Post general kiteboarding discussion topics here!
Ok, so some of you might as well start making popcorn now but here goes...
For those of you who may be new to the sport, or new to the coast, I feel like a refresher of the guidelines are in order. Saturday's session reminded me that it might be time!
1. If you are just mowing the lawn or running straight in to the beach and then straight back out...STAY OUT OF THE SURF LINEUP. There is a mile of beach with little peaks that you can play on downwind. The wave zone is located straight off shore and upwind from the launch area. Riders that are in the wave rotation will enter the lineup upwind a little from the launch area and then proceed to rip the $hit out of the waves as they ride down the line/down wind before heading back out and then tack upwind to the top of the lineup again. There is a rotation and if you throw a wrench in it by just riding straight in and out through the surf zone, you will not make friends.
2. Yes, it is right in front of the launch zone, so... If you are rigged up and ready to go out, or you lost your $hit while riding a wave, be aware of the riders working their way down the line. They have priority. As a rider comes down the line, fly your kite over the beach and keep it as low as safely possible so the rider on the wave has room to send their kite back and forth as they make their bottom turn. When the waves are small and close to shore their kites may actually swing around over the beach. They are looking at the wave ahead and lining up for their next turn and are not necessarily looking out for you. It's your job to stay out of the way as much as possible. Once there is a break in the action, get on your board and get out of the wave area quickly. Sometimes you may have to wait for several minutes, deal with it. Another rider is already lining up for some tasty waves and will be bummed if you are in the way.
3. Generally, the waves in front of the beach and upwind are rights. If you are coming from downwind and trying to hook into a left, be aware that the rider on the right peak is actually on the wave and has priority. There are plenty of peaks that go left slightly downwind of the main wave area.
4. If you want to get into the wave rotation, watch the riders that are working the waves and follow their lead. Once you figure out how the rotation works it's is more fun for everyone and you will be able to get waves. If you continually buck the rotation, you will not make friends, and no one will make an effort to give you waves.
5. In the wave zone, the rider on the wave, or riding inbound, looking for a peak has priority. They are searching for a wave and trying to line on a peak. If you are heading back out bear off a little and give ROW. It won't cost you much ground but forcing ROW may cause a rider to miss a wave. This will not make friends.
During small summer conditons these rules are even more important because the waves are close to shore and there are fewer of them so riders are even more bummed to miss a good one. Also, during the winter or big swells, Mother Nature tends to regulate the situation.
Franky, I don't care if you are on a surfboard, twintip or a surf mat, please be considerate of how things work and try to imagine how YOU would feel if you had just lined up on a wave and some other rider caused you to give up your line....now imagine that happening over and over and over and over..... There is a reason the locals get a little frustrated!! (I'm talking specifically to you, rider in red shorts and a twintip, on Sat. I had to give up wave after wave because you insisted on mowing the lawn in the lineup)
In general, the locals are not mean and no one will tell you that you can't/shouldn't ride the coast, but be aware that things work a little differently here and you will not make friends by ignoring this.
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We must have rode two different Waddell Creek's yesterday - from your post it sounds like there were sets to follow in and drop in on and people telegraphing such moves to stay clear of.
The Waddell I was at only had shore breaking windswell with no possible way of really knowing who was going to try take what, at any given moment let alone any groundswell sets to follow in.
The good news is the waves weren't any less shitty at our Waddell Creek's launch vs. anywhere else - so all the people I was riding with had to do was spread out, stay out of each other's way, and everyone around me seemed to have a great session.
Where does the surf / spectator / 3rd ave hotshot / rotation zone at your Waddell Creek end so I can be sure to stay way upwind of it?
Nope, yesterday was a crappy day to be sure. Better to get the word out and make people aware of how it works now than on a really good day when tempers can flare.
Crappy or not, the surf rotation still pretty much works the same way. There was a good group of riders who were working the rotation like always. Even if the waves suck, the same guidelines apply. This allows those who want to work the surf zone to do so without worrying so much about weather or not someone is going to blow a wave for them or get tangled up or run over. It's impossible to focus on lining up for a section when you have to keep track of a bunch of other people in the zone. The trade off is that EVERYWHERE else is free and no one will care what you do.
Basically, it's a huge ocean, only one small 100-200 yard section works this way and everywhere else is a free for all fun zone. And no one has to follow these guidelines but you will not make friends if you ignore that this is how it works.
I hear all this talk about how to lay out lines at 3rd, or how to ride Crissy, or launch rules at Alameda, but as soon as someone on the coast has anything to say about the surf we get flack. It is what it is. Period. Good conditions or not, big surf or not. Just some common sense rules so we can all maximize the time we have on the water.
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Is it just me or is the wind just not very good past the creek? (your fun zone on map) thats why i dont go down there no more.
Riding used and closeout kites and boards from e-bay,craigslist,ikitesurf, and local surf shops.
This is the way I look at it and it works well enough for me:
"If you see someone flying a Caution kite and their skills make you say Daaaaammmmnnn... Stay out of their way."
Seems to me that mistakes are tolerated and everyone knows that some waves will be lost to people being in the way, but minimizing that through knowing and respecting the spot's rotation/zones/traditions should keep everyone happy, stoked, and safe.
"A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are built for"