Special thanks to Ozy Mandias who wrote the below article we lifted from Facebook. 3rd Ave is going through some changes this summer and with lower launch closed it's become even more important we all get on the same page. If you sail 3rd Ave please read this.
Hey all! Noticing more folks are launching from the Third Ave lower launch area (The aircraft carrier deck). From all of us long-time lower-launch denizens. Welcome! ....But! While we are starting to get an influx of riders so too the flight deck is getting chaotic. New kiters are unaware of the well-established rules and seasoned more complacent since we've all the place all to ourselves. So, Let's review shall we!
- Do ask how to launch, leave and land on the beach if you're unsure! Best we help you before an incident occurs.
- When you're done kiting, get your stuff off the beach and onto the fake grass staging area immediately. Our beach is like an aircraft carrier and can get congested which can create a testy environment.
- Please do not rig your kite on the beach until you are committed and ready to launch. Stage your gear on the North end of the beach in the grassy areas. Only place your kite on the beach's South end and attach your lines when you are ready to go. Doing this in combination with getting stuff of the beach ASAP prevents Gordian knots.
- Kite launch orientation: Launch your kite from the south end of the beach where the wind actually IS. Trust me, it's safer for you and for the rest of us. Kites-at-rest go on the North end of the beach.
- When landing stop well short of the beach. Give yourself about 50-60 feet or aim for just above the water's edge to the beach. Too close and your kite will hit the rubbish or the rocks. Bad bad juju happens then.
- Foilers, this isn't actually an old rule but, please place your foils at the water's edge so incoming kiters can see and avoid them during landing. I have had my kite cut and have seen others pop.
- Pro tips for landing and launching: When landing or leaving take a breath, relax, pay attention, and be ready at all times to eject if things go pair shape.
- The golf nets (see photo at bottom)create turbulence. "Lulls and gusts". To avoid having your kite drop out of the sky and slam the rocks. Keep your kite above your head and in CONSTANT motion from 11 to 1 and back. This will create enough apparent wind to guard against the lulls. "Constant motion is the absolute key". So, constant... motion
- The wind generally curves toward the South end of the beach. But depending on how much "west" is in that NW wind it could be more side-shore instead of side-onshore. If your kite does down and tide is low walk your kite to the wind line and re-launch. If tide is high steer your kite towards the 92 bridge and you will reach the wind line where you can re-launch. Try to keep your board on your feet. When coming in for a landing head towards the South end of the beach and once you feel the wind, kick in. Edge hard and make for the North end. Remember, the South end is where the actual wind is. Attempts to go directly to the North end are almost certain to end in failure. If you end up at the South end, walk up the beach and then walk back out in the water to give ample room to land.
- If you have to self-land the North end of the beach is in a wind shadow. Aim to set your kite down and then pull the front-hand back line in hard to settle the kite. That's the back line connected to the wind tip closets to you.
- If non-kiters are on the beach try to warn them or if they are unaware of your presence make some noise to alert them. All kiters should be aware that when landing your kite you might hit a lull during attempts to land. When this happens you will NOT have control of your kite. Be ready to eject.
All kiters should be prepared to receive a kite in the face if the landing kiter hits a lull. But we should do what we can to avoid that.
Last but not least, (groaner moment), Everyone has a right to the beach. Be kind to non-kiters and take the time to explain where kites will land and launch. We have to share the beach and we don't want the public to see us as a nuisance.
Know that if you pay attention and follow the rules you'll be safer for it and earn the respect of other kiters. Cheers! (Photo below courtesy SF Bay Water Trail)