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Beginner's spots in Northern California
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ubaumann



Joined: 27 Sep 2003
Posts: 12
Location: Berkeley

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:39 am    Post subject: Beginner's spots in Northern California Reply with quote

Where can I take my 7 and 9 year old boys to start learning?

The ideal location would have flat water, on-shore-to-side-shore wind, a friendly launch (sandy beach), and no or little current. We have our own gear, kids rigs and all. Are there any lakes or protected lagoons?

What places can you suggest?

Thanks!
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2316

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Traditional old spots were LakeMerced, LakeDeValle, Berkeley in the MORNINGS, Alameda any time of the day (only blows strong on NW clear days).
Now, people seem to teach at Crissy, Sherman's Pay Beach, Coyote mornings, and most anywhere in the mornings before the wind really blows.
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hitech



Joined: 13 Aug 2000
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Park @ Sherman Island on the lighter days gets quite a few beginners. Not good for big days so watch the weather for the opposite of what most of us are seeking. Shallow water, esp. At low tide makes it user friendly, as well.
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droberts



Joined: 08 Apr 1997
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oneill Forebay in the spring and early summer. Go to the Medeiros side.
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windsrf



Joined: 01 May 1998
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alameda/Crown Beach fits all your requirements perfectly. Ideal beginner venue with sandy/flat bottom out several hundred yards - waist deep, low chop, etc. Good Boardsports shop/lessons there. Easy access/parking, etc. Only potential issue is kiter activity (Wasn't a problem 30 years ago when I first sailed there.....).

Cal Adventures/Cal Sailing at Berkeley also good, but launch/water conditions not quite so user-friendly, although better wind usually.

I took my visiting novice nephews and grandson to Alameda even though I seldom leave Berkeley to sail anymore.

Cheers, David
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LUCARO



Joined: 07 Dec 1997
Posts: 213

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shoreline if in the south bay.
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victor



Joined: 03 Aug 1998
Posts: 545

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you're in marin the upper reaches of richardson's bay can be good. very flat and safe. no sand, though and wind can be flukey. tide dependent.

i learned to waterstart behind what is now piaitti's restaurant.

bodega bay is shallow and sandy bottom. check tides and weather before you make the trip. you need at least 3 feet of water and nw wind, but not too much. it gets nuclear.
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89Spring



Joined: 24 Jul 2003
Posts: 234

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chicken ranch beach out in Tomales may work pretty well also if in Marin. Family picnic on the beach nice shallow water.
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bigmikeh24@yahoo.com



Joined: 11 Jun 1995
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to teach at Alameda about 25 years ago before they built the shack. it's by far the best place because of the sand beach for 1 mile and it's shallow.
If you get there by 9:00am there's very little wind so it will be easier to get them going. The wind picks up as the day progresses so as they get better, you can start later.

They'll also get used to the bay chop when the wind get's over 10 knots. If you start them at a lake and they get proficient, they will be starting over in the bay because they won't be used to the chop.
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noshuzbluz



Joined: 18 May 2000
Posts: 771

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rancho Seco Lake is very user friendly for learning.
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