Weather Conditions and Kitesurfing
A common question we get here at Live2Kite is "what do you use to read wind forecasts?"
There's the short answer and the long answer. The short is we use iKitesurf.
You could go ahead and leave this page, check out iKitesurf and you'll get the general idea of what might happen for the wind today.
But the long answer is going to give you a better understanding of the weather here in Northern California and your favorite kitesurfing destinations as well as help you garner some patience that will be needed in your kitesurfing career.
The long answer is we use iKitesurf, webcams, Weather Underground, NOAA and Windy.com
Why so many resources you ask? There are a number of reasons. For one example, iKitesurf's sensors aren't always at the spot you'll kite at. Sensors are sometimes located in a marina where it could be hampered by a wind shadow. Or the sensor might also be way far upwind of the usual kitesurfing area. So you can only take the iKitesurf sensors with a grain of salt. Make sure you read the human generated wind forecasts. These professionals know who they are writing/forecasting for, so you can expect a forecast that accounts for local trends and patterns.
Webcams are another powerful tool in checking out whats going on.
Unfortunately webcams can be expensive to maintain and you won't find them at every kite spot. Thankfully a few have been set up at 2 of the Bay Area's most popular kitesurfing spots.
Boardsports California has set up a webcam for Crown Beach and Coyote Point.
And a crew at 3rd Ave in Foster City put together an extensive panorama of the popular windy spot
So, if we aren't sure whats going on out there between iKitesurf and local webcams we'll turn to Weather Underground, NOAA, and Windy.
These particular kind of weather resources will paint a big picture of whats going on in your region, way zoomed out. Overtime we notice particular patterns happen when one region is a certain temperature, or how long it takes for the fog to burn off. Noticing these patterns can give you even a keener insight on what's to be expected for your beaches.
Another thing you can is find the one object that you always drive by, be it a tree, a flag, and notice what it does on windy days versus non-windy days. Gather a collection of these personal "tell-tale" spots. One of our favorite tell-tale is a tree between highway 880 in Oakland that when it totally thrashes about we know that Crown Beach is gonna be lit.
Lastly, there are 2 important things to remember when it comes to forecasting wind. 1, don't spend all day watching forecasts and webcams, just get out on the water! and 2, ask the locals what's up if you've never been there before. They know their spots like the back of their hand and will be happy to clue you in.