The kiteboarding season in Western Australia typically runs from late October to early March (Perth Summer), when regular South Westerly sea-breezes ranging from 15-25 knots can be expected most afternoons, a wind pattern otherwise known as the ‘Fremantle Doctor.’
During Winter (April – September) kiting can be extremely hazardous with frontal winds and is only recommended for expert kiters. Air temperatures can range from 20C – 40C during the summer months and sea temperatures can range from 17C – 22C.
The above figures are based on the Perth Metro region and should only be used as a rough guide. For a more detailed climatic overview please visit the BOM website.
For realtime wind readings at various locations please visit the Seabreeze website.
As a beginner, a steady wind and flat water, ideally with wind strength between 17 and 24 knots is best for learning and developing confidence.
At coastal beaches the ideal direction is usually a cross-shore or cross-onshore wind. This allows you to sail out and back to the same spot, but even if you do go downwind (which is inevitable while learning) you will still come back into shore and be able to walk back to where you started. As the predominant summer seabreeze, the famous ‘Fremantle Doctor’ is our best example of cross-onshore wind as it often ranges from SSW to SW.
An onshore wind which is perpendicular to the beach (a Westerly) means that you will be blown back on to the beach. It is very challenging to kitesurf in unless you are very competent at getting upwind. Not only this but it usually brings shore break and waves making it even harder to get out. Plus you must bear in mind that if you have any problems (wind picking up or crashing) could involve with you ending up with a hard landing on the beach.
For kiters at most WA coastal beaches, an offshore wind is bad news. Any wind from an Easterly; South easterly; or North easterly direction is inadvisable for kiteboarding – if the wind drops off, or you lose your board, or you have a problem with your equipment could result in you being blown out into deep water.
WAKSA strongly advises that kiters should not kite in offshore wind conditions.
If you are planning a trip to the coast, remember to check the tide. A number of beaches in Western Australia are fringed by reefs which mean that rocks are exposed at low tides and many others have shallow sandbars which can make for hazardous conditions.
If you’re at all unsure about the weather conditions, remember… if in doubt, don’t go out!
There are a number of Weather websites available for checking the wind forecast, including:
Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) – MetEye
Also bear in mind that conditions can change while you are on the beach and out on the water.