Go Where the Wind Blows

Northern Yucatan Kiting Expedition 2008
by: Heather Froeming
Photos by: Carla del Moral Castillo

Are you in search of the ultimate kiteboarding adventure? Well, we at Extreme Control are always looking for new places to ride and new adventures. We found just that, a little piece of kiter’s heaven, here on the Yucatan Peninsula. Like you, we are always searching for endless beaches with fun kicking waves, flat water lagoons, kick ass down-winders and crystal clear Caribbean waters. Here’s how it all started… Are you up for th e adventure?

Having been living and kiting endlessly in Tulum for the 2008 season, the “banda” as we like to call ourselves were getting the itch to travel and discover for ourselves how the conditions were in our own backyard. Having traveled to Brazil at the end of 2007, the memories of the experiences and the thought of new possibilities always around the corner were enough to get us packing and on the road again. How could we resist the adventure?

We gathered the troops, the equipment and the essentials… Chips, Gatorade and some quality tunes and were ready to hit the road. Everyone was psyched to go discover new spots and new worlds. We began to enter the Mayan communities and as you drive you start to realize there is more to life than always running to stand still. As we passed pueblo after smallerpueblo, you start to feel more and more tranquil. People just hanging out in their hammocks, doors open, waiting to sell some mangos to a passerby. There are no restaurants, gas stations and banks to make the world turn around here. Listening to chilled tunes and watching the scenery change from jungle, to ranchland, to meadows with tall palms poking their heads out, you start to enter into a slow meditation of life. The pace slows down a bit and your heart stops to race so much.

Four hours later, we pulled into a little fishing village hidden by endless coastline called El Cuyo. We settled into one of the only hotels in town, but even so, it was clean with TV and a/c… the lap of luxury in a small village like this. We headed to the beach and found small fun waves and 18 knots with gusts of 20 or more. We all pumped up and got in the water in a flash. A good session next to a broken down pier with silhouettes of pelicans and a sun sinking in the sky. Not bad… meal of fresh fish and cold beer. Followed by an early night in a sleepy town.

The next day we headed out after a specially prepared breakfast by the hotel staff. There are no places open for breakfast in the town. Life doesn’t really get going till mid-day and even then there’s a paced warm up. Our destination… a flat water lagoon in Rio Lagartos. El Cuyo backs up against Rio Largartos the nature reserve where flamingos come every year to eat and breed. We explored a smooth sandy road along the side of the lagoon and came across a huge expanse of perfect flat water. Just bring your nose plugs, close your mouth and you will have the time of your life popping big air and sporting your tricks. There were flashes of sun reflecting on flocks of flamingos as they flew by checking out who had entered their backyard. We kept our distance so as not to disturb them in their home. The scenery was just perfect. After a good 3 hour session we had to continue on our way to find a place to stay for the night.

We continued on to a cute fishing village called San Felipe. Once there, we scored on a comfy hotel room with an ocean view and characteristic décor. It felt like we were on a boat docked off an exotic coast. I guess we were…. The best part was that they had a powerful shower to wash the salt and heat off from the lagoon. I felt like a new person. Ready for a good meal and some sleep.

We did not have to travel far for the good meal. Downstairs in the home/boat/lodge style lounge/restaurant they were serving up the fresh catch of the day. Hungry kiters will eat you out of house and home and that is exactly what we did during dinner. The boys ordered double orders of fish filets and I think we ended up killing a whole school of fish to feed them. It was super good and filled our tummies for the night. We retired to a session looking at the photos of the day. We had shot some amazing shots and we ready for another day and a new spot.

We all awoke fairly early to catch a big breakfast of eggs, beans, toast, coffee and juice before heading out. We decided we wanted to see more of the coast but we had to turn inland a bit to get to our destination, Dzilam de Bravo. There were rumors of a road, more than likely made of dirt, that was a straight shot across… Our scout on the motorcycle, Leo, decided to go for the adventure. Us in the van, opted for a smooth ride… We arrived about 2 hours later to find a narrow beach with glassy water and a blank horizon so vast it showed the curvature the earth. The wind was light and our young gun Alessandro was the first out. We watched as he struggled to keep going then as the wind picked up one by one we jumped in. The conditions were perfect for practicing those new tricks. I was the last one out and the second I launched my kite I guess they decided to turn the fan off because that was about it for the day. Well, such is the life of a kiter. By this time it was 3:00 and we had to decide to wait, continue on to new spots, or return home. With some responsibilities waiting, we decided to head home.

I was looking forward to the chilled ride back. We stopped in Tizimin, a very typical Yucatecan town. We settled in the square to eat a classic Mexican feast of house specialties. They had fresh fruit juices we had never heard of, marañon, tapeche, and they brought out samples for us to taste. Absolutely delicious. We pounded some coffee to make it through the last leg of our trip. We encountered a few surprise narrow roads on the way, which woke up the sleeping riders, but we arrived in Tulum ready for the next session back in our home turf.

For those of you new to Tulum, the end of the trip is fantastic. An ocean that is quite possibly impossible to describe… an electric blue turquoise splendor under the sun. When you arrive it is hard to resist ripping your clothes off and running straight into the warm Caribbean water. And if there is wind… nothing will stop you from pumping up as fast as you can to get out on the water. Tulum offers nothing but a dream. Flat water bays, open ocean, lagoons and down-winders to the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve all in a new hip place full of restaurants and a range of activities to do. A perfect ending to a perfect trip.

For more information visit Extreme Control. You may contact them via email or call 984 130 1596.

Akumal Villas