Kiteboarding in the Pacific Ocean is a wonderful experience. Despite the relatively low water temperatures, kitesurfing California is all about knowing the best spots and the right weather patterns over the year.
The best season to launch a kite in California is definitely summer. The northwest air current, and the temperature differences between the sun-heated land and the fresh Pacific waters are responsible for creating the perfect breeze for kiteboarding races and freestyle stunts.
In California, you can easily find winds ranging between 15-25 knots during most summertime. Although the region between Los Angeles and San Diego might get hidden from the northwest winds, you'll sail magnificently from Imperial Beach down to Baja California.
The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most spectacular kiteboarding regions in California. Strong, reliable winds, great wave sailing spots, and flawless flat water locations make it a perfect first choice for both beginners and advanced riders.
Ocean Beach, in the heart of San Francisco, offers a long sandy beach with incredible downwind opportunities. 3rd Avenue, near San Mateo, is probably the most popular kiteboarding spot in Northern California. A must-ride.
If you're still in the early beginner stages, head to Alameda Crown Beach, where wind is light, and you can get your equipment ready over a grassy field. In the Berkeley Marina, experienced kiteboarders launch off "Point Emery". If you're a camper, try Sherman Island.
Central and Southern California offer plenty of quality kiteboarding spots for all experience levels. In Morro Bay, kiteboarders will enjoy small and medium waves over a three-kilometer beach, alongside fellow windsurfers. Pismo Beach, located a few miles south, invites advanced pilots only.
Jalama Beach Park is currently one of the best kiteboarding spots in the Central Coast. But watch out: avoid sailing alone, especially if waves are big and powerful. We're almost reaching Santa Barbara and, if you've still got time check Leadbetter Beach and East Beach, before launching at C-Street, Ventura, with side shore winds.
Port Hueneme Beach is a great option for those who enjoy riding in uncrowded waters. Here, launch anywhere south of the pier. As you keep traveling towards Los Angeles, you'll stop at Zuma Beach, a long stretch of sand with perfect conditions for the intermediate kiteboarder.
Although kiteboarding is forbidden along Los Angeles' coastline until Redondo Beach - the only port tack launch in Southern California - you will be able to launch your kite at Belmont, Seal Beach and Sunset Beach, except when the black flags rule the local shores.
Find more about kiteboarding in North America. Get "The World Kite and Windsurfing Guide."