The ability to obtain sea surface wind speeds from HF sky wave radar backscatter spectra is important if such a radar is to make a meaningful contribution to a meteorological or oceanographic observation network. Since the radar measures wave parameters only, wind vectors must be inferred from the wave measurements in the light of what knowledge we have concerning the processes of wave generation. Previous attempts to extract wind speeds have proved unsatisfactory for a variety of reasons. We present here a new technique to enable such a derivation, which uses sea state parameters obtained with an appropriate inversion technique, together with relevant empirical/theoretical relationships on the growth of a wind-generated sea. The procedure is illustrated with a Doppler spectrum obtained during the JASIN experiment, and some comparisons made with other JASIN surface data.