Kitesurfing in Puerto Vallarta
North of Puerto Vallarta, there are two great places to visit; the town of Bucerias and west of there to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. We recall when these villages were not much more than places we passed through on the way north. Wind, loved by daredevils, aficionados of extreme sports has brought athletes, their followers and observers to these places. As we have watched their exponential growth. The Riviera Nayarit Wind Festival, taking place this year May 19 – 31, gives us all a chance to watch this magnificent harnessing of Mother Nature.
The thermal effect, which is created by the warm air in the immense Valley of Banderas that faces the ocean, begins to whip up around 1 pm and usually lasts for about six hours. The Mexican Kiteboarding Association (yes, there is such a thing) installed a weather monitor for wind enthusiasts, which detects the current of the wind. May is one of the best months for this sport, with offshore or sideonshore flows. By July, different patterns set in for the next six months and new kitesurfers can learn to fly in calmer conditions .
There are different types of Kitesurfing and Kiteboarding, which we will see represented at this festival. The combination of several sports, such as wakeboarding, snowboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, skateboarding, gymnastics have all inspired this innovation. In kiteboarding, the athlete stands on a board, no straps or bindings, and moves with the power-kite, as it’s called, which glides over the water. Kitesurfing is similar but defined more by the fact that one actually rides the waves. The styles of this sport vary… freestyling; downwinding; course racing and speed; jumping and wakestyle. The boards used are typical surfboards or custom made with detailed shapes to maneuver, according to the riders’ talent, experience and style.
Wind sports on the water have grown in popularity over the past decade. Once there was a time we would be amazed and delighted to see a lone windsurfer on the water in Bucerias; now they are seen in abundance on the bay from January to June. Lessons are available and vacations are planned around spending a week or two learning how to tame the wind. Rental shops are easy to find and kite gear is for sale in locations close to the beach.
The best spots to watch the competition will be right on the shore and there are restaurants along the coastline where we recommend getting a close-up view, timed for sunset to end a perfect day of watching men and women join the birds in a display of strength and bravery!
Que es cómo es.
Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia (opinions expressed are his own)
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