Kitesurfing & Windsurfing
Kite and Wind - surfing are very exhiliarting sports harnessing the power of the wind to provide the drive of the board across the water. As sports they can occupy sea and fresh water, both are very challenging activities and require good skills and a high level of fitness. Relatively easy conditions allow for "entry-level" participation, the more extreme the wind and wave state takes these sports to a demanding level of ability.
People of all ages and abilities are attracted and the opportunities for both in Northern Ireland are widespread along our extensive coastline and the large freshwater of Lough Neagh.
Kitesurfing in Northern Ireland is described as the latest, most extreme water sport to appear off our coast. Utilising a small board and a parachute like canopy or kite to capture the wind and drive the board. In strong conditions speeds in excess of 25 mph are easily achieved and enable the board to be lifted above the waves allowing for impressive airborne jumps
The ideal conditions for both sports is provided by broad areas of inshore waters uninterrupted by obstacles such as rocks, reefs and islands.
In our area a wind and kite surfing community is based out of the Newtownards Sailing Club on Strangford Lough. The shore here provides good conditions with southerly winds but is described as " very patchy" in northerly winds. There are distinct advantages of holding membership with the sailing club which has facilities for changing and showers. An alternative access to the sea in this area can be had from the local council car park adjacent to the sailing club.