When it comes to watersports Mother Nature is both your friend and foe. The 1.5 million kitesurfers around the globe as well as windsurfers, are entirely at the whim of the weather. There are few things more thrilling than the wind lifting you airborne, but without a minimal breeze, watersports enthusiasts remain flotsam with their equipment bobbing in the surf.
It’s important to do a bit of homework and check the weather before you get wet. Finding out the wind speed, swell and all the other factors that affect kiting is no mean feat. Thankfully, for those of us without a meteorology degree, we can always turn to the internet.
There’s a plethora of resources to help surfers, sailors and fans of watersports plan their day at sea. As the popularity of windsurfing and kitesurfing continues to grow, more and more sites and apps are appearing which cater directly to these kinds of sports lovers.
Windfinder and Bigsalty for instance, allow users to pump in a location and analyse a range of weather conditions like wind speed, gust, rain and temperature. But if you’re just desperate to hit the surf, one of the simplest and quickest tools I’ve found is GeoRush.
Matthew Lafferty, one of several kiters-cum-software-developers, who recently launched the site, told me it was designed with convenience in mind:
“Rather than go cross-eyed trying to compute a string of conditions, we’ve made a tool that does it all for you. It works using an algorithm that crunches all of the crucial factors, including wind speed and direction, water and air temperature, wave height etc, and delivers them all in the form of a single, handy rating of watersports awesomeness.”
Users can check dozens of ratings at a glance whenever or wherever they’re planning a trip, and tailored to their chosen sport of either kitesurfing or windsurfing (surfing and SUP apparently coming soon). It even tells you the exact time of day for the very best conditions.