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New to area - tell me everything :D San Jose
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chris_4003



Joined: 15 Jul 2014
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:37 pm    Post subject: New to area - tell me everything :D San Jose Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I live in San Jose ... just moved down here for work. I used to live by niagara falls and sailed often on Lake Erie. I'd classify myself as an early intermediate sailor ... just bought a 140L board (180lbs/80kg)

Now that I'm down here, I'm interested in meeting some other sailors, as well as learning about the best places to be. Tell me everything there is to know ! Very Happy


What are the best places to sail this time of year? How are the waves?


Thanks
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carl



Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2652
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome, good timing the season is just starting!
Does "early intermediate" mean you can water Start?
If not, it's a great time to learn. The bay is fantastic for windsurfing, but most
sites, water starting is a required skill, for safety.
boardsportsschool dot com at Coyote Point can hook you up with an instructor.
In the meantime, Shoreline lake in Mountain View is the best and closest spot for decent wind and you can't get in trouble while learning. Last time I was there (quite a awhile ago) there were Lots of sailors and lawn for rigging. You could even catch the late afternoon winds after work.
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chris_4003



Joined: 15 Jul 2014
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi carl,

I can waterstart if there's not too many waves ... but right now too much chop makes it pretty difficult.

Thanks for the recommendation on the location, I'll head over there sometime this week.
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PAmuddog



Joined: 29 Apr 2007
Posts: 144

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris,

Welcome to the greatest windsurfing area on the continent (IMHO)! You are going to have a blast.

I concur with Carl about having a solid waterstart before you venture out too far in the bay. Having a 140 board is also a plus as you can uphaul fairly easy if the wind dies.

Another issue will be the tides and currents for each site. When sailing in the bay it is very important to know the tide and current for the site you will sail. Unlike lake Erie the water level and current in the bay changes twice daily. Depending on you session length water levels can change 10'. Currents can change 5 knots in BOTH directions. An uninformed sailor could be left high and dry in waist deep mud flats or get sucked out the Golden Gate. Study the tide tables here on iWindsurf and always ask local sailors for specifics at each site.

Hope to see you on the water!
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ctuna



Joined: 27 Jun 1995
Posts: 881
Location: Santa Cruz Ca

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:36 pm    Post subject: FYI Reply with quote

Shoreline for low winding or sometimes planing on big boards with big sails
Candlestick and San Luis Reservoir (O neil forebay) for flat water
sailing. There is info on all the local sites under the site info sections.
Other major sites along the West side of the Bay . Palo Alto , 3rd ave,
Coyote Point. Sail size usually runs from 4.0 to 6.0 here .
Wadell , Davenport and Natural Bridges are the most used Coastal
Wave sailing sites.
Sherman Island for high winds on the Sacramento River.

Attend the ABK windsurf camps at San Luis Res or Sherman Island to
improve your skills in June through August.

If you are going to a site for the first time read about and ask the locals
what to look out for or post here for specific info.
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carl



Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2652
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PAmuddog wrote:

Another issue will be the tides and currents for each site. When sailing in the bay it is very important to know the tide and current for the site you will sail. Unlike lake Erie the water level and current in the bay changes twice daily. Depending on you session length water levels can change 10'. Currents can change 5 knots in BOTH directions. An uninformed sailor could be left high and dry in waist deep mud flats or get sucked out the Golden Gate. Study the tide tables here on iWindsurf and always ask local sailors for specifics at each site.


As PA Muddog said:
Watch the tide especially at Palo Alto. You will need at least 4 feet or higher tide or you'll get stuck in the mud with any fin longer than a tiny wave or freestyle fin. There is no water at all at or below zero tide.
PA is a good flat water spot (some chop further out) with good wind.
Coyote or Candlestick have no problem with tide, other than a longer walk.
3rd Ave needs at least 2 feet tide to be safe, due to sandbars, lots of kitesurfers too.

I'm sure you'll do fine in the bay, the chop is pretty small compared to Erie. Lake Erie is like a small ocean and has real waves. You'll probably want a smaller board eventually, we get real wind here and often too.
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dllee



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 4593
Location: East Bay

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buy an issue of Windfinder.
Forget sailing in waves until you ride 100 liter boards easily, this is the WEST coast, not the East coast, and waves are twice as powerful and average 55 degree water temps with white shark lurking below the surface. Most wave sailors who weigh 200 lbs ride 100 liter wave boards.
S Bay is great at outgoing tides and NW coastal winds.
When fog is in, head to San Luis Reservoir, lower lake.
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geohaye



Joined: 03 Apr 2000
Posts: 1439

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zirtaeb's got the hot tip to suggest buying a copy of Mike Godsey's SF Bay Windsurfing Guide "Windfinder". As hot as a tip can be for a magazine-style book that is 26 years old, that is!! But, the guide is awesome for a newbie, hell it's just plain awesome no matter what. The writing, the detailed local info, the map, etc, are all just brilliant. Outdated in places, of course, but what isnt?!

You can look for it on Amazon (hint, hint...), Ebay, etc...

Windfinder: A windsurfing guide to the San Francisco Bay area & Beyond
Paperback 1989 - by Michael Godsey



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gerritt



Joined: 06 May 1998
Posts: 589
Location: Redwood City, CA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On top of the excellent tips above, I'll offer this. Get a good wetsuit!

If you can only afford one, make it at least a 4/3 full length. I prefer the surf style as they are easier to find, more choices, and lighter overall weight. Some like windsurf specific suits, which are warmer, but cost more and don't last as long. Add a pair of booties to increase your launch options, a thermal rash guard, and a hood. That way you can be flexible. April and May are some of the best months, but can be cold. Fall gets warm and you can go down to a 3/2, or even a shorty, but there are risks if you break down, or cannot get back to shore. For someone that is still learning, err toward warmer rather than cooler protection. Hypothermia is no joke.

If you want to save money for a warm weather suit, just save you old suit (I get about two seasons out of mine - depends how ofter you are on the water). When you get a new suit, cut down your old one for a short sleeve fashion look and you are styling and staying cool on the hot days!
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ctuna



Joined: 27 Jun 1995
Posts: 881
Location: Santa Cruz Ca

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:01 pm    Post subject: I couldn't use my 4/3 most of the time last year Reply with quote

I couldn't use my 4/3 most of the time last year.
But the water temp is dropping now.
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