Caltech Da Vinci Club

                               Kayak, Kitesurf, Mountaineering,  Sailing, Scuba, Ski, Waterski & more




















Mission Statement:

The Da Vinci Club's mission is to enable members of the Caltech community to pursue a variety of skill-intensive outdoor sports, by providing instruction , equipment and organized trips.



This is the list of equipment available at the Da Vinci Club shack east of Brown Gym:
  • a kitesurf Peter Lynn ARC kite, board, retractable leash, harness & helmet, as well as a kiteboard training DVD (Boost II).
  • a Method Air whitewater kayak (experts only)
  • 2 single expedition kayaks (a larger Sirocco and a smaller Tempest)
  • 1 double expedition kayak (Northstar)
  • Above: The Northstar double (red) and Sirocco (yellow) and Tempest (blue) single expedition kayaks.


  • 2 Kaos sit-on-top surf kayaks (Kaos)
  • Above: A Kaos sit-on-top surf kayak


  • One wetsuit (large, male).
  • Freshwater 2-piece rod, Shimano reel, fishing box, net, pliers, fishfinder for kayak, rodholder for kayak.
  • Wilderness Engineering Cross-country Kindershuttle ski sled (partly courtesy of Wilderness Engineering).


    We also have the following winter equipment available for check-out at the Y (reserve and check-out this equipment by contacting the Caltech Y at x6163):
  • 2 pairs of MSR Denali Ascent snowshoes with optional extensions.
  • 2 pairs of Fischer BC Country Crown waxless cross-country skis (185 cm and 200 cm), Salomon SNS Profil Auto Bindings (SNS type), and adjustable-length Leki poles
  • Snowshoes and skis are available for $5/day/pair.


  • There also is a catamaran for sailing available through the Sailing Club .

    All kayaks come with gear, including flotation vests and drybags. We also have one helmet, advisable for kitesurf and kayaking in the surf. We also have several books on kayaking and on coastal and river outings in So. Cal. and Baja California. Equipment courtesy of the Moore-Hufstedler Fund.



    Outdoor sports can be dangerous. In order to use any of our equipment, participate in any of our activities or courses, or enter our storage facilities, you MUST sign a waiver and release of liability and return it to Alex Backer, Da Vinci Club, MC 139-74, Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125. There are no exceptions to this policy.

    Equipment rental fees:

    Rental fees are charged to pay for maintenance, repairs, upgrades and expansion. This said, repairs are the responsibility of the renter up to a maximum of $150/incident. The Sirocco, Tempest and Northstar expedition kayaks each go for $10/weekend day or Caltech holiday, $15/weekend, $5/weekday. Fishing equipment, the Kaos (sit-on-top) and whitewater kayaks, sled and kiteboard go for $5/day apiece. Wetsuits will be free in conjunction with a paid rental. Fees should be paid by Paypal to . 
    In order for a reservation to be valid, rental fees must be paid at the time of reservation (or if no advance reservation, at the time of check-out).


    Equipment reservations:


    Equipment check-out:

    To check equipment out, contact Advance warning will help ensure that you find us in time for your desired check-out time. We have roof racks, straps, chains and locks. You will need instructions on how to attach kayaks and boards before check-out: *do not attempt to tie down a board or kayak to your vehicle if you do not know how to do it*. Several accidents have happened this way in the past. We can provide detailed instructions upon request. You also need to know how to use the equipment. You are entirely responsible for proper use, storage and transportation of all equipment.

    Note: We have ROLEEZ Wheels, Inc. straps available to tie down kayaks. We must make you aware of the fact that one of the straps of the same model was torn and cut in two during its first use, letting a kayak fall on the freeway. When contacted about this incident, ROLEEZ Wheels refused to take responsibility, offering only to replace the strap. We thus cannot recommend use of the ROLEEZ straps we currently have available.



    Sea kayaking, eskimo roll, first-aid, avalanche and ice-climbing courses have been planned for this year, courtesy of the Moore-Hufstedler Fund and the Caltech Alumni Association. Subscribe to our mailing list to get course sign-up notices.


    Mailing list:

    Sign-up for our mailing list by visiting the following web page. There is also an email-based interface for users to do things like subscribe and unsubscribe themselves. For more information, send a message with "help" as the subject or body to "".



    You may contact club officers by emailing .



    Affiliate Clubs:

    Alpine Club

    Gliding Club

    Kiteboard Club

    Sailing Club

    Surf & Windsurf Club   


    Why Da Vinci?

    By inventing diving equipment and helicopters, Leonardo Da Vinci gave us means to explore the waters and the skies. More importantly, Leonardo was the quintessential Rennaissance Man, interested in a broad variety of endeavors, combining inventiveness with curiosity. Our club seeks to provide members of the Caltech community with the opportunity to acquire a diverse set of skills while enjoying the incredible climate and landscape of Southern California.



    The Da Vinci Club was co-founded by Alex Bńcker and Dan Lieberman.


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