Resources for Paddlers
There are some web sites that kayakers go to frequently to get information they need before they go paddle. California Kayaker Magazine has compiled a list of these and posted them here. Bookmark this page, and whenever you need to find out whether a river is running, water temperatures, or if the waves and tides are such that you can have a good paddle, you can find all the information you need at this one site.
http://www.paddling.net/launches/ - Launch site map and information - worldwide, relatively new site, user generated
http://www.bayaccess.org/bay_access.html and http://gotoes.org/put-ins/index.php - Launch site map and information - San Francisco Bay
http://gotoes.org/California/BoatLaunchRampIndex.pl - Launch site map and information - other California (not SF Bay) launch sites
White Water-Specific Resources
http://cdec.water.ca.gov/river/rivcond.html - river conditions (depth and flow), dam releases - broken out by region
http://www.dreamflows.com/ - river conditions, dam releases, photos, and a bulletin board to talk about conditions with other boaters
http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/state-summary/state/CA/ - alphabetical list of runs showing conditions, what class it is, and whether it is runnable or not.
http://brt-insights.blogspot.com/2008/12/whitewater-river-boating-guides-for.html - statewide guide for paddle boating on class II to class IV creeks and rivers as put together by BRTHomas.
http://www.cacreeks.com has the put-in and take-out information for most California runs. Some of their write-ups are helpful and others are not so accurate. Many are from a rafter or inflatable kayak paddler’s perspective which is often very different from those of a “hardshell” paddler.
Flat Water and Ocean Paddling Resources
http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/dsdt/wtg12.html#cpac - coastal water temperatures for various places in the US.
http://www.bask.org/trip_planner/ - tides and current predictions for various places in CA. It is based on the Xtides calculations, which are used in most tide calculations, but this site shows locations on a map (most just list the names). It starts centered on the SF Bay, but you can move around the State. Has a utility that lets you measure distance between points. Shows some information on some put ins and destinations for NorCal.
http://cdip.ucsd.edu/?nav=recent&sub=forecast&xitem=fm_san_xxx - The CDIP (Coastal Data Information Prgram at UCSD) forecast is a quick and easy way to get a good overall picture of ocean swell info.
http://pacificwaverider.com/nocal/county/marinSF/nowcast.shtml - clicking on a specific site to get wind and swell information.
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=37.82497195707114&lon=-122.47146606445312&site=mtr&smap=1&unit=0&lg=en - NOAA's Experimental Point Forecasts, both the land-based forecast and the marine forecast.
http://www.sdkc.org/surfing/surfing.php (San Diego area) and http://www.bask.org/surfing/locations.html (San Francisco area) - two surfing sites with information on surf etiquette and places to go kayak surfing.
Have a better site than these? Send it to us at Editor AT calkayakermag DOT com. Depending on where the magazine is in its production cycle (whether it is a crazy crunch time or quiet time) will dictate when we can take a look at your suggestion.