Water type: Ocean
Water conditions: Waves
Beach conditions: Sand
(Be safe and never kite Offshore)
To kite Lyall Bay you must be able to competently kite up wind, be able to comfortably hop waves (practice on Waikanae), and have strong spatial awareness of your kite at all times (even if you are underwater) – this is not to be taken lightly, we are a target for being banned on this beach.
Lyall Bay is a long (narrow) sandy bay located next to Wellington’s airport and faces the Cook Strait. Picks-up a lot of southerly swell and the waves can get quite powerful with an onshore beach break. Combination of heavy waves, gusty onshore winds, windsurfers, proximity to the road (and buildings on the beach) make it unsuitable for any but extremely experienced riders. It is often neccessary to have to jump over breaking waves in order to sail out. Upwind sailing, and jumping and jibing are neccessary skills for sailing at Lyall. If you cannot confidently perform all of these skills, when it is blowing a southerly, please sail at Petone which is more suitable for beginners/intermediate kitesurfers.
The word: Awesome spot, can get massive waves!
We’re allowed to kite Lyall Bay only because of an agreement between representatives of the Kiting community and the Airport. Sailing is restricted to the west side of the bay, they have asked us to respect the no fly zone pictured below. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES are you to cross further than Tirangi Road and it’s recommended no further than Kingsford Smith St (Accountants Building).
The only place to set-up, launch and land in Lyall bay is at the far west end/corner of the beach, in front of the toilet block, where the windsurfers also rig and launch from. This the most upwind point in the bay. Launching anywhere east of the lifesaving club buildings is not advisable as it is almost impossible to sail upwind through the shorebreak here. Please do NOT attempt to launch down at the east end of the beach by the airport.
Have a look on the map for the area where you can launch your kite and the kite zone on the water!