The Graveyard of Lost Kiteboards

From: Ken Poulton (
Date: Tue Mar 31 2009 - 12:17:04 PDT

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to: Multiple recipients of list WIND_TALK <>,
Subject: The Graveyard of Lost Kiteboards 
In-reply-to: Your message of "Mon, 10 Sep 2007 01:24:23 PDT." <> 
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 12:17:04 -0700
From: Ken Poulton <>

A repost seems timely:

Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2007 01:24:23 -0700
From: Ken Poulton <>

> One question: exactly where IS this lost graveyard? Inquiring minds
> want to know.

Very well, I will entrust you and you alone with this momentous secret.

This treasure map is has been handed down through generations of
kitesurfers, all sworn to utter secrecy with the mystical chant
prayforwindprayforwind. The map is worn and faded and slow to refresh.
Worst of all, there is no X to mark the spot, just some little blue
bubbles. Oh yeah, even worster, the treasure at the blue bubbles has
already been collected.

By applying a magical solution to the map (6% saline seems to work), the
following cryptic instructions appear:

Why here?
On a good NW wind day, the wind follows the SFO runways, passes under
the middle of the SM bridge and hits the East Bay shoreline at the foot
of the Dumbarten Bridge. On west days, the wind carries from 3rd to the
shore halfway from the Dumbarten to the SM bridge. Kiteboards (without
gojoes) will mostly follow the tidal current back and forth (in the
channel, about 7 miles on each tide), with only a small wind drift
speed, especially if they are strap-down in the water. But eventually
the wind will probably usually carry them to the east shore.

Note that the levees at the shoreline are generally walkable or bikeable,
and viewable from the water, but I have never found anything but a
shredded kite in these areas. I think this is because these paths are
visited by dozens of people in a week. Since these people are not
kiteboarders, the only way you will get equipment back from the levees
is to have your phone number on it. Also, equipment which has been floating
against a levee tends to get scraped up.

The productive shoreline is where the levee is back from the shoreline
and there are grass or pickleweed marshes at the shore.
Some of this shoreline is reachable by bike and (muddy) foot, some may be
hard to reach that way. The pickleweed marshes seem to be at +8 or +9 feet
elevation - these are very high tides. They are easy to walk on, except for
the drainage channels which cross them, which are up to 4 feet deep, and
2-10 feet wide.

I think the best approach is to go by jetski, with one or more persons
walking the shoreline in the marshy areas. You just can't see well
enough from a jetski to see most boards. Boards recovered along
here are in very good condition.

Good hunting!


  "I ought to say," explained Pooh, "that it isn't an ordinary sort of
boat. It all depends."
  "Depends on what?"
  "On whether I'm on top of it, or whether I'm underneath."
                                        -- Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne

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