Five Quick Facts About Kitesurfing
The seventh edition of the Bucerias Wind Festival is approaching and folks throughout the bay are already expecting the event to attract hundreds of kitesurfers from all over Mexico and overseas riding the waves of the Pacific Ocean helped by the prevailing winds.
Even though kitesurfing is not among the most popular water sports in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit—specially when compared to surfing, sailing and paddleboarding—it has gained popularity in the Bucerias area, a small town located between Nuevo Vallarta and La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, approximately 20 minutes from the Puerto Vallarta International Airport. This area offers exceptional weather conditions as it provides high winds, long waves and a 5-mile long beach, making this the perfect stage for competitions and lessons.
Whether you are interested in start practicing this dynamic watersport or just enjoying the Bucerias Wind Festival as a spectator, here are some essential facts about kitesurfing:
- What is Kitesurfing?
Kitesurfing—also known as kiteboarding—is an extreme sport that combines surfing, kite flying and wakeboarding. The kitesurfer moves across the water on a special board helped by a kite pulled by the wind. The kite is attached to the body by straps, allowing the person to jump high in the air.
Even though this could seem like a high-risk sport, just about any adult in good physical condition can take a lesson and jump into the activity in very little time.
The history of kitesurfing dates backs as far as when first time kites were used as means of propulsion during the 13th century. However, the recognized pioneers of kitesurfing as we know it today are the Legaignoux brothers: Dominique and Bruno Legaignoux from Breton, France. In the mid-eighties, they invented and patented the first inflatable kite tested with two skis in their feet.
The sport growing popularity began after the first kitesurfing event was held in 1998 in Maui, Hawaii.
It is true that kitesurfing can be more expensive than most water sports if you want to acquire the complete set up. Specialized boards are priced around $1,500 USD and kites range from $500 to $1,600 USD. Though this may seem like a substantial investment, your own equipment allows you to kitesurf at all times throughout the year. This is particularly recommended for advanced kitesurfers.
In Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, Surf Mexico sells everything you need to enjoy this activity. They are located at Carr. 200 Norte 949, Int. 6 – 7, in Bucerias, Riviera Nayarit. Consult their cataloge of products here.
For those who don’t want to spend that amount of money or just want to kitesurf occasionally, equipment is also available for rent.
- Where to take a lesson in the Vallarta Nayarit area
Pacific Paddle in Bucerias offers a kitesurfing training program called “From Zero to Hero” for those interested in discovering this water sport. The course consists of three levels: the first is a beginners class on the beach where folks can learn all the basics of kite safety and control; the second includes jet sky-assisted kite lessons taught by a certified instructor; and the third features advanced lessons to learn jumps and turns.
- Who can practice Kitesurfing?
Pacific Paddle recommends this water sport for people older than 18 years of age in a good physical condition because it requires arm strength and body control. Minors can also take the course “From Zero to Hero” but it is important they’ve had previous experience with similar sports in the past.
About Wind Festival
The Seventh Wind Festival will take place in Bucerias from May 20-22. The event is organized by the Mexican Kiteboarding Association (AMK by its acronym in Spanish) and it will feature four competitions in different kitesurfing modalities: DownWind, FreeStyle, Course Racing and Big Air. Aside from being a highly-anticipated competition for participants, the Wind Festival offers an exciting opportunity for attendees to appreciate the event from the beach.
Information about every tournament category and registration is available on the website www.festivaldelviento.mx