For safe and successful kiteboarding you need to analyse, use and gain an understanding of the processes occurring in the surface layers of air. We get basic information about the behaviour of the atmosphere through the movement of air – wind. Wind is caused by the pressure changes and differences in the atmosphere. Air flows from high pressure to low pressure zones. Pressure differences can be explained by meteorology. Meanwhile, for kiteboarding it is more important to understand the processes involved in the flow of air around all kinds of obstacles.
When meeting an obstacle, air flow acts like the flow of water.
Imagine a rock in the river. Water flows around the stone from different angles. The current accelerates around the sides of the rock and slows down at the rise over the rock. The same applies to wind and any obstacle before it. The wind flows faster at the base and slower over top.
PATH OF WIND AROUND OBSTACLES
Air movement above and parallel to the slope creates a dynamic upward flow. This air flow is used by soaring birds and glider pilots. The strength of the air current greatly depends on the slope, width and other parameters of the hill. A sharp, narrow hill barely creates any wind current, but a long ridge acts as a dam and the air mass travelling over this kind of hill creates a powerful updraft. It is better being avoiding these areas. Dynamic flows can create high jumps and easily make you go too high at which point it becomes dangerous.