What is TT?
Today is the start of something new ‘TT – Top Tip’ . Every month I’ll be posting a Top Tip relevant to the sport we so enjoy. TTT’s will be based on some Technique Knowledge or General Theory to help you enjoy a smoother journey through the progression of kitesurfing.
So today I was wondering where to start these scribbles, as there’s so much goodness to send out there … By 19.15 on the beach tonight as play was postponed by change in weather, I knew exactly what was needed. Viewing the surrounding cloud formation & witnessing a rider disown his kite due to an overwhelming offshore breeze blowing him out to sea … I started to wonder, where do riders gather their weather info to build a mental picture for a days timeline? So here’s a few pointers to help you on your way …
Reading the signs in our local BN1 Area
Check a handful of weather sites & apps to cross reference. Below are a few useful links
BBC 5 Day – Great for General Forecast of weather, wind direction – Not so much the strength
Magic Seaweed– Good for wind strength & direction for 3 hour periods through the day
XC Weather UK – Good overview of the UK with wind trends within a 2 hour period
Worthing Live Weather – Live indication from worthing pier. Great for strength and direction
Another Hard Day at the Office – Gavin’s home weather station has always proved its weight in gold with live info
These are just a few of my favourite reference points to gather knowledge to make an assessment for the day or future nearby sessions. The Tip is to study your sources frequently enough that you build up a Portfolio of historical info to make wise decisions before and during your session. So often just like today there is only a small window of opportunity before a change may happen.
Here in the Southeast we have an excellerated sea breeze due to warming land mass and
the higher lands & hills of the South/North Downs.
Venturi effects from local river mouths & valleys
West & East air Airstream strengthens our chances of consistent sea breezes through the summer months.
High Tide will often be windier than low especially if its high mid day.
We Can See Change …
Clouds are a great visionary tool
Cloud Cells on the surrounding horizons
Clouds painting tell tale signs of a shift in direction are key images that should be logged in ones mind.
See the Wind
Flags & Windsocks
Movement in nature surrounding our lives (trees)
Textures on the waters surface
The performance in our kites & the input or outputs of what we feel
If you were advised when change may happen, be wise … may be stay close to beach or you may lose your toys
If Unsure just come in and wait for the traffic to pass
If your planning a downwinder – Do some homework!
‘If in doubt … Don’t go out’
In summary weather is an intriguing subject which just keeps us guessing every now and then. You can’t beat an app or forecast as it will only add an extra notch of knowledge to your plan, but … If you can gain a little feel of what is happening through our given senses & historical experiences, you’ll possibly create a lot more fun utilising the elements …
See you down the beach