“Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Season!”
Posted by direwolff on March 21, 2007
Not with a whimper, but with a BANG, kitesurfing season really kicked off this weekend. After a week where we were getting teased with light winds during the last three days, things turned for the better on Saturday. We knew something was up when the deep fog came over the Bay and looked to sock us in to the Summer pattern. Two of my kitesurfing crew and I chased the wind a bit by going to a little known spot in San Rafael only to find that the winds were light. Of course, we started cursing a bit given that we had already endured a tough week of jonesing for the winds to pop. At which moment that we checked our pagers only to see the wind pop at Crissy Field. Sure it was foggy and cold, but it was WINDY!!!
We got there in no time flat, pumped up the kites, got into our warmest wet suits, rigged our lines, when all of a sudden, the gods smiled upon us and parted the fog to a beautiful sunny afternoon right at 2:30pm. Amazing. By the time we got underneath the Golden Gate Bridge it was a love fest between us, the winds, and the smooth swells coming into the south tower. At least 10 kiters were out there frolicking under the bridge, throwing high jumps or surfing the swells because of the steady but powerful winds coming through the Gate.
Sunday opened up some even better possibilities with Sherman Island (aka. “Rio”, because it’s near Rio Vista), out by Antioch, proving that the previous afternoon was no fluke. Got out there by 10:30am (late by Sherman Island standards) and had an awesome day riding three sessions ’til my legs were just mush. Definitely have to take it easy at the outset of the season ’til I’m back on the saddle. Generally, the winds at Rio don’t get kicking until the May timeframe. The winds there are very smooth because of the thermal pressure created from the Bay’s cold fog pushing into the warm Sacramento Valley. This all creates a very nice system of smooth and steady winds. This also means that when you throw a big air trick, you can count on where you’re going to end up with your landing. Not always the case at Crissy for example ;) Below are two pics from the Smith father and son crew having a blast (yes, it’s dad doing the big air in the first two shots with son doing some swimming after missing the trick, let’s hear it for us ol’ guys). Needless to say, there were smiles all around :)