Check The Wind Forecast For St. Petersburg
The ability to check the wind forecast for St. Petersburg will provide more days for kiteboarding. It is often more windy than an average forecast reveals. Specialized sites such as iKitesurf provides more in depth details on the wind than the average forecast. Overall, it is the ability to read the right forecasts and understand wind patterns to maximize the days for kiteboarding.
How to Read a Wind Forecast
Our preferred site to use to check the wind forecast for St. Petersburg is iKitesurf. In addition to providing the forecast, they also provide live sensors of the true wind speed at critical spots around Tampa Bay. This data can be used to see if a forecast holds up. There are multiple spots to choose from, and it is important to select the right spot for accuracy. Here are the steps we use to check the wind forecast for St. Petersburg.
- Visit the “Live Wind” map on iKitesurf
- Select “Skyway Bridge”
- Change forecast model to “iK-WRF”
These steps are just to get started with what is possible on iKitesurf. We alternate between the iK-WRF model, iK-HRRR model and the GFS model. Access to these models may require an iKitesurf subscription. However, there are other features that make it worth the cost. Another premium feature related to forecasting the wind is a local meteorologist’s wind report that is updated every 12 hours. We cross reference this report with one of the iK forecast models.
The Ideal Winds for Kiteboarding
The minimum wind we recommend kiteboarding in is 10 mph or 9 kts. Winds that are less than this strength will make it difficult to fly a kiteboarding kite. We consider anything above 29 mph or 25 kts too much wind for a beginner. It is possible for a beginner to kiteboard in less or more wind, but it will be difficult. St. Petersburg’s average wind speed is around 14 kts, which is perfect for kiteboarding.
The next variable to consider is wind direction. A kiteboarder always wants wind that is “onshore” or “sideshore”. These wind directions make it so that a kiteboarder does not get blown out to sea. The fortunate thing for St. Petersburg is that it is shaped like a peninsula. In other words, there’s a good spot to kiteboard on any wind direction. Wind direction can be viewed from the arrow that is located in the “Wind(mph)” chart. The arrow indicates the direction towards where the wind is blowing.
How to Choose the Kiteboarding Launch Spot
Here is a cheat sheet for some of the more popular launch spots for kiteboarding in St. Petersburg. The chart below indicates the compatible wind directions for a certain spot.
|Skyway West||NW, W, SW|
|Skyway East||NE, E, SE|
|Fort Desoto North Beach||N, NW, W|
|Fort Desoto East Beach||NE, E, SE, S, SW|
Other Sites For Forecasting
There are other sites we use to check the wind forecast for St. Petersburg. Baynews 9’s marine forecast provides a good idea of the general wind pattern for the day. Windy is another site that provides a macro perspective of wind patterns. The downside to Windy is that they are not accurate and under-forecast most winds. Another site we recommend is Windfinder. They offer an alternative forecast model that is good to cross-reference with iKitesurf.
If Taking Lessons
If taking lessons with us, don’t worry! With over 15 years experience kiteboarding in St. Petersburg, we have a good sense of wind patterns here. Despite what all the technology says, there are trends we are dialed into. Throughout the lessons with us, we teach you these trends and information from this post. We’ll help schedule lessons based on good winds and your availability. Sign up for lessons by filling out the form below.