Discover the types of wind for your water sports in the South of France

From Leucate, via Montpellier, Toulon or Marseille, you will find wind conditions favorable to the practice of water sports such as kitesurfing, wingfoil and sailing.

There are several types of wind, enough to satisfy both beginner and intermediate riders, as well as experienced riders. With light and strong winds, you will surely find your happiness for your sliding pleasures!

Wind conditions: light to medium

The thermal “Thermique” in french

The best known is the thermal that blows from the southwest. This air is generated when the temperature difference between the soil and the water is sufficient. It can sometimes start to go off as early as mid-March, but it is almost daily from mid-April to mid-September. Stronger in May and June but weaker in August.

The thermal blows between 10 and 15 knots. It is perfectly laminar. It is triggered between noon and about 2h. It is the ideal wind for learning.

The “Labech”

The Labech also called West wind is rarer, it is a very laminar weather wind of West orientation. Between 15 and 20 knots, it is a little stronger than the thermal. It is the ideal wind for intermediate kitesurfers.

loisirs nautiques

Wind conditions: medium to strong

The “tramontane”

The Tramontane is oriented North/Northwest. It blows all year round but more frequently during the shoulder seasons. It is rarer in winter and almost absent in summer.
Its strength varies from 15 to 25 knots in the spots around Montpellier. When a cloud obscures the sun, the Tramontane weakens and takes off again.

The “mistral”

In winter, this northerly wind that crosses the snowy Alps is very cold. We easily lose 8 to 10° from the Tramontane. The Mistral totally clears the sky which becomes blue of Azur. It grows stronger in the Rhone Valley, blowing between 15 and 25 knots on the west of the Camargue, stopping towards Montpellier.
It is stronger on Beauduc and towards Marseille where it can reach and sometimes exceed 40 knots. Like the Tram’ it is rather an offseason wind.

The south-east or sea wind

This offshore wind usually takes 24 hours to settle. It blows from 15 knots to about 30 knots. The sky is overcast, it can rain possibly and the sea is agitated and sometimes disassembled.
The South East blows several days in a row. It is rare in summer and more common in autumn and winter. The air temperature is pleasant and allows to sail even in the middle of winter by sea wind.

learn wind tramontane and mistral

Cartography of the tramontane and the mistral © Météo Languedoc

Where to consult the wind conditions?

Different platforms allow you to see the wind conditions of your favorite spots. Among the best known are the Windy and Windguru platforms.

These platforms are very comprehensive and give you an overview of the trends over the next 10 days.
You can find essential information such as wind strength in knots, minimum and maximum trends, swell, wave period (frequency), etc.

Extract from the Windguru website: Leucate spot

Windguru wind conditions

Extract from the Windy website: Leucate spot

Windy wind conditions