Information about San Francisco Bay Area kiteboarding locations and guidelines.
To be CLEAR about where the down wind beach at Marina Bay is: It is southeast of main launch, and anybody who is not already familiar with the spot should WALK the bike trail down and onto that beach, preferably at low tide, and learn the topography and hazards.I have sailed that spot for several years, and most of the time alone.I agree, anybody who wants to learn to sail here should do it with another kiter, one who has experience at this spot.I have had success (and unsuccessful launches off grass and "beach"), and ether way there is risk, but if one uses good judgement, and does not launch over park users,(which are almost never present on grass on strong windy days), MY OPINION IS: launching off the grass gives you time to react if something does goes wrong, the beach does not, also the kite crosses the bike trail if things go wrong on beach launches anyway, on the grass it does not.On the issue of getting lofted walking over the hill or to the marina side launch: RIG SMALLER!!.If you have trouble keeping feet on the ground most of the time, then the first dive of the kite, along with the associated increase in aparent wind speed will have you not being able to keep your board on the water enough to have a fun session anyway!.And one last thing, if you and a buddy show up, one of you WILL launch himself, learning to do this safely is a valuable skill.Marina Bay, and all other spots have their hazards, but with spot parameter UNDERSTANDING, and safe practise, serious accidents can be avoided!.Gentlemen, pump your KITES and let the season begin!!!.
you have a point about the grass, haveing more room,but (dose that give us rights over the grass?)
i also feel that all kiters should be able to self luanch and land there kites.
i do not have a clue as too the southeast beach? but i have been blow down wind into the north east beach,were i have also reluanched from.or rolledup and walked back to my car,
i would like to say to everyone
IF YOU GET BLOWN DOWN WIND DO NOT WALK YOUR KITE UP IN THE AIR OVER THE STEEL FENCH OR THE HOUSES, LAND IT AND ROLL UP.
are seaon never stopped.
I think Charlie is pointing out that your downwind beach is not to the south at all (look at Google maps). It is almost due east (and slightly to the north). A lot of people get confused about which way is due north in the bay.
Also, I agree that launching in that park is not a good idea. If you are worried about problems with your launch then doing one at the park where you are more in the midst of the public is just inviting trouble.
Launching in the park in order to save your equipment from a faulty launch might save you from having to deal with the rocks but means more likely interaction with a bystander.
I'd rather deal with a ripped kite than a lawsuit, or being the one who gets kitesurfing banned from Marina Bay, anyday!
It's actually kinda funny to think about someone from someplace tropical with lots of big wide beaches and warm water reading the launch descriptions of any of our best spots in the Bay Area. They probably all sound hellish in comparison.
I think Ollie, or whoever wrote these, did a good job focusing on the downside risks.
Sander; I stand corrected about direction of downwind beach, as i did not research it on google.My intention on this posting is to share my experience, and add to whatever data is already avalable on this spot, so EXPERIENCED kiters who may choose to try this spot have a better chance of not screwing it up for those of us who greatly enjoy sailing this here!. Launching from the beach very often has fishermen, small children, and bicycles, jogger/walkers DIRECTLY under where you must launch kite, i PERSONALLY would rather have positive control of my kite at 1:00 to get past the people, or if beach area is too busy, enter water from park into the inside marina beach. IF the beach and bike trail is clear, AND you have someone to launch you, then its only your ass on the line!, but if someone gets drugg on their face over the rocks, cash strapped Richmond will certainly shut us down!.There is no one perfect answer for launching at this spot, and it is far from being the most dangerous, but no one should take sailing here lightly, as it can be challenging at times, and beginners should NOT try this spot!.
Was there yesterday by myself. Nobody in the parking lot and nobody on the water except the Richmond YC Laser fleet. The wind was like a fan blowing 18-22 and of course some rain. But frankly was better than many days I have had there "in season" and now prefer it as a southern storm location over Alameda. I launched from the beach inside the marina jetty by walking up and over the hill after launching my kite from the grass. It was a bit tricky to get back to that beach as you have to sail upwind but just took some patience.
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