Local weather resources and topics.
Hi, beginner here:
Just got a trainer kite after taking the 'Master the Trainer Kite' course at BoardSports, Alameda (waste of $$ IMO). We had good winds during the lesson, but I went back there yesterday and could barely get the kite up.
What speed wind would be good to learn with (min, max), and what are some good locations in the bay area for this? I'm in Berkeley and am flying a 2m Slingshot B-two 2-line foil kite. Don't need to be by any water, just open area and good wind.
Also, they said they pulled their lines back on the kites we learned with to 10m if I recall, and I think they come 20m. Does this make things easier or what do you guys recommend?
Since you're in Berkeley, Cesar Chavez park is the best place to fly a trainer kite. Go all the way down University Ave. past Sea Breeze market and take a right at the for in the road and go down to the park. Wide open grass spaces and usually good wind.
http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDis ... x?id=12102
BayAreaKite: I just got back from the Cesar Chavez park after your recommendation. I didn't particularly feel this was a great area, but I'm new so what do I know. Perhaps I was in the wrong area or just don't know some of the tricks to make it a great spot. Here's what I thought:
The grassy areas were very hilly, therefore I had trouble doing a few of the exercises such as running with the kite.
The wind was also pretty random and seemed to change very frequently. I'd be steadily flying at 12 o'clock and then the right side of my kite would lull and it'd collapse on itself and fall. I've never had that experience before--I assumed it was due to the wind, but perhaps could be the new kite I'm flying. I also found it difficult to use the 20m lines that came with my rig. Should I tie them back or shorten them somehow?
The flat areas I did find were in pretty bad terrain. I had trouble just walking through it without tripping, let alone trying to fly a kite in it.
Another problem I had was that there wasn't much sand, so I had difficulty self-launching. I was wondering if you guys knew of a better way. I used some small rocks, but that didn't work very well.
BayAreaKite: I do appreciate your recommendation, and I'm not trying to sound disrespectful. The winds were great and it was a nice area I haven't been to before.
Hey logic - i wouldn't overthink the location for a trainer. find a windy parking lot, school, or any neighborhood park and that's all you need. That Slingshot B2 can be flown in pretty light and heavy winds, it has good range. Keep the 20m lines. For self launching, you can prop it up due downwind against a pole or tree, then pull the lines tight and off you go. Don't park it at 12, or anywhere for that matter! practice figure 8s or loops or even small boosts. also, not sure what you mean by running around - you should be standing in one spot (unless you getting towed on a skateboard).
If you fly at the berk marina you are better off either all the way in the back or at the very front where the trail is. The wind really gets fluky if you fly around the mountain top. I used to buggy there al the time and it was always wierd when flying over the backside of the hill or within 500' of the backside.
Last edited by windhorny on Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
jbirdmarin: Thanks for your input. Great stuff there. I park it at 12 to practice sitting down while flying the kite with one hand. My instructor told me this was how you'd have it when you need to put the board on to your feet. Also, I watched the 6-minute DVD that was included with my kite, and they recommend that you run with the kite to understand how the wind dynamics change while you're moving in the water.
I really like Crown Beach in Alameda. Looking at the live weather conditions here: http://onshakyground.com
It shows the average wind speed is 2.1mph right now with a max of around 6mph. I don't really have any concept of what this means, but I think I've read 15-20 is considered pretty dang good for actual kiting, so relative to that this seems like nothing.
Anyone know what speeds I should be looking for?
I like the beach, but any open area with not too many people will do, so at least I can bring some chicks to make sure I don't fly away.
If you are willing to drive further ocean beach in San Francisco will be your ideal post. Lots of space, sand, good consistent wind. Crown beach has little space near the water on the sand, and if there is wind there are kiteboarders there anyway that need that space. The grass area in crown beach is behind trees and the wind is very turbulent because of that. Crown beach also has poor wind statistics, when the wind in Berkeley blows good it can be near dead in Alameda. So don’t go there unless you have real time reading of the wind before you leave, the odds are against you.
I used to fly power kites before kiteboarding, so I am pretty familiar with all the spots. When it comes to power kites, Ocean Beach is in a class of its own. It is maybe little further, but you sound little frustrated, and the smile you will have when you are back from OB will stay on your face for a long time. Treat yourself for a fun day, it will be worth it. Having said that, you can get skunked in any beach, so check the wind before you leave.
elli: Thanks for the advice, I'll check both spots out.
Also, today (yesterday) I went back to Cesar Chavez park and gave it another chance. The experience was much better and I found a decent spot to fly. It was right at the entrance, behind the hills, but it seemed to be blowing pretty good. It didn't give me too much trouble until later when it became very inconsistent and my incredible back-peddling speed couldn't even keep it up.
The ground was still pretty shitty with tons of small holes everywhere, but there was random mounts of dry dirt I was able to use like sand to put on the trailing edge to self launch, tho this didn't work very well here for some reason. I tried launching using a tree and a post, but I had trouble with that. I ended up not using anything at all and just lied it on its back after kinda tucking the front lip down.
Thanks for all your recommendations. I was only out today for about 2 hours, and half of that time was on the ground trying to launch, but I already feel like I've mastered the trainer kite. I could easily do figure 8's anywhere in the sky, and had some kicks dive bombing the kite down to the ground at some of the joggers only to swoop it up before it hit the ground (or them).
I'm gonna go searching for some other spots in the area and I'll post back my results.
" and had some kicks dive bombing the kite down to the ground at some of the joggers only to swoop it up before it hit the ground (or them). "
oh great, you are going to make a wonderful kitesurfer!
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