Hunter saw some videos of people snow kiting in November and decided that he really really really wanted to learn how to do that. We decided that we would test out learning to kiteboard on water first as it seemed like the crashes would hurt less…
As luck would have it, we had a broader family trip scheduled to Cabo San Lucas in February so we decided to find a way to fit a kiteboarding adventure in. We went to Captain Kirks resort in La Ventana, which is just south of La Paz on the Sea of Cortez. It is about 2.5 hours north east of Cabo San Lucas. The resort was fabulous… the kite school is right on site, the accommodations are fabulous – a set of individual casas and casita’s depending the size of your group, and everything is right off the beach.
La Ventana is a very small coastal town south of La Paz on the eastern side of the Baja Peninsula. It is recognized as a fabulous location to learn to kite board due to the predictable thermal winds, relatively calm tides and the fact that the winds are mostly onshore, which means that you won’t get blown out to the ocean if you make a mistake. The beaches are also fairly wide with lots of room to learn to fly the kites on the sand before committing to getting dragged around the ocean.
The beginner package is 9 hours, split up over 3 days, and walks you through everything you need to know to get started. It also includes all of the equipment that you will need, including wetsuits.
The first 3 hours is spent learning about the gear, safety and how to fly a trainer kite, which gives you a taste of the power of the wind.
The second 3 hours steps you up into the full sized kites, you learn how to self-rescue in case of any equipment breakage when out in the water and really get comfortable launching the kite and flying it in all sorts of different positions. One of the hardest things is parking the kite straight above you at “noon” – this is basically putting it in neutral where the wind is not driving you in any specific direction. We ended our second lesson doing body dragging with the kite in the ocean, learning how to go upwind and downwind and basically go where you want with the kite.
The third 3 hours puts everything together and you now incorporate the kite board into the equation. You learn how to “surf” just holding the board under your body to get leverage. Once you are comfortable with that, you then work on parking the kite at noon, getting the board on your feet (with one hand still on the kite), staying neutral and stable and then powering up the kite to get enough wind to pull you out of the water. You are looking to generate enough wind power to be similar to when a boat pulls a wakeboarder out of the water (at approx 15-20km/hr). This is all great in concept but super challenging in reality. It involves a lot of crashes – some small and some spectacular – think front edge crashes on a snowboard while being pulled forward at the waist at 15km/hr…
One of the scariest parts was being out in the water, trying to figure out how to get up and going and being surrounded by all these other kiters zipping by. It would be akin to learning to ski on the bunny hill, but having the bunny hill placed in the middle of a fast blue run!
Like any sport, it all looks so easy from the outside…. Sometimes it’s tough to put yourself back in a learners mindset and be patient with the learning curve.
It was great having the ATV shuttle on our last day as you were able to get twice as many downwind runs in without having to march yourself and the kite back up the beach all the time.
Overall we had a fun three days and definitely recommend both Captain Kirk’s and kiting for other adventure seeking families!