Oh my! Am I completely off track? I have never consulted an anemometer, wind forecast, bulletin, or, as I have seen some people do while at the beach, any web-based instant-wind-speed gadget of sorts. I go to the beach, look and pick a sail and a board accordingly ... and never really go wrong. I have my reference points in terms of water conditions, wind lines (as Floyd mentions the wind here can be very different from the wind there, half a mile offshore), and overcast conditions and they work pretty well.
Back to the original question, what I think happens often is that people inflate wind-speed. You hear tales of 50 knots wind (e.g. one of the last PWA events) when overall conditions seem very far from "uprooting trees and not being able to walk". Maybe people do not realize how strong a gale is "just" 30 knots!!!
Last edited by davide; 5th July 2011 at 07:07 AM.