Sitting quietly on the sparkling gold sand of Bucerias Beach in Mexico, I’m mesmerized by two young men bouncing off and twisting above the water with a small board attached to their bobbing feet while gripping an apparatus connected to a sail above them. The two young men, one fair and one dark, both speaking fluent Spanish, looked to be simultaneously challenging and instructing each other.
It was looked like dancing on water. Graceful and powerful. At the time, I didn’t know the name of the sport, but it was so captivating that I decided to investigate. (Many of you probably already know what it is.)
The sport is called kiteboarding or kitesurfing and it’s an extreme water sport, not for the faint hearted. Basically, this is how it works: A kitesurfer or kiteboarder slips his feet into the bindings or straps of a small surfboard while holding onto grips of a navigation bar attached to a large kite or sail that pushes and pulls the rider across the ocean surface. Skilled kiteboarders do more than just propel across the water, demonstrating jumps and spins to show off their talent.
Kiteboarding Competition (Kitesurfing Race)
On May 21 – 22 2011, a kiteboarding competition was held in Bucerias, Mexico, where some of these talented young athletes were able to show off their techniques and maneuvers. The second annual Wind Festival 2011 (Festival Del Viento) is a freestyle race and tournament aimed to promote kiteboarding and the town of Bucerias as an ideal location for wind sports for its fantastic wind conditions. In windy season, from January through June, it’s common to have excellent kiteboarding conditions up to 5 days a week.
Freestyle is the most common style of kiteboarding so the race and tournament highlights this form although there are a few others. Freestyle uses a standard kite and board, whereas wake-style uses a flatter board with bindings, and wave-riding uses a special board for riding the bigger waves. Variations of these styles have evolved to include freeride, jumping, and cruising.
Kiteboarders – 132 – from across Mexico gathered for this event. The tournament consisted of 3 freestyle categories so all skill levels could participate. One category was called Open Class for intermediate level; another was identified as National Competition for advanced levels; and the third was the Women’s Division for female kiteboarders. For those wanting to participate but not wanting to compete in the freestyle tournament, the event also included downwinder and long distance races.
As a leading kiteboarding destination in Mexico, if kiteboarding is your sport, consider entering next year’s Wind Festival on May 20-23, 2012 . This fun event is a complete sports competition with food, drinks, and a celebratory party for kiteboarders on the last night, so even if you’re not a kiteboarder, this happens to be an exciting spectator sport surrounded by the beautiful beaches of Bucerias!
Ride the winds of Bucerias Kiteboarding in Bucerias, Mexico along the Riviera Nayarit.