For decades, San Francisco was one of the favorite cities for surfers and windsurfers. In recent years, it has also become an established kitesurfing destination with dozens of rentals and schools. The weather is quite predictable in San Francisco, where it's possible to enjoy water sports year-round thanks to the Mediterranean climate. However, the best time is from March through October when the wind is the strongest. The western wind is prevailing in the summer, although its direction often changes to the East. San Francisco Bay water temperature stays about 50-60°F (11-17°C). The wind usually picks up at the end of the afternoons.
The most popular kitesurfing spot in the city is Ocean Beach, specifically its northern part. The beach is large enough to unfold the kites, and the water is flat and comfortable for kiteboarders of various levels. Crissy Field is another famous kitesurfing location, but winds here are stronger, so it might be a more challenging spot for newbies. If you move away from the city, Stinson Beach (off Highway 1) near the Golden Gate National Recreation Area attracts many kiteboarders during the summer. South of San Francisco, San Mateo, offers a beautiful area favored by kiters. In particular, 3rd Avenue in San Mateo offers good swell and winds especially for kitesurfing lessons in the channel.
As for windsurfing, Coyote Point Park and Crown Beach in San Mateo are the best locations in the Bay Area. Many schools offer lessons and windsurfing gear like the board, sail, and wetsuit. Rio Vista attracts many windsurfers since it boasts strong and steady winds coming from the river. In about 40 min. drive, Davenport Beach is a great spot that attracts many experienced windsurfers. The wind here is too strong for kitesurfers and beginner windsurfers, so you'll mostly see a pro windsurf crowd.
When is the best time for windsurfing and kitesurfing in San Francisco and why?
The best time for windsurfing and kitesurfing in San Francisco is between March to October because that's when the winds are strongest, and the temperature of the water is suitable for the sport. San Francisco has a Mediterranean climate that makes it pleasant year-round, but it's the months between March to October that the city is most accommodating to watersports enthusiasts. Show more
Which beaches are perfect for kitesurfing beginners in San Francisco?
Ocean Beach and Stinson Beach are ideal spots for beginners who want to learn kitesurfing. Ocean Beach, located in the northern part of San Francisco, offers both flat and comfortable water for kitesurfing enthusiasts. Near the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Stinson Beach is another popular spot for this sport. San Mateo is also famous for kitesurfing; one of the best places is the 3rd Avenue, which provides suitable conditions for various skill levels. Show more
What beach in San Francisco is most suited to advanced windsurfers?
Crissy Field is the perfect location for advanced windsurfers as the wind here is stronger than other spots. This beach situated between Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island offers more challenging conditions. If you're willing to move out of San Francisco, Crown Beach and Coyote Point Park in San Mateo are also excellent locations for windsurfing and suitable for all levels of windsurfers. Show more
What is the temperature range of the water in San Francisco Bay, and how must you prepare?
When windsurfing or kitesurfing in San Francisco Bay, the water temperature ranges between 50-60°F (11-17°C) during the sport's peak season. Since the temperature feels colder than it is due to the wind, tourists must wear wetsuits to protect themselves from the cold. It's advisable to pack appropriately during the sport's peak season to ensure your safety and comfort. Show more
What are three of the most popular spots for windsurfing in Santa Cruz?
Located one hour from San Francisco, Rio Vista is a famous and accessible location due to its strong and steady winds, making it a popular destination for windsurfers. Davenport Beach, near Santa Cruz, is also ideal for experienced windsurfers. West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz's North end is a popular spot for both windsurfers and surfers since it has a constant favorable wind, making it suitable for various skill levels. Show more