MANERA AMERICA: the SF Bay Area dream team when it comes to kite, foil, surf and paddle

We have met the great quartet that opened the Manera shop in Sausalito : Nico, Bruce, Germain and Bill, 4 guys with a common passion for water. Let us introduce the magic team!


10 years ago, if you landed for the first time in San Francisco, you would have gone directly to Crissy Field to take the picture, the one with the Golden Gate Bridge behind you. Unforgettable! And in between, I mean between you and the bridge, there would have been a crowd of windsurfers, sliding back and forth from the beach to the bridge at an insane speed.


Now, there is still a bunch of die-hard windsurfers but they are surrounded by a vast majority of kitesurfers, either on boards or on foils for some of them. And early birds will see people leaving on their paddle board to enjoy the beauty of the Bay at dawn.


We talked with Nico and here is everything you should want to know.



The store's story...


It has been now more than 10 years that we, Nico and Bruce, two guys with the same passion for water in general and kiteboarding in particular started a business to distribute kiteboarding products from this little known French company called F-One.


10 years later, F-One has grown into a well known kite, sup and foil brand with worldwide recognition, including its accessories brand Manera. And we have had a parallel trajectory, expanding our network of trusted dealers and school in a territory now encompassing all US states, the Caribbeans, Mexico and also Central American countries as far down as Peru.





4 guys for a team...


Nicolas Ostermann aka Nico...  is a French Native. He grew up in the Hautes-Alpes in France, and skiing was his natural sport, although the proximity of the lac de Serre Poncon got him into sailing and windsurfing at a young age.



Nico has a background in engineering, spent close to a decade working in architecture in France, and then in high tech after moving to the Bay Area at the turn of the century. He needed something fun to do outside the corporate life and founded Bay Area Kitesurf in 2006, about 2 years after he took his first kitebaording lessons. The business took off and Nico decided in 2010 to jump full time into this adventure and has not really looked back ever since.



Bruce Johnson – Bruce met Nico in 2006 when kiting in Alameda. Nico was looking for a business partner and voilà !



Bruce grew up in Cape Town surfing the South African coast, and moved to the states in the eighties with his family to escape the apartheid. He windsurfed as well and he had his own tile company where he was specialized in high end tile work. Bruce started part time and came on full time for Bay Area Kitesurf in 2012.



Germain Michel – Germain is a French native, grew up near Valence, and is a successfull ''restaurateur''. He is the co-owner of Amelie, a well known wine bar in the city, plus 2 x more Amelie in New York. He also owns some wine labels, Cassette and a Mivervois AOC.



Germain loves watersports and getting involved in Manera was a way to branch out out of his confort zone.



Billy Ackerman – Billy is our young gun, grew up in Florida and has been a full time rep for F-One & Manera for 2 years.



He is a very passionate individual and totally immersed into kitebaording, SUP and foiling.



Best seasons...


SUP – is a year round sport and a fantastic way to stay in shape while enjoying one of the best view in the Bay. The Fall is probably the most consistent time for low wind, calm waters, warm temperature. Wind is the enemy of SUP unless you want to do downwinders (which we could arrange too!)


KITE   You need wind and although the hard core kiters do it year round, looking for the storm during the winter (and the good waves), the typical season is april to September. After that, the wind is not as consistent.


FOIL – behind the boat year round, kite foil you can do this even in super light wind with foil kites. And SUP foil and surf foil, you can do this anytime you have small waves.



Best recommendations and advice to start...


Pick a nice and warm day, reserve ahead of time, SUP is for everybody and very easy to get going. You don’t need a wetsuit, you just need to know how to swin (just in case). We will outfit you with a very stable board, a paddle, a PFD (Portable Flotation Device) and a leash (the most important safety piece when SUPing as you never want to be separated from your board, at no time).


Kids starting at 10 can paddle on their own board and we have specific safety vest and paddles for them. Kids under 10 can also join one of the parent on board, sitting down or on their knee just in front of the paddler.


We are also expert with Kitebaording and Hydrofoiling. To start either sport, you will need to take lessons. You need to be an accomplished kiteboarder to start kite foiling. But you can start foiling behind a boat without prior experience with kiteboarding. Hydrofoiling behind a boat is actually Phase 1 of our program to learn how to SUP foil in the waves. Call us if you are interested and we will explain all you need to know and answer all your questions 415.763 7460.





The brands and stuff at Manera store


Aside from our two main brands, F-One (for kitebaording, SUP and Foiling gear), Manera (for all accessories related to kiteboarding, SUP or foiling, such as wetsuits, harnesses, technical apparel, etc…) 


We also offer a full range of lessons, for SUP, KITE and FOIL. Lessons can be individual or groups. We can also arrange Corporate outings where we can bundle together a SUP tour with a pro coach.




Paddle | Kite | Surf | Foil

151 Haskins Way - Suite B

South San Francisco CA 94080

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