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Alert: Several SF Bay Spots Threatened! Take a look at these graphics.

Crissy Field is a world class sailing site with unsurpassed urban beauty.

Important Note: Crissy can be a very dangerous place to launch. The wind is side-offshore and the currents are extremely strong, so solid intermediate to expert skill is required depending on the conditions. You must excel in pointing ability to sail the flood tide days. Knowledge of ebb, flood, counter currents is a prerequisite for sailing here when there is a major ebb or flood. Also, no matter how warm the day, the cold water and strong currents demand a full wetsuit all year long. Cargo tanker traffic and general boat traffic can be quite heavy - so keep your eyes out!

To the south and east loom the skyscrapers of a world renown skyline, to the north lies the rolling hills of affluent Marin County. While to the west the majestic Golden Gate and rugged Marin headland frame the Pacific. But on your first sail here you will hardly notice the scenery. This is demanding sailing. The light wind near the shore requires a board and sail that will probably have you wishing for Gorge gear once you are outside.

Continued great windsurfing access at Crissy Field is made possible by the work of the SFBA - San Francisco Boardsailing Association, which has been lobbying various governmental agencies for years to retain access. Several critical issues still remain. The SFBA deserves and needs your support -- please consider joining. Here's more info.

Then there is the chop in the first half of the Bay. On the beach you will hear phrases like "square waves" or "voodoo chop" that don't capture what your knees feel all too well. But once you are past this zone Crissy offers it all. Want huge air? Just hit a ferry boat wake or steep chop and launch. Want to slash on big swell? Head outside Golden Gate and find some Pacific swell. Want to surf sail? Wait for a big ocean swell day and play on logo high breaking surf at Fort Point. Want to explore? Take a down winder to Angel Island and sun bath on an beach or sneak into Kirby Cove beach nestled by the headlands. Looking for glassy speed sailing? Go out on a strong flood and find acres of upwelling water so smooth your board only hisses as it slides across mirror like surface.

The most popular site is right at the main beach where soft sand and good rigging make this a beautiful launch. If the winds are too light here then carry your gear about 500 feet to the west where the wind shadow is weaker. For slalom sailors better lawnn rigging and bit earlier wind can be found at the stairs next to the St. Francis Yacht Club to the east.

Late in the season and on heat wave days people launch just east of the Old Coast Guard Station near the Ft. Point. This site may be inaccessible in the near future.

After years with vast parking areas Crissy has been transformed from empty buildings and parking lots into an urban seaside park. Without the heroic efforts of the S.F.B.A. there would be hardly any windsurfing access at Crissy. The parking that remains is classy yet may be inadequate on crowded days. Sailors who arrive later in the day will have a walk a long ways to get their gear to the beach.

Crissy may see some clearing winds in late April or May but peak season is June through September. With big gear you can sail well into October. In years when the fog is not too deep you can sail Crissy almost every day. Crissy has the best water quality in the Bay Area. When the tide is flooding cold clear ocean water sweeps through the Gate. Picking a board and a sail for Crissy is usually a compromise. 4.5 sails are frequently the call for sailing near the North tower but days when you can get to those wind with a 4.5 and a small board are not common. Most common sail size is 5.0 to 6.5.

Watch for giant cargo ships, fast racing yachts and the occasional aircraft carrier or nuclear sub. Remember to head back to shore for reality checks. The wind dies first at the shore and can leave you facing a long swim back in a ocean bound current that can head out to sea a mile every 10 minutes.

There is also back side surf sailing at nearby Ocean Beach. Strong currents, light side onshore winds and rough surf so advanced only.

Crissy is a great place to come early with the family. Amenities abound: restrooms, bird watching, sun bathing hiking, walks across the Golden Gate, skating and kiting at the nearby Marina Green, jogging and bicycling right at the launch and some of the worlds greatest people watching.

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Shops, Schools, Clubs, Events, Food, Lodging, More,
 Season: Late Spring thru Oct. 
 Water: Cold, clear & rough 
 Ability Level: Intermediate - Adv. 
 Familiness: Lots to do. 
 Parking: More crowded than past 
 Launch: Nice sandy beach 

Directions: From Sonoma, Marin and most East Bay locations cross the Golden Gate bridge. Take the second off ramp which goes to Lombard St. As you go down the off ramp make the first right in to the Presidio. Immediately go right again and go several blocks crossing under the freeway. Continue to the beach side parking. From the Peninsula head north on Hwy. 280. Merge with 19th Ave. Continue through Golden Gate Park on Park Presidio. Just before the Golden Gate Bridge take the offramp going towards the Marina District. Then follow the instructions above.

Our sensor at Crissy is now located 100 yards off the beach on the channel marker known as "Anita Rock". This new telemetry sensor was installed in October 2002 and provides a super clean 360 degree wind measurement. Finally, a true representation of on-the-water winds! Please note that certain shifts in wind direction can push the wind line offshore and often times winds one mile out can be stronger or weaker than measured at Anita Rock.


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