Monday, June 16, 2008

Peace, Love, and Planing in Berkeley

Last weekend was my first exposure to windsurfing in Berkeley, CA. It's pretty badass. There's an organization called the Cal Sailing Club which basically allows members to pay a flat rate ($60 for 3 months?) to use modern windsurfing gear as much as they care to. It can be a crowded place, but the vibe is laid back and friendly. When it's windy there are tons of windsurfers out in the protected bay. There are a lot of lessons and clinics going on, there's a convenience store in spitting distance of the launch for cold beverages, snacks, and weekend BBQs. The Berkeley Marina seems like a place stuck in the heyday of windsurfing. I salute the organizers and leaders of the CSC. The world could use more organizations that offer economical means to windsurf.

Here's my current +/- chart for this particular spot:



Many stoked windsurfers of all levels

Somewhat crowded

Awesome Astroturf rigging area

Launch off a dock in a wind shadow

Convenience Store 20 yards away

Sometimes less windy than other spots (sometimes it only blows 18 not 20)

Did I mention the food?

I sailed this spot Friday and Saturday. On Sunday I sailed a spot close-by called Point Isabel. I want to sail it a couple more times before I write anything about it, though. Overall, it's been a great first week for me. I sailed 5 of 7 days. My biggest sail has been a 5.0. I haven't used an uphaul in CA yet (forgot to even attach one until yesterday!).

Good winds -- aaron


Outdrsmn said...

All right your making all of us mid atlantic windsurfers jealous, well at least one anyway. I almost had my first lesson out there back in 86. I just happend to be too cool of a 14 year old to be crusing around on goofy looking things. Imagine where I would be now, if only.....

Andy said...

5 out of 7 is approaching Hatteras standards... oh wait, you're referring to sailed days, not the male to female ratio!

Catapulting Aaron said...

Andy 6/7 were sailable days, but I had to unpack at some point!

Not too sure about the m/f ratio since girls avoid me like the plague.

James Douglass said...

Wow, are you sure you just moved to the West Coast? It sounds like you're living on an entirely different planet. I can't wait for my Gorge trip in August.

Paul Richardson said...

That's awesome! It's like our Sail and Paddle Club, on steroids! Now you'll be light years ahead of me in skills.

Had a good sesh today - first time in over a month! I sure needed it.

Gorge Smurf said...

Came across your blog via James' (which I came across via rec.). Berkeley/Cal Sailing is where I learned to sail-- I'm glad you like the vibe there. When I think of the ultimate windsurfing posse, I think of the folks at Cal Sailing. Have you tried Cheeseboard yet?