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Apparent Wind

Apparent wind is the wind felt by the kite or rider as they pass through the air. 

the kite's speed relative to the surrounding air. When kiteboarding in a straight line, the kite's apparent wind is a combination of the wind speed and the speed of the kite and rider over the surface, but since the kite is highly steerable apparent wind can vary widely depending on how the kite is being flown.

Most ways of increasing power from the kite involve giving it a higher apparent wind somehow, i.e. diving the kite, riding faster, or riding at a greater angle into the wind. Any of these raises the kite's apparent wind speed.

For instance, if the true wind is blowing South at 10 knots and the kite is moving West at 10 knots, the apparent wind on the kite is SW at about 14 knots. The apparent wind direction shifts towards the direction of travel as speed increases.

Calculating velocity and angleApparent wind on a windsurf

A = \sqrt{W^2 + V^2 +2WV\cos{\alpha}}


  • V = velocity (boat speed over ground, always > 0)
  • W = true wind velocity (always > 0)
  • α = true pointing angle in degrees (0 = upwind, 180 = downwind)
  • A = apparent wind velocity (always > 0)

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