has a large opening, the water flows slowly and pours onto the ground.  When your thumb, or a sprayer nozzle constricts the hose opening, the water comes out much faster.

 

Wind Obstructions

    When wind hits an object it changes directing based on the shape and size of that object.  If you have large objects "upwind" of where you are flying a kite, the wind will be disturbed and that disturbed wind will have an effect on your kite.  Roughly, this disturbed wind can last horizontally from the object, up to ten times the vertical height of the object. Objects "downwind" of where you are flying a kite can, roughly, disturb wind horizontally, upwind from the object, up to three times it's vertical height.
Areas where there are mountains near the shore, can be a dangerous place for updrafts and thermals.

 

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