Stinson is an intermediate Kiting spot. You should be proficient at jibing if you want to kite Stinson as the more time you spend bobbing in the water, the more time "Whitey" has to spot you. Spring wind is best when a.m. buoys are 25+ at Bodega, wind is steady from 11am-2pm 15-20, afternoon wind is usually too gusty. Summer is great when there is N.W. wind and fog 10-20. Winter is good on Southerlies usually in the am. 10-15. Stinson is a big long beach and the wind usually blows side-onshore out of the northwest. You should park or walk up to the north end of the beach to give yourself plenty of room to go down wind. Try to setup and take off away from other beach goers. When heading out, don't go more than 100 ft. outside of the breaking waves as the wind gets very unpredictable out there. The waves tend to be pretty closed-out at Stinson so give yourself some room in front of the shoulder when you are riding them.
Remember; If you go down in the waves it is best to have your kite facing side offshore. This will allow your lines to stay taught and pull you through the waves. If you are trying to body drag back into the beach with your kite downwind, facing the beach and a wave hits you you will be pushed forward towards your kite, shortening your lines, thus making your kite fall out of the sky. When landing your kite at Stinson, if you do not have someone with you to catch it you have two choices. If there is no one within a few hundred feet bring the kite to the edge of the window, let it fall and pull the upwind lines back so that the leading edge of the kite now faces upwind. If there are people around or you do not feel confident self landing on the beach, land your kite in the water inside the break. The inside waves will get you to your kite fast enough so that it won't be able to take off on you.
I recommend having a partner if you are going to kite Stinson. It can be a great place to ride, you just want to make sure you spend most of the time on your board as there seem to be some very hungry sharks out there these days.
Stinson Beach 2003 updates:
Many people are discovering what a great place Stinson Beach can be for kiting. There are just a few guidelines we all need to follow to keep our access open and the beachsafe.
1. The Hangliders that land at the same spot that kiters launch and land have been landing there since the 70's. They pay a fee every year to land there. They can't land any where else. Because they pay a fee, the Tamalpais state park has open ears for these guys. The hangliders on Saturday were shocked and scared to see so many kites in there landing zone. It is important to realize that when these guys start making there decent to the beach they cannot go back up. You MUST PUT YOUR KITE OVER THE WATER when you see them coming. All it takes is a couple cf complaints and we will be gone.
2. People have been using Stinson Beach recreationally for decades. They are just beginning to see and understand Kitesurfing. typically at our launch and land site we will have some recreational users enjoying the sun. when walking your kite upwind or landing your kite, it is very important not to fly your kite over bystanders heads. DO NOT LAND YOUR KITE WITHIN 20 YARDS OF ANY NON-KITER. We usually have hundreds of yards of clear upwind space...walk the extra 20 yds.
Thanks for reading and understanding the importance of adhering to these guidelines. These guidelines are not a big deal and really habits that should be practiced on all beaches, but just to be pre-emptive in our continued struggle for safe access, we must follow them.
The SFBA's mission is protecting and enhancing recreational access to San Francisco Bay