Tag Archives: Kiteboarding Palm Beach

Choosing a Kiteboarding Wetsuit

This fall brought some great winds to our area and with it colder sea temperatures.

As the seas cool, I am often asked about choosing the proper wetsuit for our regions conditions. Although the winter water temperature averages around 70 deg and rarely drops below 65. Having the proper wetsuit will still make or break your day.

Kiteboarding, wetsuit
Choosing a kiteboarding wetsuit

One of the first things to account for when shopping for a kiteboaring wetsuit is the fact that you will have less time actually in the water when compared to diving or surfing. Although this would seem advantageous to staying warm, this actually causes some wetsuits to not function properly. As many of you may already know, wetsuits actually use the water around you to create a warm layer between the neoprene and your skin. While Kiteboarding, gravity will slowly drain the water from the suit and take a good amount of your body heat with it. To counter-act this, some wetsuits are lined with synthetic wool like fibers to help retain a very thin layer of water against your skin.

When choosing a wetsuit for Kiteboarding, there are a few other factors you will want to consider. High speed falls associated with Kiting can often “pack” the wetsuit with water and some wetsuits will retain this water almost like a water balloon. Wetsuits with strategically placed drain holes can help drain water quickly before absorbing your body heat. The second factor to consider is wind resistance. Although neoprene does not typically breath, some suits tend to let the wind in. I recommend looking for suits with “non porous” exteriors as well as glued and taped seams. This will greatly enhance the suits abilities to block the wind.

No matter how nice a wetsuit is, it will not work properly if it is not the correct thickness and fit. For our area, most Kiters and surfers can stay warm with a 3/2 full suit on the colder days and a 3/2 shorty on the slightly warmer ones. The term 3/2 means that the chest portion of the wetsuit is 3mm thick while the arms and legs are 2mm thick. As far as determining size, it is important to get the tightest fitting suit that you still feel comfortable in. Any baggy areas will fill with water and cost you valuable warmth. It is important that the wrist, ankle and neck cuffs are tight enough to block excess water from entering while still allowing you to move freely and comfortably.

I hope this guide helps give you a little extra knowledge when it comes to purchasing your next wetsuit.  As always stay safe, warm, and respect your fellow beach goers.

See you on the water!

Serving Stuart, West Palm Beach, Ft Pierce, Delray, Boynton Beach and Jupiter Florida

How To Predict The Wind

For those with flexible schedules this has been a great season so far for Kiteboarding. So what is the outlook for the second half? Well, Kiteboarder’s and fellow sailors; it looks good. Great news for us but not so much for those looking for calm days on the boat (which can be equally as fun)
There is no possible way to truly predict what will happen wind wise over the next few months. However, based on the patterns thus far. We may have even more wind coming this winter.
As we have discussed in past articles, our wind is mainly driven by  cold fronts and low pressure systems. Currently, there are many active low pressure systems and fronts that have been approaching from both the west coast and the North East. As we get deeper into winter. The temperature gradients will only grow stronger, creating more powerful cold fronts. 
So how can you plan your days to maximize enjoyment? Often, you can look at the weather map and start to see the systems long before the wind forecast sites start to predict with any accuracy. I can often see wind potential 10 days out. That said; nor you or the experts wil be able to predict wind speeds that far out. However, you can give yourself an idea of what’s coming and judge the potential of good wind. 
It will take lots of practice and along with a mental or physical storm journal to really learn the patterns. That said, to get started, look at the “frontal boundary map” on your favorite forecasting site. Look for cold fronts mainly in the Great Lakes to New England region. Next look at the gradient between the temperature in front of the cold front, behind he cold front and the current temp here at home. The stronger the gradient (larger the difference in temperature) the stronger the wind is likely to be. 
There are so many more factors than this but you can really get an idea of what’s coming this way. With a combination of local forecast and your growing knowledge, you can often second guess the computer generated wind models and get an idea of what to expect long ahead of time.