I took Helm's 3-hour solo class last September, at Third Avenue. My logic was that Third is a dump compared to Alameda, but at least the likelihood of real wind was better. Sure enough it blew perhaps 16 the afternoon of my class, so I got a real feel for the power of a kite bigger than the B-2 I practiced with beforehand.
In retrospect, having a teacher yell advice at me from shore, for the minute or two until I was out-of-range was probably of limited value. And boy do I remember the takeout at Third, on that mini-stretch of beach close to the San Mateo Bridge. With the sideshore breeze effectively an onshore breeze (since the land curves out there) I had to damned-near kiss the rocks, so that the kite could be dropped down the edge of the wind window to the beach, where my teacher could grab it from shore. I'm not companining - just commenting that the required exit was... memorable.
I've watched the one-on-one lessons at Alameda, where the teacher was able to walk in the surf, a foot away from the student, and offer pointers, as the student worked his/her way down the mile or more of beautiful beach. That looks like the way to learn, <B>IF</B> there is enough wind.
Sign up for iwindsurf (free 10-day trial, I believe) and check out the graphs for each location. Perhaps Alameda classes come with some sort of wind-guarantee, where the class is postponed if the wind is too soft.. I don't know.