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At Kite Club Maui we have visitors from all around the Kiteboarding world. One thing we all have in common is the wind. However we do not all agree on the same system for measuring the wind, and may use different systems for different regions. Here I have put together a comparison chart to act as a translator of the different wind speed measurements.

WIND SPEED COMPARISON CHART

Designation Range Beaufort Knots Miles Kilometers Meters/sec
    Force: kts mph kph mps
Calm <1 mph 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Light Air 1-3mph 1 2.50 2.88 4.63 1.29
Light Breeze 4-7mph 2 5.00 5.75 9.26 2.57
Gentle Breeze 8-12mph 3 7.50 8.63 13.89 3.86
      10.00 11.51 18.52 5.14
Moderate Breeze   4 12.50 14.38 23.15 6.43
  13-18mph   15.00 17.26 27.78 7.72
Fresh Breeze   5 17.50 20.14 32.41 9.00
  19-24mph   20.00 23.02 37.04 10.29
Strong Breeze   6 22.50 25.89 41.67 11.57
  25-31mph   25.00 28.77 46.30 12.86
      27.50 31.65 50.93 14.15
Moderate Gale   7 30.00 34.52 55.56 15.43
  32-38mph   32.50 37.40 60.19 16.72
Fresh Gale     35.00 40.28 64.82 18.01
  39-46mph 8 37.50 43.15 69.45 19.29
      40.00 46.03 74.08 20.58
Strong gale     42.50 48.91 78.71 21.86
  47-54mph 9 45.00 51.79 83.34 23.15
      47.50 54.66 87.97 24.44
Whole Gale     50.00 57.54 92.60 25.72
  55-63mph 10 52.50 60.42 97.23 27.01
      55.00 63.29 101.86 28.29
Storm     57.50 66.17 106.49 29.58
  64-73mph 11 60.00 69.05 111.12 30.87
      62.50 71.92 115.75 32.15
Hurricane     65.00 74.80 120.38 33.44
  >75mph 12 67.50 77.68 125.01 34.72
      70.00 80.55 129.64 36.01

Conversions are calculated by numeric values and formulas.

 

 

What is a kiteable wind?
Wind speeds vary greatly during storms and high wind events. We must remember that it is only safe to kitesurf within a narrow wind range, according to our abilities, and equipment limitations. Steady wind is easier to handle than gusty wind.

The graph on the right is a general indication of the extremes of kiteble wind speeds, assuming steady wind, with some suggestions as to the abilities of the rider. Wind speeds are given in Miles Per hour. Body weight, and kite size play a major factor, in the degree of control you might expect.

limitations in kite design:  These recommendations are assuming a modern bow kite design kites with 100% depower design, with fully functioning safety systems. Older kites are far more limited in their wind range, and should not be used in strong winds.

Knowing your limits, if there is no one else out, maybe it is a bad day, and you should not attempt to launch unless you are certain of your abilities. There are limits for even the best kiters. Know your limits, and always consider safety when deciding whether to ride or not. Ask yourself, "could I handle this wind if something goes wrong".

 

 

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