Welcome to CSC!

The Cal Sailing Club is a non-profit, volunteer-run sailing club in Berkeley

Membership costs just $99 for 3 months ($89 for students and seniors) plus 2 hours volunteer work and there are no charges for lessons, equipment use, cruises, or other club activities.  Choose About CSC for more information, to join, See plans and pricing.

Once you've signed up, you'll need your Membership #  from your invoice or confirmation email.  If you forget that, check with the dayleader (they have the list of current members) or better yet, login again with your username and password and go to Account Info .  

Welcome aboard! Welcome to CSC!

ABK Windsurfing Camp - Thursday July 26 - Sunday July 29

We've been doing this for several years, but it's different this year. This year's camp is Thursday, July 26, through Sunda7, July 29. It is 4 days, and the club discount is $375 each. The location is the Rio Vista Delta, about an hour from the club. More detailed information on the instruction is here. Andy is one of the best windsurfing instructors in the world and teaches at all levels.

You will be able to camp. There may not be water on site, but town is 10-15 minutes away. 

This year will be more limited than in the past, with a hard limit of 10 people. We may be able to setup a second session from August 2-5.

Payment in advance will be required. You're interested, contact Peter Naulls, and he will supply more details.

CSC Promotional Video - Check it Out

Courtesy Min Lee (his Senior Project).

We're in the Cruising Season!

We've already had several, both keelboat and dinghy. Here's a photo from the recent dinghy cruise to Richmond Marina Bay.

Don't miss out on Club cruises. There will be a lot this year, as a number of Seniors are going for their Cruise Skipper rating, which requires, well, doing cruises. If you're logged into the website, you can go to Activities->Cruising->Cruise List to see what's scheduled. Better is to be on the Cal Sailing Announce email list, where they are announced (see here for how to subscribe).

This is a great Club benefit, sailing to interesting places on the Bay. Go out and do it!

Next Junior Fast Track June 4-8

The next Cal Sailing Fast Track will be held from 6/4 through 6/8 from 5pm to about 9pm.  Fast Track is a week of intensive lessons designed to prepare students to take their Junior Skipper practical test.  There will be testers available later in the week for those who are ready and a hot meal and refreshments will be served each night.

  • To enroll you must finish several prerequisites by dock time on Saturday,  June 2.  These include:
  • Junior Written Test
  • Rigging Test
  • 2 extra volunteer hours (beyond those required for membership)

    It is also strongly recommended that students have had 3 plus lessons, be comfortable handling the main sheet and tiller, and have read the dinghy sailing manual on the club’s website.

You must also commit to showing up all 5 nights (teaching if you pass your test early), helping with cleanup, and contributing $20 for refreshments.

To sign up email Alan Ostreicher, the Fast Track Coordinator. If you do not have email, as the Day Leader to contact Alan.

If more students sign up than we have room for, students will be prioritizes by when they get their prerequisites completed, so don’t wait to long to get them done.

Please contact Alan if you would be so amazingly awesome to want to commit to being head chef one or more nights during the week.  Signup for instructors and testers will be set up later.

 

Windsurf Lessons Now on Summer Schedule

Basic lessons on Saturdays from 10:30 am to 1 pm and on Sundays 11 am to 2pm. More info here. We're getting into the windy season, so come out and learn.

Advanced Dinghy Classes for 2018, Starting May Adv Dinghy Image

Advanced Dinghy will start of Monday,  May 7, and will be held on every Monday evening from then until the end of August, except for US holidays and Fast Track weeks. These classes are intended for Junior Skippers working on their Senior rating. They will cover the required skills and much more. Here are the classes for May:

  • May 7 - Introduction, Follow the Leader
  • May 14 - Sail Trim
  • May 21 - Docking and Man Overboard
  • May 28 (Memorial Day) - Special session with two lessons. 3pm Dodge Ball in dinghies, and 5pm Flying the Spinakker on a JY

Junior Skipper Fast Track Dates for 2018

We will be offering five Junior Skipper Fast Tracks this year. These are 5 day (Monday through Friday) intensive dinghy lessons, 1 on 2, from around 5pm to sunset. They are designed to move you closer to your Junior Skipper rating (which you may even get that week, but even if you don't, you'll be a much better sailor at the end of the week). Details will be announced within a few weeks of the start of each. Participants should have all Junior requirements completed except for the on-the-water test.

These are the dates:

  • April 30 - May 4
  • June 4 - 8
  • June 25 - 29
  • July 30 - August 3
  • August 20 - 24

Open House Dates for 2018

During Open Houses we offer FREE introductory sails to the general public aboard our fleet of keelboats and dinghies. Children must be at least 5 years of age and accompanied by an adult. Each Open House runs from 1-4pm on the dates listed above. More detailed information is here.

Please try to arrive promptly at 1 pm when the signups start.  Depending on the conditions and the amount of people, the sign-up/rides may end before 4pm.Come on down and get out on the bay! Already a member? Come on down and help out! The 2018 Open House Schedule is below:

  • Sunday, February 4
  • Sunday, March 11
  • Saturday, April 14 - Coincides with the Berkeley Bay Festival! 
  • Sunday, May 13
  • Sunday, June 17
  • Sunday, July 15
  • Sunday, August 12
  • Sunday, September 16
  • Sunday, October 14
  • Sunday, November 11

Junior Dinghy Skipper/Windsurfer Tests Now Online

Until now, you had to take your Junior Dinghy Skipper and Junior Windsurfer Written at the Clubhouse. No longer. It's now available on-line. You can take it on the Clubhouse computer or at home. You can also go through the test to prepare yourself before taking it.

