Wind orientation is the first information you want to have when you get to a kitesurfing spot. Which way is the wind blowing? Is it safe? What are the risks I'm taking if I go out in these conditions?
Below you will find the description of each wind direction and their pros and cons:
Side-shore wind: Wind is blowing parallel to the beach from one side or the other. Probably the best wind to kite in. It's always easy to come back to the shore body dragging.
Side-on-shore wind: Wind is blowing from the sea towards the land, from one side. Most convenient wind to teach in and probably the safest as you are going to kitesurf with a 45° angle to the beach and the wind blows you back to the beach if you quick-release your chicken loop.
On-shore wind: Wind is blowing from the water and is pushing you directly to the beach. One of the dangerous winds, it constantly pushes you straight onto the beach and to the hazard on land. For beginners, it's not the easiest wind when riding upwind hasn't been mastered yet.
Off-shore wind: Wind is blowing from the land to the water and is pushing you away from the land. It's a dangerous wind because it blows you into the sea. If you have to quick-release your chicken loop, you will have to packdown in the water and swim back in order to come back to the beach.
Side-off-shore wind: Wind is blowing from the land towards the sea from one side and is pushing you away from the land. One of the best winds for advanced riders. It creates butter flat water and it's not too complicated to come back to shore even though you loose quite a lot of ground coming back in body dragging.
When you will ride, you will have different riding direction:
- Riding upwind (towards the wind)
- Riding crosswind (with 90 degrees to the wind)
- Riding downwind (follow the wind)