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Yeah Adam's rule is true - I also started at Alameda and ultimately became frustrated by the lack of wind. Having said that, it does sometimes get decent wind early in the season (March/April), but usually by May/June it shuts down. This is from ikite's site information for Alameda:
"Since Alameda is not in the main wind pathway, it rarely gets strong summer wind but it does get swell from the main bay. Still, there are some days when Alameda gets strong winds during the summer -- look for deep fog over San Francisco and reports of high wind at the Altamont Pass."
Other than the forecast, one of the big frustrations is also the inaccuracy of the wind readings - it's very hard to tell what's really happening remotely - but I do agree that boardsport's facebook/twitter feed is helpful onsite information.
In terms of forecasts - ikitesurf does tend to miss badly on Alameda - I sometimes look at the NOAA website (forecast.weather.gov), where you can get custom forecast for any point in the bay, on water or land. Its not better or worse, just different.
This is some useful information I got awhile back from the late Don Bogardus, Alameda local and longtime instructor:
"Ikitesurf sensor is on west side of marina, and the readings are not reliable as to if it is worth the drive unless it it is SW WSW or WNW, and at least an average of 14. In addition, if wind is up and down, its a tough call. In general, SSW is usually very poor conditions, unless it is a hard ebb at the same time. Temperature is also worth observing, 54 to 63 seems to hold best winds. Watch sensor for smooth increase of SW to WSW @ approx 1 or 2 pm. Alameda is biggest crap shot in bay of the popular spots, but probably the least consequences if it shut down suddenly!."
What everyone else said...Alameda sits in a wind shadow - forecasting there is nearly impossible....when it's a BIG Marine push, or big clearing/storm winds are the only times it may work, but you will still get hosed more then score.
Get sum, Z
This has been an abnormal year though for most of the bay (and CA) b/c of El Nino. I live in Marin and can only count the "true" summer days on one hand and it is June 30. I'm talking cold and windy, just how we like it.
At this point last year I had at about 30 sessions logged here. If it isn't cold and windy here, it sure won't be in Alameda.
Alameda has wind?
iKite is great for the wind meters -- don't read any forecast on there, just look at the meters or the NWS prediction line (which is fairly accurate).
Another tip: In Spring, if there are high cirrus clouds (with subtle ice rainbows at the edges) over Alameda the next day or two will be SUPER windy. This rule has never failed me.
Also be aware, Sherman is now having the worst Spring/Summer of wind in like 10 years (or as long as the old-school kiters can remember). I figure this means wind all over is weird, and Alameda may have been really bad this year so don't use an example this year as a gauge.
˙pǝʇɹǝʌuı ǝq ʇɥƃıɯ noʎ 'sıɥʇ pɐǝɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı
what the hell today at Alameda I couldn't stay up wind for my life? Onshore but I had a big board. there were 3 guys that stayed upwind but I think they had big kites or something
they had big boards and probably spent some time working their way out to the wind line. it was frustrating seeing wind and not being able to kite in it. Typical Alameda as noted by all. Too bad there isnt beachfront porperty at 3rd ave.
There is a old trick I have to share with you all.. if you stand with your back to the wind and point your left hand in front of you. that is where the low will be.. at that time, and place. today if you did this here in Alameda you would have been standing with your back to the water as the wind was onshore this would put the low to the North.
Back in the 80's when Max was young " Oh ya!! I was young back then and I used to race with Robby Naish, Pete Cabrinha, and many other wind junkies..They would always ask me what size sail to rig. mostly because of my record did not show to many DNF ? now I could not lie to them but I knew if I gave away my bag of tricks I would be looking at there Butts at the downwind mark. so I would tell them well the low is over there and I don't have a skateboard so your guess is as good as mine???
People always ask me here at Shellgate?? Max how come you never end up downwind and when almost everyone is doing the walk of shame. " now you know..one more thing I might add is if you follow the buddy system and have a bro in the area they can just walk outside and tell you where the low is then you will save yourself alot of time to get where the wind is the best.
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