Where Are Windsocks Used and Why?

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In its physical structure, a windsock is hardly complicated. The windsock itself comprises a textile tube that, as becomes especially clear as the wind passes through it, is cone-shaped. It also loosely resembles a sock, which helps to explain the term “windsock”.

However, precisely where and why windsocks are used is a much more complex subject. Each windsock is attached to a pole from which it will billow as it is blown, but in what contexts will a windsock be put into action like this? Here is a rundown of several common uses for windsocks.


One especially well-known purpose of a windsock is in the aviation sector. As wind enters the windsock’s wider end, the wind heads towards the narrow end and so the windsock points in the same direction as that gust. This is useful on airports, airfields, helipads and heliports.

In these contexts, the windsocks can show the wind’s direction and provide an idea of its speed. This information can help aviation pilots more effectively control their planes when landing, gain more lift when taking off and reduce the distance covered during both instances.

Chemical facilities

In the event of an emergency at an oil or gas platform, it is not only the staff but also members of the public – such as residents of nearby properties – who could be at risk.

However, on an oil rig or at a chemical plant, if hazardous gaseous leaks occur, windsocks installed in the area can assist in detecting in which direction the leaks will travel and how quickly. Therefore, the windsocks can help to prevent life-threatening air pollution.

Areas allowing for easier weather forecasting

You might have seen windsocks in mountainous areas as well as on highways and motorways. You could plausibly attribute such sights to the assistance which windsocks can provide meteorologists in forecasting weather conditions.

Windsocks can help weather experts to calculate wind speed – especially if that speed hits 17 miles per hour or higher when the tube will spread open entirely horizontally.

In golf

At Windsocks Direct, we are proud to serve all sectors with our provision of professionally-made windsocks. Those sectors include military and health and safety, as well as the sectors previously mentioned – and the useful application of windsocks can even extend to golf courses.

As a golfer readies their shot, it can be helpful for them to see a fitted windsock which they can use in assessing the wind’s direction and speed. After all, both of these factors could ultimately affect the precision of the shot.

If you are interested in learning more about how windsocks might be used and which types of windsock would be suited to particular purposes, please give us a call on 020 8798 3131.

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