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windsurfing near Santa Rosa, CA

 
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tbandora02



Joined: 06 Sep 2002
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:15 pm    Post subject: windsurfing near Santa Rosa, CA Reply with quote

I am looking into relocating to Santa Rosa, CA from San Jose, CA for work. I like the south bay because I can get to Davenport and Waddell in about an hour. I am still very much a newby wave sailor, but enjoy the proximity to some nice wave-sailing that is pretty friendly most of the time. What are the closest places to wave sail near Santa Rosa? What about regular bump and jump sailing...where are the closet locations to Santa Rosa? Thanks.
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carl



Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2481
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like Santa Rosa's not a bad move, the coast is only about an hour away.
Tomalas and Larkspur are closest IW sites. You can read about them
in "local info" if you click on those sites. I'm sure Zirtaeb will have the scoop on all the known and unknown wave sites.
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3519
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dillon Beach is your go-to wave spot, 50 minutes away. Anything NorthWest will give you nice side-on conditions.
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dsgrntlxmply



Joined: 16 Jun 2010
Posts: 227

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:00 pm    Post subject: Bodega Reply with quote

Wave sailing and real bump and jump are outside my realm, but the closest sailing to Santa Rosa is at Bodega Bay, no more than 30 minutes drive on country roads.

The harbor side (launch at a tiny crescent of gravel/muck beach accessible by walking down through the gated private parking lot at Bodega Harbour Yacht Club) is side-onshore in prevailing NW winds, and can sometimes be surprisingly sailable in winter storm SW winds. Short fetch and shallow depth give short-period chop rather than swell. Eel grass abounds late summer, and should be abating now: weed fin is advised.

Depth is quite shallow: minimum for me is Bodega Bay harbor entrance tide +2.8' or higher. If you go into Doran park ($7 fee or $69/year for a Sonoma County parks pass) and launch at the public boat ramp just past the USCG station, the boat channel can be used as a speed ditch during low tides, especially in early season high winds, which tend to be directly onshore. One regular got 42 MPH (GPS reading) in around 30 MPH wind earlier this year.

In winter southerly storm winds or if you have the skill to deal with offshore winds and possible sharkiness, the bay side (Doran) could offer some wave sailing, though I suspect that there are better sites. I don't know much about waves, but the break to me typically looks a bit disorganized. Quite a few people surf at Doran, but I have not seen anyone wave sail, apart from a couple of kiteboarders. Kiters launch into the harbor side from shallows inside Doran park.

Some years back, people reportedly would sail the 2.75 mile reach across the bay between the harbor entrance jetty and Estero Americano; I have not seen anyone try this lately.

Bodega tends to be gusty, with 2:1 gust:lull being fairly typical.
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victor



Joined: 03 Aug 1998
Posts: 553

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dillon Beach can be good when it's NW. There's a local that sails there regularly. Easier waves at low tide. Gets pretty gnarly at high tide with unorganized waves everywhere.

Stinson is sailable although it's inconsistent and super crowded with civilians on good weekends

There are other good wave spots along the coast which take some walking and/or climbing to get to.

Bodega Bay is flat water sailing and pretty shallow so pay attention to the tide.

Tomales Bay can get epic swell with NW wind and an ebb. Grassy Pt. is the favored launch but you can also launch at Marconi if it's too epic at Grassy.

Tomales and Bodega both get pretty weedy later in the summer. I was at Bodega last month and even a weed fin wouldn't work, but most of the sailable days are in the spring.

Lake Mendocino and other lakes can be sailable on big gear.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2377

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doran is mostly offshore, except at the CG launch, so it's not wave sailing.
BodegaHead, the island just S off the big hill, is DTL sideshore wave/swell sailing and the left going N into the wind is still unchallenged.
Dillon is cross on, similar to Waddell, but has outside breaks that you ride left towards shore.
Tomales is bump n jump, ebb tides, GrassyPoint and Marconi launch's.
ChickenRanch on the Inverness side is S access.
Limantour is side off DTL on big swells, some sailors just pinch up to Tuba to sail the mouth of the Estero...offshore winds and small waves.
S beach at Limantour is better sideshore wave sailing, if the swell is big enough....it needs a W or S swell to get big, and 12' NW swells get in shoulder high. Some serious DTL sailing on S winds on S swells.
PaloMarin 4 3/4 mile N of Bolinas is the DTL sideshore wave sailing spot in Marin. Best on medium tides, NW winds, and bigger W swells, there's Roundrock and also the Point, which can give you 4 bottom turn/off the lip combos on each wave. Long hike down with your gear.
Agate just W of Bolinas has a small right rock reef right in the middle of the cove, off the rivermouth. It never get's bigger than 2.5'.
Stinson is similar to Waddel on NW wind late mornings, wind shifts too N after 2PM, but on S winds, pre frontal, can be very good DTL sideshore wavesailing.
Spots N of Bodega get too onshore, too holey, too blocked by tall cliffs, but I've had fun at GoatRock on huge swells riding just to the S of the jutting rock on big slow mushball rights.
I'd pass on RussianRivermouth, as it's too close to shore, and the big beach pulls the wind onshore, so you head out 45 degrees to the left and the wave is kinda fast and sectiony.
Gualala has some potential. Hard to get beach access, or park, there is a real nice right off a big tall 100' mountain island that forces the swell to wrap around the island into a nice clean small right, a setup simlar to Greyhound Rock, but the wrap is still side offshore, not straight.
I've never seen a chance near Mendo, or up to Ft.Bragg, as beaches tend to get kinda rocky and cliffs upwind.
We sailed Manchester on a tiny swell, N winds, sideshore and DTL, but that's a rarity, I suspect.
PtArena and Whiskey Shoals is more myth and hope than reality.
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tbandora02



Joined: 06 Sep 2002
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for the excellent information. Really appreciate it.
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