“Got kitesurfing on the mind, mixed with some search & classification tech, and a dab of political ranting”

Kitesurfing in the Delta

Posted by direwolff on May 15, 2005

Finally, the season is upon us. I awoke yesterday to see SF engulfed in morning fog, while also being aware that the previous day, the Central Valley of California had hit 90 degrees. In kiteboarder terms, that spells thermal winds in the Delta, and Sherman Island is the place to be.

After dilly-dallying for a few hours after waking, I finally got my butt in the car and made it to Sherman Island out by Rio Vista, by 11:30am. I had already missed the dawn patrol riding, and got there just in time for the midday lull. However, yesterday that meant winds blowing in 15 to 20 mph which is perfect conditions for a 13 meter kite. That exhilirating feeling of being one with the water and wind, with the tide swells that force little jumps, was amazing. After each reach, you could set-up for the perfect launch, where I was easily reaching heights of 10 to 25 feet. These brought a certain freedom from the ties that bind us, from gravity, from all things terrestrial. It's so hard to put these feelings into meaningful words because the experience is so "in the moment". It's a feeling that I'd love for every one to experience as it changes your perspectives on what's possible. Nothing makes you feel so alive than soaring through the air in 20 mph wind.

Earlier in the morning, my buddy Ken that I met while in Costa Rica, called to see where I was riding. He had never been to Sherman Island so I convinced him to go for it. We met there. It only took him two reaches to get that wide grin that all kitesurfers get when passing each other in perfect conditions, that "you're the only person who can understand what I'm going through right now" grin. He had one those zombie-like born-again Christian smiles affixed to his face the rest of the afternoon.

I spent nearly 1.5 hr riding with a hurt foot, but couldn't help throwing the big air tricks any way. No pain, no glory, as they say.
Took an hour break between sessions, then went back out for another hour. But the pain at this point had me dead to rights within the first 15 mins of the 2nd session. Still I felt a need to "man-up" (though as my girlfriend keeps proving to me when we go road biking, "womening-up" means leaving "man-up" in the dust ;-), and ride through the pain, as days like this one are not to be taken for granted. Managed to keep riding for another hour. Ended the sessions having landed at least half of all my tricks, which put one of those stupid drug induced glazed looks on my face, though the only drug I had consumed was the one provided by Mother Nature's elements. All I can say is that an endorfin buzz is pretty powerful and pretty good :-) Guess it goes with being a kitesurfing addict :-)


One Response to “Kitesurfing in the Delta”

  1. Donnie Pullins said

    I moved here about 4 years ago from San Diego. I bought a kite and board about two months before I moved from there. I never knew there was such a good place to kitesurf so close to Sacramento. I’ve only been up on my board 4-5 times. I want to get out on it. I don’t like the idea of going by myself w/ the lack of experience I have. If there is any time that you go out there and ride let me know. I’d love to go.


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