Kiteboarding in Baja
On any given day from November through March, one of the most popular activities in Los Barriles is kiteboarding. Kiteboarding was introduced in the mid 1990’s. The sport is much like a combination of windsurfing and wakeboarding. Kiteboarders use a large, inflatable kite to harness the wind and are pulled across the water on a wake style board. Different size kites allow one to kiteboard in different wind strengths: larger kites allow one to ride in as little as 10 knots, while smaller kite sizes can be used in up to 40 knots. The kite that a kiteboarder will choose is also dependent on their ability and body weight. Boards range from 119cm to 6ft and come with or without straps or bindings.
It may look like it is a sport only for the young and strong, but this could not be further from the truth. It is relatively easy to learn and very gentle on the body. One needs only to be comfortable in the water to learn to kiteboard. Anywhere there is consistent wind, there will be a school offering lesson packages.
When looking to learn to kiteboard, look for certified and experienced instructors. Kiteboarding schools will have special teaching kites and expert and internationally certified instruction to provide a joyful and comfortable learning environment. The premier kiteboarding school in Los Barriles is ExotiKite Kiteboarding School. Owner, Ian Sanders, and manager, Megan O’Leary, have taught people to kiteboard on the East Cape for 10 years. As Ian will tell you, “Over the last decade, kiteboarding has become a much more user-friendly and approachable sport. The gear is safer and easier to use, but the kite is still a powerful piece of equipment. Lessons from an experienced and certified instructor will not only keep you safe, but will also make your learning process much more enjoyable.” At ExotiKite, lesson packages for beginners run for 8 hours over 4 days. Students start on land learning to safely control the kite and then take what they have learned on land and practice it in the water. By the end of 8 hours, our students will be getting their first rides on the board and be fully prepared to practice on their own.
People from all over the world come to the Sea of Cortez to kiteboard. Los Barriles and the East Cape offer amazing wave riding, flat-water riding, and miles-long downwinders. The beaches are still uncrowded and the landscape, in many areas, untouched. The conditions and scenery make it a wind seekers dream.