Not many kids are lucky enough to have ideal wingfoiling conditions right in their backyard. 14-year-old Morgan Headington, a member of the F-One America Wing Grom Squad, lives in Paradise Cay, a small coastal community north of San Francisco, where the wind blows year round and it seems like there’s always an option to go wingfoiling. We caught up with him to learn more about his backyard spot, its conditions, and what makes it his favorite place to wing.
Where is Paradise Cay?
Paradise Cay is a 250 house canal neighborhood on the north side of the Tiburon Peninsula in San Francisco Bay.
What are the conditions like at Paradise Cay?
The conditions in Paradise Cay can change pretty dramatically. During the winter, we get north Diablo winds and south storm winds. In the summer, the wind comes strong through what we know as the Slot, which is on the south end of Paradise Cay and the wind is SW. In the spring is when we usually get NW winds and wing off of the north end of the Cay.
What is the ideal wind direction?
The two main wind directions in Paradise Cay are NW and SW during spring and summer months, with the north and south winds during the winter. The SW winds are really great because I live on the south end of the Cay. I can launch right off of my dock and paddle out to supreme winging conditions. The NW winds are good as well. They can sometimes offer more swell when it is flooding and they are also pretty strong. When it blows north and south, it’s usually strong due to storm winds and the wind rushing from hot temperatures, this kind of wind offers good swell but can be a little shifty.
What is the average wind speed?
It really depends. During the summer, it blows around 20 knots, and during the winter, possibly 12-18 knots. Both are really good for winging
What is the launch like?
Unfortunately for people who don’t live here there is not a great launch for SW winds. Because Paradise Cay is a neighborhood, most of it is private property. My home is a great launch, and with NW winds, people could launch off of the north end of the Cay. Along the rocks on the outside, there are a few concrete steps down to the water. To get access to SW winds, you usually have to know someone and launch from their house or off of a boat.
Can you kite Paradise Cay or is it wing only?
Many people have kited in Paradise Cay, but it was mostly toying around, plus there’s not much room to launch a kite. Wind foiling and windsurfing are fairly popular in Paradise Cay but mainly it’s wings ripping it up due to the small gear size and the ease of launching.
What is your go-to setup when riding at Paradise Cay?
My go-to setup when riding Paradise Cay / The Slot is my F-One Rocket Surf V1, 105cm carbon mast, F-One 800 Mirage, and a 3.5m Strike Wing. This setup is great for big winds, but in less wind, I use a slightly bigger board.
What is your favorite thing about wingsurfing at Paradise Cay?
My favorite thing about winging the Cay is how easy it is. Instead of driving to Crissy Field, or taking our boat to Point Blunt, I can just launch off of my dock. There is a great community of watermen/women in Paradise Cay, with new wingers out every month. I like winging here a lot also due to the predictability of wind during the summer — I know that everyday it will be windy.
What is a typical windy day like at Paradise Cay?
A windy day entails a lot of things. First, a lot of people are out on the water. On a good day, there could be around 8 wingers out, which is very impressive seeing how small this neighborhood is. Even for people who don’t live in the Cay, it’s pretty easy to find a way to the Slot. If you ask anyone, they will probably let you launch from their house.
Tell us about ‘The Slot’? How did it get its name?
Well, the name “The Slot”, comes from the funnel of wind that rips down through Trestle Glen. There are few outlets along the north end of the Peninsula, and the Cay has one of them, and it’s positioned directly off of Timmers Landing Point, which is the perfect spot to wing. After funneling down Trestle Glen and gaining speed, it drops down into the small cove formation upwind of the point. It will almost fill the whole cove, and the wind will produce pretty big chop.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about Paradise Cay?
I think a lot has been covered so far but I would like to add that anyone who ever wants to wing here, feel welcomed. Get in touch with any winger in Paradise Cay and you’ll have a free ticket to getting out on the water. For some people, it’s closer than Crissy, and sometimes considered to be the best spot in North Bay. There’s two wind meters perfect for checking directions off of the north and south end of the Cay. One is The Slot, and the other is Tiburon Yacht Club. Both are on iKitesurf, but I don’t think The Slot is on other wind forecast apps. The Slot community actually just installed the meter so we could get live readings out on the water. In case someone has a dinghy, there is an anchored mark that you can tie up to, known as the “Wing-Ding-Dong.” Come wing with us! There’s plenty of fun times to be had.