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Newcomer to North CA - advice requested from locals
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zpp66



Joined: 02 Apr 1994
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I have to put my two cents in, but this is mostly a rehash:

- Do NOT underestimate your commute. 20 miles can take easy over an hour at rush hour. That being said, if you have a job with some flexibility, you can minimize the effects.

- Consider your work hours and whether you plan/expect/want to windsurf after work or if you are going to be a weekend sailor. If you are going to be a weekend sailor then you have a lot of options. If you want to sail after work be realistic about your options.

- Third Avenue is the most consistent b&j sailing within a reasonable distance of San Jose. Therefore, living somewhere nearby is probably your best bet.

- I lived in SF and commuted to Redwood Shores for 15 years. The benefits for a young single person living in the city are hard to underestimate as well. Although parts of the city have great freeway access, it is still however a long ways to San Jose.

- If you don't mind commuting, want to live in one of the best outdoor locations in the world, and want to get into wave sailing, then as some have pointed out Santa Cruz should be a contender.

- Personally I would not even consider anything in the East Bay. The drive from Berkeley to San Jose is brutal (is there a worse road than 880 anywhere?), and I think the sailing in the Peninsula is a lot better.

Good luck!
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windyjones



Joined: 12 Jun 2010
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

live near 3rd
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steve1



Joined: 30 Apr 1998
Posts: 225
Location: Alameda, CA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I moved out to the SF Bay Area 19 years ago after 15 years of Windsurfing in the UK, Europe and the Canaries. I will reiterate some points and add my own observations:

1) with the exception of rolling surf, the SF Bay offers everything you need and is every bit as good as any coastal windsurfing I ever found in Europe.

2) the East Bay sailing spots, particularly Berkeley and Treasure Island, are consistently under estimated by the SF peninsular sailors. Berkeley has a great windsurfing scene and has both moderate wind and high wind launches. Treasure Island is right in the middle of the Bay Area's biggest wind and the biggest smoothest ramps. There is a pretty dedicated advanced crew sailing it.

3) Iwindsurf is a fantastic resource for where the wind is blowing that has transformed the local windsurfing experience for the better. Watch out for the forecasts though - Berkeley is nearly always forecast lower than it turns out. So "high teens to low 20's" typically results in mid 20's to low 30's. I sailed 4.7 - 5.5 overpowered, 4 days straight at Berkeley this week.

4) The SF Bay Area is full of micro-climates driven by a bank of freezing miserable fog (laughingly called the "marine layer") that moves in and out during the summer months. Typically West = cold and damp and East = sunny and hot. Summers in San Francisco are famously cold and miserable. The eastern side of the SF peninsular is warmer and sunnier. The East Bay (Berkeley - Hayward) is warmer still and the Eastern Side of the Berkeley-Hayward hills (Walnut Creek, Danville, Concord have almost desert climates i.e. 95 - 105 in the summer).

5) Bay Area commuting is a nightmare - period. Having a sailing spot near work can be a good compromise. Commuting to a sailing spot after work almost never works. However there are are a few locations that do have relatively quick reverse commutes.

6) try out a few locations before you commit to one. Ask the local sailors, accept that we will be biased and make your own call.
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hahn2



Joined: 17 Jul 1996
Posts: 25
Location: Menlo Park, CA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steve1 wrote:

2) the East Bay sailing spots, particularly Berkeley and Treasure Island, are consistently under estimated by the SF peninsular sailors.


I don't think you can claim Treasure Island for the East Bay: it's on "our" side of the toll booth Smile Truly an excellent spot, often has wind in Sep & Oct when it's not found elsewhere.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2147

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's still debatable which side of the bay to live in.
I"m an EastBay sailor now. Was a SanFrancisco sailor for 4 years, then a Marin sailor for 10, now EB for the 15th season.
One thing.... I've worked at SanMateo for 3 years, mostly Aug thru Oct. Sailed 3rd maybe 7 days, Coyote 5, when I got off work at 3. I don't think it's nearly as consistent as most of the residents say it is.
The days I didn't sail, I could have with a 7 meter or 6.5, big slalom board, just like Berkeley. And of course, 5 days every 2 weeks, no wind.
S Bay is best in spring.
E Bay is best in summer.
In fall, it's a tossup, as NW winds DO come in, but not that often, while fog does come in, but not as strong as we'd like.
I've been averaging about 120 planing days a year at Berkeley alone, the last 7 years.
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carl



Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2480
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zirtaeb wrote:
One thing.... I've worked at SanMateo for 3 years, mostly Aug thru Oct. Sailed 3rd maybe 7 days, Coyote 5, when I got off work at 3. I don't think it's nearly as consistent as most of the residents say it is.
.
.


Leed, I remember when you worked at California Sailboards in San Mateo.
That was early 1990s, BEFORE internet, Iwindsurf and its wind graphs and forcasts.
Now in 2012 you would see on the IW graph that in a heat wave the wind would go from glassy calm to 18kts suddenly after 4pm, or goto Candlestick.
If you never had a archive graph to look at, you would just drive back home to Berkeley after 3pm if you saw no wind at Coyote or 3rd.
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surfskimd



Joined: 08 May 1997
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in the East East Bay Livermore, and want to echo Carl's comment.
I've lived in the East Bay for 20 years, and although Berkeley is closer to me and I do sail there, particularly on Southwest days when Berkeley and T.I. are the only places going; 3rd avenue far surpasses the sailing experience with huge rollers and chop and much more consistent conditions that only rarely drop suddenly.
Berkeley is famous for suddenly dissappearing without warning, leaving you adrift or not even rigging up. I find I always have to rig a 1/2 sail size larger and sail with a slightly larger board to make up for this fact. Although it can be exceptional at times ( I probably have around 100 days at berkeley, all out of his lordships and sometimes on 30mph days);a fantastic day at 3rd avenue with 6 foot swell and awesome jumps far far surpasses the best that Berkeley can ever produce. My friends who live near Berkeley brag about going out on there 6.5 sails and formula boards; while at the same time; I'm on a 5.0 and small board in the 3rd avenue channel. (I'm 190 pounds).
On southwest days, the peninsula sucks, and Berkeley, TI and sherman are the place to be. I like living in the East Bay as all of these spots are equidistant; but would never tell somebody that the East Bay has better windsurfing than the peninsula.
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landis



Joined: 30 Apr 1998
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I echo sentiment on 3rd ave. there is a ton of used gear to be purchased in the bay area, might be cheaper than shipping. Pay the $99 year for iwindsurf and you will never get skunked. We are a $425 rt flight to Maui, best sailing on the planet. The windsurfing community doesn't have any snobbery like the surf community and there is plenty of room for all. And make sure you sail crissy field for the view
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steve1



Joined: 30 Apr 1998
Posts: 225
Location: Alameda, CA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hahn2 wrote:
steve1 wrote:

2) the East Bay sailing spots, particularly Berkeley and Treasure Island, are consistently under estimated by the SF peninsular sailors.


I don't think you can claim Treasure Island for the East Bay: it's on "our" side of the toll booth Smile Truly an excellent spot, often has wind in Sep & Oct when it's not found elsewhere.


I consider it to be the Eastern edge of the Berkeley wind zone Laughing
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steve1



Joined: 30 Apr 1998
Posts: 225
Location: Alameda, CA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think its important to explain to the OP that there are 2 very different sailing zones at Berkeley - separated by the infamous and very visible"wind line". The infamous cut-off occurs when the wind line moves out to the west and back in again.

The wind line marks the eastern limit of the typically stronger TI - Olympic circle system.

1) The "inside" launch from the jetties at Cal Sailing - is where the wind is generally lighter. It is prone to switching off as the wind line moves west in the mid to late afternoon;
2) the "outside" launch is from His Lordship's. If you keep upwind of the wind line its usually much stronger and very similar to TI.

I don't think there is much between the swells and ramps on the outside of Berkeley (especially if you sail north of the old pier in the OC) and those at 3rd and Coyote Pt. Granted the stuff on the inside isn't much rave about.
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