Where is the best location to kite in Hawaii ?
All Hawaiian Islands get weak tradewinds, however the best islands to visit for kiteboarding is Maui or Oahu. Maui has consistent strong winds, where as Oahu has lighter wind but is fairly consistent. Maui is famous for it’s “Kite Beach” and Oahu has famous “Kailua Beach”.
Kauai and Big Island have winds, but do not consistent winds. Also there are no stores to buy or rent gear from. Kauai is the better of the two for wind, but if you do kite there, be considerate of the locals and you should be an accomplished kiter.
What are the wind conditions like in Hawaii ?
Maui can have exceptionally strong winds due to it’s unique structure that causes a “venturi” effect ontop of the tradewinds. This produces winds consistently between 20-30mph. Winds can be stronger and very gusty, so during these times it is a very advanced situation for kiters.
Oahu is a lighter tradewind pattern, more like 10-15mph during the summer season, with occasional patterns of 15-25mph. On the other side of the island, Mokuleia gets stronger winds due to a thermal pattern that exists there, which produces consistent winds of 15-25mph. Mokuleia is an advanced kiting area, whereas Kailua Beach is a good place for all skill levels.
When is the best time to kite in Hawaii ?
Summer season is best and most consistent, during the months of May through August.
However Hawaii can get wind all year, with seasonal changes affecting the strength and wind direction. Typically Trades in the summer, of ENE direction. These are the warm, trades that fuel the Islands with wind. Great for kiting, and other water sports.
Then in the winter many days of East winds and then the North winds come, which tend to be cold. During storms that pass by the islands we get a phenomenon of “wind clocking” where the winds will change direction slowly over a period of a day or a few days. The wind direction will “clock” around East to South to West to North.
Also during the winter, a frequent condition known as “Kona Winds” will occur, these are South based winds coming from the “Kona” direction, or from Big Island. During these winds, other kiting spots are accessible where the normal spots are usually off-shore or side-off shore winds. Kona winds can be very strong, and may change without much warning. Also can be quite gusty and rainy.
Winds can die out for fairly long periods in the Winter, just as a “skunk” warning.