On water

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


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.

Additional Information

Clubs, Opportunities, Disability Access

Taking a RYA recognised course would be highly recommended to learn the basics of the sport in a safe environment. Contact RYA Northern Ireland to find your nearest sailing club or sailing school offering beginners courses in kite and or wind surfing .

A new and exciting method of teaching using modern, wide, stable boards has enabled the skills of windsurfing to be  acquired more easily. is your definitive guide to kitesurfing Northern Ireland.

If you are interested in trying the sport check out

Care for our Coast

Surfing with rafting and high water roosting birds

As well as kite and wind surfers overwintering birds also use this same part of the Lough. The birds are mostly “overwintering” and are either feeding, rafting on the sea or where there are islands large concentrations of birds roosting at high water. These birds tend to arrive in October each year leaving the following March.  

Please be aware of the birds sharing this environment Avoidance of large rafts of birds or sailing  towards these would be good practice. Safe distance from the high-water roosts is essential to avoid disturbance to the birds.

There can be important eel-grass beds growing on the intertidal shores, avoid walking over or dragging equipment over these beds and any other sensitive habitats.

A report was commissioned by Sport NI on the impact of recreational activities on bird life at the North end of Strangford interim report- the preliminary findings suggest that kite surfing does not present a threat to overwintering birds at the North end on Strangford Lough.  Once published the document will be added.