Am I ready to make the switch from Alameda to 3rd?

San Francisco Bay Area kiteboarding lessons, learning and support.

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Re: Am I ready to make the switch from Alameda to 3rd?

Postby 1618to1 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:45 pm

Here are some thoughts from someone who has gone through this learning curve recently:

I suggest leaving your gear at home one day and sitting on the rocks upwind of the main launch to watch how the traffic flows going in and out. You'll get a sense of the appropriate amount of space to leave others on the way in and out, what to do when you are coming in, etc.

Then, walk down to the lower beach and learn how to land there. Landing at the lower beach is a good place to start and you should be prepared to do so in case you can't stay upwind or if coming into the narrow launch is too intimidating. A mistake I made the first time landing at the lower beach was getting too close and landing in the brush above the beach. You're used to landing on a beach so you should be fine, however, there is a wind shadow there to be aware of.

When launching for the first time, get a hold down from someone experienced. The main value of this is getting someone to help you learn the traffic protocols and to keep an eye out for you. There are a lot of opportunities for mistakes and it's easy to forget some of the basics when so much is happening (did you remember to pull your depower strap, are you not flying the kite at 12, did you leave your board at the beach so you can focus on your kite while walking out, etc.). Don't just get anyone, ask around for someone experienced. People are really nice and helpful.

When landing at the upper beach for the first time, try to do it on a weekday so you don't have to deal with high traffic.
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