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> Newbie going to San Fran Bay area
wolfie
post Jun 30 2007, 11:07 AM
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going for work July 22 through the 25th. considering staying a couple more days to kite, but concerned about finding a good beginner spot, an affordable place to stay, a cheap rental car, and not getting skunked....

If anyone has any input or has a friend out there that woudn't mind hangin with a newbie, I'd really appreciate hearing from you.

This place caught my eye as it sounds pretty consistent:
http://www.bayareakiteboarding.com/about817.html

I'll be staying here, in San Jose while working, but would move to a more affordable place on the 25th: http://www.bayareakiteboarding.com/about817.html

thanks for the help....
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wolfie
post Jul 2 2007, 02:51 PM
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the wheels are in motion laugh.gif i thought I'd post for anyone interested.

3 day economy car rental from Alamo with unlimited mileage: $148.61. Pick up is at San Jose Airport July 25th @ 3:00 pm and drop off is at San Francisco Airport July 27th @ 10 pm.

I'll be kiting the Sacramento River near Sherman Island. A kite instructor (named Nat) from Delta Windsurfing will drive me 2.5 miles up wind for $25. Here's a link to the location: http://maps.yahoo.com/broadband#trf=0&...56404&mag=5

On this map you should see Sherman Lake. Sherman Island is on the East side of the lake and an unnamed island is on the west side. Nat will pick me up from the north western edge of Sherman Island (this is Sherman Island Park) and take me two and a half miles west. I think this will put me at the north western tip of the unnamed island. It's also possible to launch from where Nat is picking me up, but from what I hear you've got to have some pretty descent upwind skills. I'm going for the 2.5 down winder and I'll practice my upwind skills on that.

As for where to stay, there's a place 20 minutes away called the Vista Royal Inn for $58.10 per night. BUT, I think I'm either going to sleep in my car at the park (they allow this and it's 4 bucks to get into the park) or pitch a small one man tent at the park.

As a courtesy to those on the plane I will try to find a place to shower prior to the flight home :wink:

As for gear, I'll probably bring both kites (10 m Havoc and 14 m Menace). Hopefully I'll get some more time in on the menace before the trip as I'm still not as comfortable with that kite. I'll probably bring my smaller board, which is a 136 liquid force recoil, because it will be easier to carry around than my 151 proof would be.

If anyone has any tips on traveling with gear I'd appreciate hearing them. Is there a certain board bag that I should buy, for example? Is that golf style kite bag really a good investment?

With regards to safety, hopefully I'll see others while I'm doing the downwinder. 2.5 miles would be a long way to go without seeing anyone. I wonder if I could get a water proof case and bring a phone (wonder if I'd get reception....)
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Brar
post Jul 3 2007, 08:06 AM
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I seriously think the golf bag is a good investment.
However if you can't find one in time. Feel absolutely
free to borrow my kite bag. It'll take both your boards and
kites and what ever else you want to take.
great wheels to drag it around too. But a risk of
sometimes being charged for extra length baggage.

Ductape the word 'kiteboard' embossed on it.
Say it's sports gear....... just a couple of kites.
If they persist while checkin. You won't
be lying. Never ever mention the word 'board'.
Smile when you talk to the check in woman. Look
at her as if she's absolutely stunning........ although
i won't recommend this last one if your wife's around.
And most times they don't charge extra since it's always
underweight.

Do get a low down of all the spots
in the bay area when you get back.
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wolfie
post Jul 4 2007, 11:19 AM
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4 gold stars for Brar :wink:

I'll pm ya soon!

rob
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wolfie
post Aug 1 2007, 01:06 PM
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Sherman was SA-WA-HEEEET!!!!!!

Nothing like 4 3-mile downwinders to improve your riding skills laugh.gif

Notes about where to stay:
I stayed at the Ramada in Antioch. The drive to the launch was about 15 minutes, but cost $8 ($4 for a toll rode and $4 to get into the Sherman park). Antioch is a fairly large town with lots of food options and other hotels. There's even a Lowes if you get ambitious and feel like building a plywood board.... I don't recommend the Ramada as it was overpriced at $80 a night. It felt very much like the type of place you might live for a while if you were booted from your home. This could be the place were "My Name is Earl" is filmed, not sure... nevertheless, it was good enough if you can't find another place.

Brannon Island State Park looked like a nice place to stay if you wanted to pitch a tent. It was even closer to the launch site and staying there would avoid the $4 toll. I took a shower there by buying a day pass for $5. Look for the family that brought the 27" tube television and had it sitting outside their tent - classic....

The launch itself is at an RV park.

Notes about Sherman:
Sherman island is in the Sacremento Delta on the Sacremento River about 30 miles inland from the north bay. It's typically pretty hot here compared to the bay. As the hot air rises, the cold air from the bay gets sucked in creating... you guessed it... WIND. You can find more info here: http://bayareakiteboarding.com/viewtopic.php?t=817

My thread with the locals is here: http://bayareakiteboarding.com/index.php -> Travel Info, Destinations & Discussion -> " beginner rider looking for spots in the bay area".

Contact Nat through Delta Windsurf (http://www.deltawindsurf.com/) if you want to do some downwinders. He was charging $25 a trip. He's a pretty cool guy and interesting to talk to - I learned a few good tricks from him.... The downwinder takes about 2 hours if you don't have much upwind ability. This is a great opportunity to learn how to go up wind and in fact, I really dialed in my skills on my last run - stayed out for about 5 hours!

The water is fairly flat - not mirror flat; there are white caps and small swells.

Notes about my kite bag:

I purchased the Dakine Air Wagon, which is incredibly roomy and has a solid build. Two drawbacks - it's bigger than I needed for my 136 board and it's fairly heavy (13.8 pounds). I kept the weight under 50 pounds to avoid being charged by North West (it actually weighed 50 on the dot!)

50 pounds = 14m menace, 10m havoc, 136 recoil, 1 north face fleece, mystic warrior harness, oneil booties, protec helmet, kite bag, and pump. I wanted to bring my 151, but couldn't due to the weight. Also had to pack the control bars, wetsuit, and vest in my suitcase.

I really recommend this bag if you have a lot of gear - plus it could probably handle being strapped to the top of your car.

Distance from airport:
The San Francisco International airport is about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Sherman.

Pics:
I'll try posting some on www.kitemi.com later this week.
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wolfie
post Aug 2 2007, 06:47 PM
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oh yeah forgot to mention the kite chick that I met out there - 72 years old and riding downwinders with me beautifully!! I can only hope that I'm out there learning new things when I'm that age....
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