North America
California (USA)
Next Big City
San Francisco
Next Town
Rider Ability:
Intermediate, Expert
Toilet, Parking


Flat, Chop, Small wave
Best Tide:
Tide independent

The sandy beach and muddy bottom make entrance into the water easy, while it’s quick drop off make it an excellent foiling spot. Once outside of the cove, you can make amazing runs between Marina Bay in Richmond and Royce Beach in Emeryville/Oakland. Racetrack essentially launches you into the middle of the Olympic Circle and gives you easy access to the fantastic wind near Brooks Island. At high tide, there is a section at the end of the Bulb that is an enclosed pool of flat water that is kiteable. It can be tricky to enter the pool, however, and only advanced kiters should attempt this. Booties are required, as you have to walk over rocks to enter. There are rocks lining the coastline and these rocks have sharp barnacles on them. Your kite will likely rip upon contact and your feet will not fare well traversing them without booties. There is an old pier extending from Fleming Point to the south of Albany Beach. Be careful not to clip your lines on or drift into the pylons. While there are no known slightly submerged rocks or other obstacles off shore, a number of logs and driftwood make their way into the cove, so be aware of this potential hazard. Beach users often make tall structures out of driftwood, so this is another reason to keep your kite far from the beach and any potential for it to fall on the beach. Seaweed often settles right by the shore: dropping your lines in this will result in a long cleaning session.


Depending on Tide
Rocks, Bystanders
Beach Users:
No information

There are often dogs and kids on the beach so you must be careful with your kite. I've seen a number of experienced kiters launch right off the beach and dive their kites perilously close to people on the shore. Neither cool nor safe. I've also seen a few people catch their lines on tall poles on the beach. In short, don’t launch and land on the beach and don’t power stroke new the beach. Launch and land in the parking lot and body drag far enough away from the beach so that you can release your kite without any concern that it will land on the beach. Again, launching can be tricky. Most people (self) launch and land in the Open Area next to the Bay Trail and the wind can be a little squirrelly back there. I recommend a short self-launch leash so that if you lose control for some reason, you won’t be yanked into the air and body-slammed - something I've seen many times. The swirling winds can also create wind holes that cause kites to fall from the sky only to the fully powered with the next gust. I have been dragged across the field towards the bollards more than once and I don’t wish that experience on anyone. So the general rule is to get into and out of the water as quickly as possible and don’t be afraid to pop your safety if anything feels unsafe.



You can expect temps from the 50's-70's°F in summer. Area holds the fog, so you can have fog throughout the summer. Definite need for 3-2 mm or 4-3 mm wetsuit.


Best Months:
May, June, July, August, September
Wind Type:
Best Direction:
Main Direction:

The wind here is steady and strong throughout the season (May-Oct) and the views are unmatched, you stare straight out at the golden gate when heading upwind. Racetrack is generally one of the best location for late season wind, with quality kiting common in late October. With the exception of storms, the wind is always onshore. While the wind tends to arrive from the SW, it is not uncommon to experiences WSW, W, WNW and NW winds. Due to the wind shadows created by the Albany Bulb, NW winds are the most tricky to navigate. Some kiters will launch from the small beach by Fleming Point to south of Albany Beach in order to catch the wind-line and avoid the large holes near the Bulb.

How to get there

No walk

Extra information

No information

Don’t be ashamed to body drag out. It’s not only the safe thing to do, it’s often the best way to reach the wind-line. On more than one occasion, I’ve been the only one kiting in 18-20mph winds by Point Albany only because all of the others on the beach were too proud to body drag to the wind line. Don’t get too close to the rocks on the northern edge of the cove. The wind can swirl near the shore and, if your kite falls, you’ll have to reel it in quickly to prevent it from hitting the rocks. Get out to Brooks channel and do the run to the sand bar at Brooks Island for flat water paradise. In a good SW-erly, you can kite down the southern edge of the island, make it around the western tip of the sand bar off Brooks and fly downwind for a mile of flat-water paradise! Beware, however, that you’re kiting in a shipping channel that has the occasional very large ship moving through. Keep your kite high when sailing around the eastern side of Brooks Island and its many wind-holes to enjoy the unmatched flat water behind the spit.


San Francisco has it all.