Continent
North America
Country
California (USA)
Next Big City
San Francisco
Next Town
San Francisco
 
Type:
Ocean
Rider Ability:
Intermediate, Expert
Features:
Shop, Rescue, Shower, Toilet, Parking

Water

Type:
Flat, Chop, Small wave, Medium wave
Hazards:
Currents, Ships, Bridge
Quality:
Cloudy
Best Tide:
Low tide, Coming tide, Falling tide

Strong tides. Flood are very hard to ride here. Water condition very greatly even on the same day from flat as a board to psycho chop to large waves near the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Beach

Type:
Grass, Sand
Size:
Medium
Hazards:
Bystanders
Beach Users:
None

Sandy beach with a grassy rigging area. The beach is almost always packed with people with small children and dogs. Rigging on the lawn is OK. The best place to launch is on the west side (GG side) of the lagoon (less people and upwind of the windsurfers). The wind can be very light on the beach. Keeping the kite in the air can be challenging, and luffing into the air is a major concern. Also, your kite can fall out of the sky as winds drop to zero. Hence, be aware of people and get off the beach asap. Stick close to the beach until you are comfortable enough to head out the GG Bridge.

Weather

Spring:
Normal
Summer:
Normal
Fall:
Normal
Winter:
Normal

Must use a 3/4 wetsuit year round. Air: 50-80┬░F most of the season. Average is 60┬░F.

Wind

Best Months:
March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October
Wind Type:
Thermal
Best Direction:
W, WNW, NW
Main Direction:
W, WNW, NW

Season: March to October, 6-7 days a week. West wind. 85% 18-22 mph, 10% 15-18 mph, 3% 22-30 mph, 2% 10-15 mph. Off season: November to February. 6-10 days a month. Storms, north onshore winds around 20 mph. Once you go to the beach, the wind can be very light on the beach but nuking on the outside. Rigging the right kite size is imperative. Think nuking outside rather than mellow inside. Also, the wind can die on the inside, so make sure you are a very good swimmer.



How to get there

Transport
Car
Access
Short walk

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.

Extra information

Rules
Other

Crissy Field is a world-class sailing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing site, but is definitely not for beginner kitesurfers. The extremely unpredictable gusty winds (5 mph to 45 mph) makes kiting here very challenging and is best left to the experts. Crissy can be a very dangerous place to launch. The wind is side-offshore and the currents are extremely strong. You must excel in up wind and jibing ability, be knowledgeable of ebb, flood, counter currents, and excellent swimming ability is a prerequisite for kiting here. Also, no matter how warm the day, the cold water and strong currents demand a full wetsuit all year long. Windsurf traffic, cargo tanker traffic and general boat traffic can be quite heavy - so keep your eyes open. To keep kite access at Crissy Field open to all of us, you need to pay attention to what's happening both on and off the beach. Windsurfers have been here for a long time, and kiters need to respect their territory. Generally, launch up wind of the windsurfers and head toward the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. The beach is almost always packed with people with small children and dogs. THEY ALWAYS HAVE RIGHT OF WAY. Do not launch if people, especially small kids are in the immediate vicinity. DO NOT FLY YOUR KITE ABOVE PEOPLES HEADS. One accident is all it will take to put access to Crissy Field in jeopardy. Trust me; you don't want to be the kiter who screwed up Crissy Field for the rest of us. Launch your kite and get off the beach ASAP. Most kiters park at the end of the parking lot (end closest to the GG). Self-rescue at Crissy is very challenging. You typically are not washed towards the beach, but rather currents take you either out towards the GG Bridge or towards Alkatraz Island. Being rescued by the Coast Guard or a passing by sailboat is common at Crissy Field, but kiters must understand that these options are not always close by and the water at Crissy is VERY COLD. Seriously, if your are new to kitesurfing, come and enjoy the view and meet the people at Crissy Field, but wait until you are more experienced before you venture out. Oh, and don't fly your trainer kite over peoples heads at Crissy Field, go down to the Marina Green (near Safeway), where you will have more room and there is typically less people and better winds.

Nightlife

Great nightlife in San Francisco.