Gokova – The Wind

For five solid months a year Gokova Bay has daily thermal winds turning on like clockwork around 12:00hrs, giving you a nice lazy morning before hitting the water.

“Anyone who doesn’t know how a seabreeze works should visit here for the clearest example I have ever seen.”

International Best Team Rider Lewis Crathern

The wind blows from May with about 75% wind probability, however from June to the end of September there are very few windless days giving approximately 99% probability during these months! Even the beginning of October can prove reliable, however in this month we do see the wind decline.  These statics have been compiled from our own weather station at the bay.

A light sea breeze starts around 09:00hrs and accelerates to around 18-20 knots by 12:00hrs as the air temperature increases.

Keep in mind that this is a thermal location and therefore Windguru will not give you a precise forecast. As a rule of thumb, if it’s sunny it’s Always Windy!

Due to its orientation, Gokova Bay does not suffer from gusty wind; it is clean, smooth and friendly as there are no obstacles for it to pass over on its way to you and your kite!

The surrounding area is absolutely breath taking to look at whilst exploring the expanse of the bay.

The Meltemi and Thermal Winds

For any kitesurfer there is a golden wind rule: the better the wind, the easier it is to progress. ‘Good’ wind is considered to be a smooth, constant wind which makes it easier to learn and progress at any level. Such a wind allows you to concentrate on your move rather than being concerned about the kite falling from the sky. This fundamental fact is often overlooked and will only rarely be mentioned ahead of your visit.

In Turkey we have the Meltemi, or meltem (Turkish) wind. It is the strong, dry north wind of the Aegean Sea, which blows from about mid-May to mid-September. It passes along the western coast of Turkey making places such as Alacati and many Greek Islands such as Karpathos, popular destinations for windsurfers and kitersurfers alike. However, the Meltemi is not always 100% reliable and this is where Gokova Bay, shines. Due to its unique location in the middle of a deep valley facing to the west, even when the Meltemi is not blowing, the mountains surrounding the bay heat up in the summer sun and create a wonderfully constant, reliable thermal wind. In fact, the direction of Gokova Bay hinders the Meltemi’s smooth entrance into the Bay, therefore the wind we kite in here is a much smoother version of the Meltemi, combined with the regular thermal wind created locally in the bay.

So how does it work?

The mountains heat up with the suns plentiful rays and creates a thermal updraft (hot air rising). This leaves a low pressure ‘hole’ which is filled with cooler air from the sea, which then heats up, rises and so a breeze starts with the constant circulation. On top of this thermal wind, the funnel-like shape of the surrounding mountains creates the Venturi Effect, thus acceleratating this circulation. The unique combination of Thermal Wind and Venturi Effect gives Gokova Bay its reliable and smooth wind for over 5 months of the year.

Can I rely on Windguru?

Windguru can predict real wind such as the Meltemi but a thermal wind cannot be predicted, for that reason you will often see Windguru showing little to no wind or winds coming from the wrong direction. However, Windguru does show temperature and cloud cover, so as a rule of thumb if it’s sunny, without cloud cover, you can expect smooth thermal winds. Last but not least, you can always use our webcam to see whats going on in the bay. Around midday you will see the first kites in the sky!

Experimental Windforecast

Windguru has been around for a long time but there are also other websites that offer forecasts which are based on different models. Windyty is such a site and we are currently looking into making this as precise as possible. We recommend though to still check our webcam in case the forecast is not showing any wind because thermal winds are very difficult to predict correctly.