Hand-held wind gauges

Does anyone have/use one of these to keep track of actual conditions on the water? Or is this just a spendy gadget that’ll end up in a drawer once the novelty wears off?

If you have one, what brand, model and features? Likes? Dislikes?


– Last Updated: Nov-29-06 6:13 PM EST –

a spendy gadget that'll end up in a drawer once the novelty wears off.

Years ago I had one of the plastic ones that had a ball that would go up and down.

In a kayak it is easy to judge the wind.. go or no go. It's easy to judge the wind where you are, what you want to know is what it will be doing when you get to where you want to go. A handheld won't do that.

Your buddies will hate you if you keep calling out the wind.. like the paddler with a GPS that keeps calling out his speed...

Problem I quickly found was most of the time if I really wanted to know how windy it was it was too rough for me to feel comfortable taking a hand off the paddle and fishing the thing out and holding it up for any length of time to find out.

So, yes, it stays home now.


Wind gage. Why?

Isn’t it either too windy to paddle or not too windy to paddle just by looking?

I have used many hand held wind gages. Non of them for paddling. Used in jobs for missile flight testing and destructive testing with explosives. Used them for sailing. All worked well enough. Accuracy was never an issue. All were simple to use.

When used for sailing novelty did wear off quite soon and it did end up in a forgotten drawer. Do not remember any of the brand names or models.



Professional Liability

– Last Updated: Nov-29-06 7:41 PM EST –

I think some people use them to make sure conditions are not above the abilities of the boat in question for commercial operations. Have never seen one used otherwise.

In Scotland we were going to visit some old ruins and the National Trust runs a small launch out to the Island, it was a bit windy, and I noticed the crew had to record and report the wind before we left the dock. My wife was unimpressed when I told her it looked like we were right on the cusp of a small craft warning .... it was a fantastic place to visit, glad they did not call it on account of wind.

Besides you sound much saltier and impressive if you say " the winds were holding force 6 and we just decided to give it up. " Instead of knowing they were really 18.3 kts.

Toys, IMHO
even though I have a Dwyer guage (the plastic $25 variety).

Fun to play with, but not absolutely needed.


You can find some pricey ones at STP on a discount… Duct tape it to your head so you can paddle hands free! :slight_smile: and then mount a mirror on your bow of your kayak so you can read it (backwards)…


Copy this
Laminate it, and keep it with your navigation maps. It’s cheaper.


Seen in used by some serious paddlers
Use them, know that serious expedidioners use it, plus a barometer, and knowledge of clouds and the loca area to predict the weather when they are out of range of Noaa.

Not a must for me, but then again, any mariner might like to keep a more accurate log book.

Beaufort scale oh yes! but the wind on the water will be quite different fron that flag flying on the staff atop the nearby cliff.

i dont own one but
i would like to have one of the digital ones with the little propeller (speedtech)…they appear at the sailing club on windy days. interesting how much difference there is in the effects of the wind as the speed goes over 20 kph. 20 is the usual upper end for sailing regattas here (dinghy and small boat racing)

Did you check the link?
The Beaufort Scale that NOAA published has reference to water and land. It’s pretty specific. I like techno-toys myself and have a gust registering anemometer for my house. I live in an area that gets very high winds in the winter and I just like to know. That said, I prefer to be able to judge without instruments when necessary. It’s like not throwing out the compass because of the GPS.

I bought one through STP
a couple of months ago. The kind with the “propeller” and digital readout, not too expensive (maybe $30?). I like to test myself on estimating wind speed; I never really planned on using it while on the water.

Well, Christmas is coming…
I have had a Davis weather station at the house for over 15 years, but the anemometer died a long time ago. So even if the novelty on the water wears off, I’ll use a Speedtech or Kestrel handheld somewhere. Maybe Santa is listening.

maybe Santa will give you
a photocopy of the Beaufort scale

A valid use
I bought one for my employee who does refrigeration work at our place of business. We use it for balancing discharges through plenum ducting in commercial banana ripening rooms and such.


The best use I found
for the one I was given a couple of years ago was learning how to estimate wind speed more accurately. When I started using it I found I had been consistently guessing way high. (Reading some of the accounts on this board I sometimes suspect I’m not the only one.)

i bet sir francis

– Last Updated: Nov-30-06 8:03 PM EST –

he would have loved to have a speedteck. me too! santa are you listening?

I’ve been guessing at what the wind speed is and have come to be pretty good at it. After I get back home I check the historical weather data the next day on NOAA site. It’s become more of a game to see if I’m right or wrong.

However, the wind speed indicator would be fun but as some have said, how are you going to stop paddling in high winds (the only kind worth investigating) to use this gadget.

OK, i admit it, i’ve got one
its a cheapie, the Brunton Wind ADC. I have used it frequently and the main function I use is the 24 hour temp display…we’ve used the wind speed indicator to help decide which sail to rig on the sailboard, dipped it into the river to see how fast it was running, used the timer/chronograph…but the temperature feature lets me know how cold it got each night. We used it extensively on the Rae Lakes Loop in Kings Canyon this summer. Its a good product with awesome battery life…and its waterproof, light enough (but not light enough for real backpacking)…

Guess I cheat…
We have a NOAA weather buoy just offshore and can access it on the computer. It gives present and historical conditions.

When I get the hell beat out of me I come home and see what the wind was, then I know better the next time I go out.