Where to go to practice?

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This forum is for new kiters/beginners to share info and experiences and to get answers to kiting questions. All questions are valid. Please provide proper answers (no sarcasm/joke replies, etc.) as we'd like to avoid any confusion or misinformation.

Re: Where to go to practice?

Postby willgokite707 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:45 pm

i have been riding a longboard and flying a 3.5m trainier kite. http://www.youtube.com/MACENAZGOGAS feel free to give me any pointers. i cant wait to get out on the water for the 2013 seasson. SO STOKED!!

remeber the name GoGas!
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Re: Where to go to practice?

Postby denniskempin » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:27 pm

I am back in the bay area and wanted to hear if anyone is Kitesurfing at Crown Beach in Alameda at this time of year.

The wind statistics on windfinder actually look very well early in the year, much better than in summer and fall. http://www.windfinder.com/windstats/win ... lameda.htm
And the forecast has predicts some days with avg speeds of above 12 kts.

Are there any safety reasons not to kite at this time of year if you have a warm wetsuit? Any dangerous seasonal currents, etc?
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Re: Where to go to practice?

Postby WindMuch » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:00 am

Nope, no reason not to kite at Alameda whenever it's windy! Alameda tends to be rideable on two somewhat different weather situations - NW clearing winds (best in the early Spring) and South storm winds (usually mid-winter).

If you haven't ridden there before and the tide is high, ask someone to point out the cement obstacles just downwind of the "Shack" - the Boardsports shop and school building. If the tide is medium to low, they're obvious.

Another thing to be aware of is people on the beach. When Alameda is temptingly windy (often), you'll get a mix of kiters and people using the beach. If the wind is in this light-ish range, you may end up with your kite falling out of the sky on or near people, dog walkers, kids, etc. Make sure to allow for other users to safely use the beach without being hit by a kite or tangled in lines as an injury to an innocent beach user would be no fun for anyone.

I believe I've read somewhere (maybe on the signs at the Shack?) the recommended practice at Alameda is something like "feet on sand, kite in hand" - meaning that they recommend kiters land their kite in the water and wrap up your lines (self-rescue) instead of trying to land kites on the beach - particularly if you end up down wind and there is no knowledgable kite savvy person to help you land your kite.

More info here:
http://www.bayareakiteboarding.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=816

Enjoy!

Kirk out
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Re: Where to go to practice?

Postby WindMuch » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:12 am

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Re: Where to go to practice?

Postby nick_80044 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:01 am

Lots of good tips from WindMuch (who is eminently qualified to provide such tips). An added thought...

I've kited at Alameda three or four times since the beginning of the year. This time of year, the wind can be *really* fickle. In one session, I was overpowered, then nicely powered, and then my kite dropped in the water and it was 10+ minutes before I was able to relaunch. Fortunately, I was only in chest-deep water but it was C--O--L--D!!

Moral of the story: Make sure you're fully comfortable with relaunching and self-rescue. And I recommend *overdressing* for warmth, just in case. I was fully geared up (wetsuit, impact vest, Hyperflex neoprene jacket, helmet, gloves, booties). I wouldn't want to float around in that water for any length of time in just a westsuit. Even bodydragging is unpleasant.
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Re: Where to go to practice?

Postby ddubwinokur » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:08 am

You are smart to start hitting Alameda now. Alameda is one of the easiest places to learn/practice, especially if you're going to be unaccompanied by an instructor. Alameda wind turns on early - around now - and shuts down early - by summer - so it's good to get your time in there now.

The information that Kirk provided is really good. I HIGHLY recommend that you read the links he included, as well as scour the rest of the site... there really is a lot of info here.

I would double what Kirk said about being careful with other beach users. Crown Point has a TON of other folks walking up and down the beach. Lots of kids, especially on a nice, weekend day. It is absolutely critical to keep your kite and lines away from them. This means maintaining good control of your kite at all times and, if you can't get back to other kiters to land you, self rescuing in the water. Accidents have happened with other beach goers here, and maintaining a good/safe reputation for kiters is really critical for community relations.

As for warmth, I've always been fine at Alameda in a 3/2, but it's been awhile since I've felt the water this early in the season. Over the summer, Alameda is definitely comfortable in a 3/2.

Also, IMHO - the wind at Alameda is often too light to really learn on unless you have a gigantic kite. You really do need some actually power to learn how to go upwind. So really jump in when you see a prediction for a windy day there.

Good luck!
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Re: Where to go to practice?

Postby denniskempin » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:09 pm

Thank you for all the answers, thats a lot of good information for me to process :)

I am very happy to hear that Alameda is good to go! I hope I will be able to get enough practice to be able to hit 3rd or other places by the end of this summer.

Alameda was not very crowdy last fall, but the wind was also pretty much as non existant as beachgoers.
I remember I had a lot of troubles last fall because the wind was extremely low, but I think that somehow made me learn more about kite control. In a pretty frustrating way with my kite sitting on the water many times, but still I learned a lot... especially about re-launch and self-rescue.

It looks like Monday/Tuesday is going to be nice so I will drop by Alameda in the afternoon and see if I can meet other Kiters to introduce me to the beach etiquette.

Thanks again!
- Dennis
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Re: Where to go to practice?

Postby sanjose_kiter » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:52 pm

Forecast is for good wind this Tuesday & Wed Mar-5 & 6.
Gonna try to leave early from work and go kiting ~~~
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Re: Where to go to practice?

Postby beej » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:53 pm

Not a newbie to kiting, but to kiting in SF... What hours does it blow at Alemeda? I'm frequently in the city on business and am trying to find a late afternoon kite spot...

Thanks!
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Re: Where to go to practice?

Postby WindMuch » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:24 pm

If you're in the City in the afternoons, I'd say 3rd Avenue is going to be your 'money' spot. It's probably one of the most predictable and reliable wind spots in the Bay Area.

http://www.bayareakiteboarding.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=832
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