Autumn Water Sports: Kitesurfing UK
Kitesurfing UK is a sport that’s gradually picking up momentum. As we are starting to look towards the start of Autumn, we are coming into prime kitesurfing conditions across the UK. As school starts back up and the height of summer passes, the good news is that the wind starts to pick up, but the water is still a decent temperature for this adventure water sport!
What Is Kitesurfing UK?
Kitesurfing or kiteboarding uses wind power harnessed by a kite to propel the boarder across the water. It takes a lot of principles from other water sports, such as sailing and windsurfing. The boarder wears a harness that attaches them to the kite and straps their feet onto the board like a snowboard.
Although kitesurfing UK might not be as warm as in other destinations, it is still worth a whirl. You will need to be flexible to be a kite surfer – perhaps in more way than one – but the speed and excitement that whipping through the wind can offer you is well worth it! The dominant wind direction in the UK is westerly, this means it will be key for you to find a beach that allows you to benefit from this. Remember, if you are kitesurfing near to a notable land mass (cliffs, for example) you are likely to have gusty and turbulent conditions. If you are starting your new sport for the first time this Autumn, avoid difficult or potentially hazardous conditions.
Typically, the best kitesurfing UK conditions start at 10 knots for beginner kites. As you progress, you will likely be looking at conditions up to 20-25 knots. Make sure the gust speed is also within a range you are comfortable with. It isn’t too important for the sun to be out – except for personal enjoyment – as this can impair vision. Remember to check the direction of the wind before you head to the beach to ensure you it is blowing down-shore or in-shore to stay safe!
Kitesurfing For Beginners
If you have mastered all your other adventure or water sports and want to try something new, kitesurfing could be for you! It’s got enough oompf and excitement for the wildest amongst you, but also requires skill and technique, so it’s a great challenge, too.
You will need to change your kite dependent on the weather conditions. As you might expect, the milder the conditions, the bigger kite you will need to catch the best of the wind. If your kite is too big in gusty blows, you could go flying!
The best kitesurfing UK venues or beaches for beginners will have tame, shallow waters. A beach with a really gradual shoal and a long area is perfect! There are a lot of prime venues for beginners around the south coast. If you are looking to step it up a gear, head towards the last bit of sun in Cornwall or take advantage of those westerly gusts in Wales.
Remember, if you are travelling for your kitesurfing UK adventure, you’re going to need to pack your gear up. A surfboard roof rack will stow your board and leave you plenty of space for all your other water sport gear!
Rule number one of kitesurfing: dress properly! Kitesurfing UK is a step up from surfing and the kit needs to follow to suit the conditions. You won’t be out there in your board shorts, especially as we head into Autumn, you will need to wear a weather-appropriate wetsuit. It is important to avoid lose clothing that can flap in the wind or get caught in the harness.
The water temperature on the south coast of the UK averages 17 degrees in September and 15 degrees in October. This means you can still wear your summer wetsuits but any colder and you will need to bust out the thermal stuff and definitely a winter wetsuit!
Of course, here at Wetsuit Centre, we have a dedicated range of kitesurfing suits for all ages, sizes and conditions!
Other gear you’ll need includes:
- Your choice of board
- Your choice of kite
- Your choice of harness
- Boot for colder weather
- Life jacket
For more advice on how to pick your gear, get in touch with the team at Wetsuit Centre!