You need to be logged in to look at or take the test.

To look at the Junior Skipper Test (you must be logged in):
Go to Ratings->Written Test->Junior Skipper Sailboat->Read Test
To take the test:
Go to Ratings->Written Test->Junior Skipper Sailboat->Take Test

To look at the Junior Wiindsurfer Test (you must be logged in):
Go to Ratings->Written Test->Junior Windsufert->Read Test
To take the test:
Go to Ratings->Written Test->Junior Windsufer->Take Test

Both are closed book, so please honor that and don't look up the answers while you're taking the
test, but feel free to go through the exam ahead of time.

If you pass, that will be recorded automatically, and you will get an email of the results.
If you don't pass, you won't be told what you missed, and you'll have to wait a day to take the test again.

Note that you must take the test online, at the Clubhouse or elsewhere. You can no longer take
it on paper. This gives the Day Leader more time to monitor the South Sailing Basin.

The Novice Windwurfer and Racing Skipper tests have been available online for some time.

 

 

Step 1: Where to Learn — Finding Equipment

Picking a Sailing School

We recommend lessons from an established sailing school. (For a list of some windsurfing schools in the U.S., click here.) Do not be tempted to let a sailing 'significant other' teach you. Such lessons usually do harm to both learning to sail and to the relationship. A friend who is a high wind 'short board' expert also might not be a good instructor since he or she probably has forgotten beginning sailing completely.

We recommend a windsurfing program that does more than offer only the "first-time" beginning lesson, but also offers continuing lessons for intermediate and advanced sailing. A program, like that offered by the Hood River Water Play Sailing School, seems ideal. The program begins with 2 days of 3-hours lessons. After completing these lessons, the student is given 10 free hours of supervised sailing (with equipment) to practice the skills acquired in the first lessons. After mastering the beginning skills, there is a very complete sequence of intermediate and advanced lessons to keep the student progressing. Also the equipment that the school uses should be fairly new. Since about 2002, beginner boards have become much better designed and easier to use. If the boards the school offers are older than that, stay away! (See note below on "The Board.").

If there isn't a good sailing school in your area, we recommend the book A Beginner's Guide to Zen and the Art of Windsurfing, by Frank Fox (Amberco Press). If you can not locate that book, read on. Even if you have located a fine sailing school and/or some good books and videos, it won't hurt to read this guide. The more you know about windsurfing, the faster you will progress.

Other on-line courses that I know about are:

Windsurfing Bible (not free, small fee)

Watertrader Magazine

US Windsurfing Association ($15 for CD with nice movies)

Another way to go in North America is ABK Sports. They offer 3 days clinics around North America, and they are excellent for sailors of all levels.

The Board

If you picked a good windsurfing school, they will provide you with an appropriate board to learn on. If you are on your own (and you probably are if you are reading this web page), it is best to learn on a 'Entry Level Board'. For an adult, this board should be at least 80 cm wide, and will have a retractable centerboard or center fin. Pick a board with enough flotation to allow you to stand and balance easily. Kids can use smaller boards. The amount of flotation you need depends mostly on your weight. For example, if you are under 160 lb. (60 kg), a board with 200 liters of floatation would work nicely. If you are between 160 lb. (60 kg) and 210 lb. (78 kg) or so, 220 liters of floatation would be good etc. But in any case, the board should be at least 80 cm wide.

The Sail

Here is a typical conversation between two windsurfers preparing to sail:

A: What do you think, 5.5?
B: Well, Bud is on a 5.7 and he seems to be flying.
A: Jane is on a 4.6 and that usually means I should be on a 5.0.
B: I don't know, a 5.2 might be perfect.
A: I only have a 5.7 and a 4.6.

This profound conversation will continue for about 10 minutes.

There are several misconceptions about sail size. Some think that bigger is definitely more macho and will make you go faster, while smaller is necessarily easier. Neither of these beliefs is true. The wrong sail size, whether too big or too small, will make sailing difficult. Several factors matter for the correct sail size: (1) your weight and (2) the wind strength. Your weight will not change much during the season, but the wind strength will change from day to day. Pay attention to the wind strength and the sail size that is most fun for you with a particular wind. If the wind is 10 MPH and you are having fun on a 5.0, then next time out when the wind is 10 MPH, use the same size sail if you can. However, if the wind is lighter next time (5 MPH) use a bigger sail; if it is stronger (15 MPH) use a smaller sail. You can also rig a sail slightly differently for different wind speeds. You should only use a too small 'school' sail for the first few times out.

My personal advice is buying used is fine, but don't buy junk. If you are unsure, take a windsurfing friend with you to the swap meet/garage sale. Shops are usually very helpful, they want your long term business. Finally, whoever you buy from, whether new are used, should demonstrate how to rig the equipment. You want to make sure all the bits actually fit together and you know how to get the most out of the rig. A poorly rigged sail will be a nightmare on the water. A well rigged sail ... a thing of beauty.

You are going to need a wetsuit and choice a place to sail, which is covered in the Safety section.