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It sounded like a bunch of other people were heading out to Crissy today, so I decided to join them and get wet there today for a change. As soon as I got off the bridge, Embarcadero was a parking lot as a pro-choice rally/protest was starting. Gotta love City traffic! It was all OK though as everyone who showed up got some riding in chilly North winds averaging between 15-20. The winds were adequate for a 13 or 14, but at times I would have liked to be on a 16. Changing winds and a new season are not too far off, but it's nice here in the Bay Area where you can pretty much kite year-round if you don't mind the cold...
I was ripping and having so much fun for like three hours. I went out about the time Ollie did. I kept going close to the Golden Gate but never went under. Then on my last tack I decided to go for it and then head back to the beach for the day. Well, I got just a bit past the South tower and the wind completly shut off. I went from completly lit to the kite dropping out of the sky. The kite did a flip and my lines tangled. I tried to relaunch and it did relaunch but the lines were crossed so it would not fly right. I tried to head back under the bridge but I hit the wind shadow and it fell out of the sky again. So I was forced to self rescue. I pushed the release on my harness (I have the slingshot system so I can just push the button and release the chicken loop). The leash depowered the kite but the waves and current were pushing me into the rocks. I manageged to grab the rocks and the kite was in a good position to rescue it until this massive wave like two times over my head smashed me off the rock and into the water. Scary, scary Sh$7. At this point I released the leash. Thank god for slingshot making a quick release on the leash. At this point I had my board with me but I was in between rocks in the water and the waves kept coming and sucking me in and out of the rocks. I did panic for a few seconds but then kept my calm. I tried to use the waves to get closer and closer to shore. Each wave moved me further and further. I climbed out of the water and walked around to get my kite. The leading edge was split open and the entire baldder was strung all over the rocks. It was a loss of a kite but it could have been me. I have never been in a situation where I had to choose between me and the kite. This was defintly one of them. Apart from a few scrapes and a lost kite and bar and lines I am fine. This was definitly a lesson though. Things can go wrong in a second and you have to know your limits. I have never gone under the bridge and I should not have tried yesterday. I am going to do a big write up for the site as well. Just wanted to fill you in.
Man, I'm glad to hear that you're OK. The gear can always be replaced but your well-being and health are much more important. I ventured close to the South Tower and realized I had better turn around before I got under the bridge because the wind definitely started to feel very iffy. Chances are you probably didn't even go much farther out than I did and you got caught in a major lull and absence of wind. Glad you're OK though - the tide could have been a serious factor as well and it was cold.
After thinking about it more today I think I know what went wrong like you are saying. The wind was tottally blocked by the leg of the bridge. I just thought because the area was so huge the wind would keep up. I don't ride Crissy very often but I definitly learned my lesson this time. Next time I am for sure going to stay close to the beach. I am also going to order a radio transciever for kiting there. Better safe then sorry.
of all the places in the world ive ever kited, crissy is by far the most sketch,
gusty gusty wind (but manageable with experience and if you get out in the water quick enough)
but man kiting at crissy isnt exactly kiting, its more like sailing. only do the tricks youre sure youll nail, and so on.
Ya I for sure have a different take on Crissy. It is more like extream kiting there. I consider myself an advanced kiter but at Crissy you need to be advanced and still use extreme caution. I will probabaly kite there again but I will be so careful. You always have to get back on that horse again.