Wind in Mallorca – Sudden wind changes, is a perfect title for a complex issue. Our island, if compared with other kitesurfing destinations worldwide is not prone to drastic sudden wind changes but sometimes, they can occur.
The Wind is not something absolutely reliable. If compared with what we had some years ago, nowadays the satellites which are circumnavigating our planet can provide very accurate forecasts. But … that is not enough
Any given day during each moment of our navigation, can occur sudden wind changes, sometimes drastic weather changes, mostly during Autumn-Winter-Spring. The wind can completely change direction or intensity rapidly.
Wind in Mallorca – Sudden wind changes. Wind can go down to 0 in few minutes or perhaps decrease progressively, making our navigation or our return to the beach, very difficult, or also, wind may suddenly increase its force which may lead to extreme and dangerous situations.
Weather changes can happen very quickly, but if we are sailing with attention to what happens around us and not just to our kite or to other people who are in the water, surely we can see the signs that wind is about to changed.
At the first sign of a change of weather, best thing to do is to return to the beach and land the kite. These signs include cloud formations approaching, or notice that are sudden gust of wind, a sudden change in temperature, for example, a streak that feels much warmer or colder than normal, or a line of wind which is fast approaching on the water and we can see its effect on the sea surface.
How to proceed on a sudden wind
change in Mallorca
Air pressure changes and its reasons
If you get stuck in a sudden wind rise, the general rule is to stop kiting immediately, depower completely ourkite and return to the beach. If there are kiters on the beach, get their attention, waving the arms and shouting, until they notice you and help you to land your kite.
The international signal to show that you want to land your kite is to touch the top of the head with thr palm of your hand, this should make others know about your intentions and show it to who is watching you from the beach.
If there is no one on the beach to catch your kite, get until a distance of one line length, that is, 20 meters from the beach, and then, activate the security system.
In episodes of sudden wind changes a squall can provoque loftings
Loftings – Lifted by the kite involuntarily
With a little luck the kite will lay on the water surface and you can swim or walk to secure it the rest of the way.
Act with great care, since it would be preferable to keep the line of the leash in your hands as we pull it and move forward quickly, but this involves a great risk, as the kite suddenly could relaunch and if we keep the line in the hands it can produce cuts, if we see that the kite seems to get lifted again, that line must be released immediately.
Avoid accidents by rehearse all possible situations which can be produced because a sudden wind change in which the wind force will increase. If you are prepared to react in time you may succeed, if you are unprepared and never thought about being in the middle of such situation, you may react too late and this may derive into an accident.
Wind drop or unable to use your kite anymore
On the outside and in case of being forced to activate your quick release because strong sudden wind or else in case of a wind drop, either case you may be unable to use your kite and won’t be able to reach the beach riding.
If the case is that the wind is too strong, the best thing is do is try to get as close to the beach as possible within a distance enough to avoid getting dragged to shore and get hurted or if in the second case, before the wind drops completely by steering the kite try to bodydrag while with the other hand, hold the board by one footstrap.
Or, to prevent this fact, you can carry circling the waist, a rope with a carabiner which you can pass around a footstrap, which, in turn, would allow you to use both hands to steer the kite more efficiently.
If there is no enough wind to fly the kite, there is nothing left to do but to self-rescue and swimm with your kite wrapped over the board, back to the beach.
If, when, during this procedure, on strong winds, when pulling your quick release, the kite gets lifted, which often can happen in strong wind, we must take great care and try not get tangled between the kite lines and above all, avoid the kite to drag us or hurt us by the lines.
These can be a time of great stress and there ‘s little room left for errors, once the kite falls on the water, proceed as said above and pull the quick release while in water as we offer more resistance to avoid lifting us into the air or drag us downwind or towards the beach.
How to avoid as far as possible
Get the local weather forecast before go kiting, see if the wind is expected to get stronger or decrease. Do not go sailing in storms or offshore winds and always be aware of the wind changes.
Remember always to don’t kite so far from the shore that you may not be able to return to the beach swimming.
A couple of links about wind sudden changes and also changes on the weather patterns globally:
Gusts and other Changes in Wind
Changes in the wind patterns globally due to global warming