Most of the kitesurfing photos we see are made in the ideal conditions; blue sky, turquoise water, warm temperatures and on spots with good conditions (flat water, good wind). But if you live in the Netherlands kitesurfing does not always, or actually never, look like this. Yet there are plenty of reasons to go kitesurfing with bad weather and in the cold.

Kitesurfing in winter (and/or with bad weather)

Most kitesurfers do not live near spots with ideal conditions described above. I often meet people who kite from April to October and then put the stuff in the closet for 5 months. Too bad! Kitesurfing in the winter can be so beautiful.

Finding the motivation to go to a kitespot with bad weather and having to change your clothes next to the car is not always easy. I give you 5 reasons why you should give it a try:

  1. It’s an adventure
    Kitesurfing with 30+ knots, dark skies and in the cold is definitely an adventure. You feel the power of the wind and the water and you are prepared for everything.
  2. An extra challenge and adrenaline kick
    While everyone is locked inside because of the weather you are outside on the water. The challenge is not to crash too much in the cold water.
  3. It is a skill booster
    Kitesurfing in choppy water and with gusty wind makes you much more concentrated. You really have to keep your attention. You will notice that you will make a lot of progress when it comes to kite control!
  4. Full body workout
    Kitesurfing in bad conditions requires a lot of your body and you burn a lot of calories. Your body is much more tense and has to convert energy into heat.
  5. Share the spot with a few people
    Since many people put their kites stuff in the closet/storage in winter, it is often very quiet at the kitespots. Enough space to work on your tricks. Note that you never go alone!

Kitesurfen winter

How cold is the water?

The actual water temperature of the North Sea and the IJsselmeer can be found on the website of the KNMI.

What to keep in mind when you go kitesurfing in winter

Safety first!

If you go kitesurfing in the winter or with bad conditions you should always ensure that you are well prepared. Check the predictions carefully and keep an eye on it as it can change quickly. Be sure to check your material (always actually) before you go on the water. When it is cold, it is important that you minimize the chance of problems. If you unexpectedly have to swim because of a broken line or kite your body cools down very quickly and hypothermia lies around the corner.

Dress well

Because hypothermia is a risk when kitesurfing in the winter, it is important that you stay warm as long as possible. So never go to the water without being well dressed.

As the layer system applies to winter sports, it is also good to put on several layers when kitesurfing. Think about:

  • A thermo for your upper body
  • A winter wetsuit (minimum 5/3)
  • Windstopper en neoprene jacket/hoodie
  • Gloves
  • Shoes
  • Cap

Kitesurfen Wijk aan Zee

Never go out on the water alone

I can not say it often enough; do not go out on the water alone during the winter months (and actually never). If you are with someone you can keep a close eye on each other and get help if needed.

Even if the outside temperature seems OK, the seawater can be a lot colder than you think. No matter how attractive it is to go out for a long time, always pay attention to what you are doing. Are you a beginner and still in the water a lot? Then think again about whether you should go in the winter. If you go, do not go too long. You often only notice (too) late how much your body has cooled down.

Stay close to the coast, if there are problems you can quickly get out of the water again.

Now you are all set to embrace the cold!

Pictures by:

Apex Adventures


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