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The shack launch was a zoo yesterday, except that at a zoo they keep all the wild stuff in cages. I'm wondering if it would be better to have a "system" of lanes in place, where people stack kites and wind out their lines in parallel fashion. Like cars in a parking lot, or lanes on a freeway. When one kite launches, the next kiter takes that freed up lane. This would be a machine of beauty, people would take youtube videos and travel across the world just to see it.
The way the launch is now, you get N spaces to set up kites, and the disorganization takes time. I think that N won't be smaller if there's a parallel lane system, and it will be more efficient because any of the N will be able to launch at any time, whereas with the way it works now, there's often an order of dependency in how kites can launch (i.e. N must wait for N-1).
Two big hurdles: 1) it needs a drill sgt to enforce it, and 2) people need to buy into it or 1 will start shooting people, perhaps him/herself. So maybe the answer is just shellgate and/or don't go on a Sunday, but I'm wondering if something like this has ever been brought up before, or has been put in place at any other kite spot.
Alameda will always be a zoo when the wind gods bless its shores. You can expect a general lack of order due to: a lot of newbies, a lot of visitors that are experienced but unaware of the rules posted at the shack, a limited area of the designated launching zone.
I'm sure I could repeat all these rules that are meant to do exactly as you would like to be seen, but the only people that will read this are those that know them already.
Shellgate is your best bet if you can stay upwind or don't mind a self rescue/self landing with a walk of shame.
You should have seen the madness at Toll Plaza with a 10 foot beach to rig onto, but it seemed to work out fine.
It's a great idea--surely, things could be more orderly in the launch zone, instead of "may the guy with the sharpest elbows win." But, as noted, it would take a massive re-education campaign and constant vigilance even to get to the point where *most* folks arriving are getting with the program.
Sherman is different: 1 way to get in and 1 way to get out. Also, there are no shack or tall trees to kill the wind, just a few bushes so you can walk with your kite in the air to the landing zone.
ALSO, the way sherman is set up: people rig their lines the same direction as they launch/land, where alameda you don't have room for it, as a result (because the lines are rigged downwind instead of sideways) lines end up being crossed all the time between people landing and people rigging up.
But really: Alameda only have one tiny space to launch and land at the same time. It's fine if it's low tide as you can stand away from the shack with your kite up and wait for some opening to land your kite, but at really high tide it's hard to do so.
I REALLY think alameda would be less of a zoo if people where not tacking and busting their moves right in front of the shack.
If the front of the shack was just a landing/launching zone and people who are not landing could stay 200 yards away that would work a lot better. People going out would go downwind at first on their first tack and then once out could make their way upwind.
People coming in would just come from an upwind position.
People who can't stay upwind: do like we did, pay your due, get down the beach, pull your safety, wrap up your lines and DON'T WALK up all the beach with your kite in the air.
Kites: 2014 F-One Bandit VII: 12m, 10m and 8m. All pink/blue.
Board: 2014 F-One Spicy & 5'6 Fish.
Harness: Manera Exoharness.
Wetsuit: Underwave Sultan shortleg 4/3.
Several of us have taken turns at Sherman "marshalling" the launch, but ultimately the suggestions don't stick and the frustration is not worth the stress....
At a minimum, stack your kites and wrap your lines when you are done at any location.....
Benicia Kite and Paddle Sports
238 1st Street
Benicia, CA 94510
Wainman - Cabrinha - Shinn - Underwave - Hyperflex
Yes Alameda was a zoo yesterday. Two things that people need to do is to:
There were so many kites left there without anyone, not cool.
As far as launching, anyone running their lines should have their wetsuit and harness on, board by the beach and ready to go. No f****** around going back to the car or anything like that.
I was impressed by the number of kites ending up in the trees or on the road almost yesterday.
DONT LAND BEHIND THE SHACK, THERE IS A WIND SHADOW, HUH, and your kite will end up on the road, unless someone can catch it, you know who you are lucky boy.
I saw a lot of semi-experienced riders launch thier friends who happen to be total newbies and things went wrong. I dont get this. The lauch is sketchy so why take any risks on these type of days? Launch yourself and pass on the kite in water away from others.
Yup, A-town was a zoo...
There is a map of the launch/land zones/etiquette on the side of the shack. It lays out suggestions for keeping order in the launch zone in Alameda.
This fall the beach will get a major sand replenishment that should help give us our old large launch area back! Until then, it does help if the community makes an effort to follow local guidelines to keep the small launch area clear
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Alameda - San Mateo - SF
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