https://velabaja.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/MG_1834.jpg 1000 1500 velabaja https://velabaja.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/velabajalogo3-300x138.png velabaja2018-03-21 08:27:162018-03-21 08:27:16The last class
After a great season, Kites lessons at Vela Baja have now concluded. They will commence again early November.
That’s me and my amazing instructor Eric in the pic.
I’ve been windsurfing since 1976. Been wanting to try kiteboarding/ kitesurfing for many years. Thought about it when kiteboarding was new, but there weren’t many safety protocols.
Decided on Los Barriles having stopped there on car and boat Baja trips before. There are at least 3 places that teach kiting. I checked them all out and decided on Vela because of the instructors, certification, type of instruction, and location.
VERY HAPPY with my choice. In fact would have been unhappy at an other place. Vela is located at Hotel Playa del Sol. Between sessions or waiting for a lesson, you sit in a wind- and sandstorm-protected above-beach poolside viewing area with a great view of the water and any ongoing kiting/ windsurfing. Bathroom available. Restaurant inside. Also there’s a little hook in the beach which provides a relatively shorebreak-free entry and exit point. And it’s located on the downwind end of the kite-able stretch of beach, which means for learners, you get taken way upwind (on a 4-wheeler) and end up in front of the resort/ school. And at the end of the day, there’s a wonderful circular bar or sometimes bonfire to gather around and tell war stories. There are several great instructors — I had Eric and Patrick. A wonderful emphasis on safety to start. For the record, if the kite/ situation starts to get away from you, you can 1) un-power (just let go!) 2) spill wind 3) crash the kite or 4) completely disconnect from the kite. So the worst case scenario is NOT a 1,000′ elevator or crashing into a building, it’s reset and get going under control.
Teaching: these guys get in the water. You hang on and drag and learn up close, then they linger with you. Some other schools use radio and headphones, and tbh I thought that would have been better (it was the only “better” thing about the other choices, in my mind), BUT having the hands-on and more importantly demonstration-correction instruction (“you’re doing this; instead do this”) was INVALUABLE.
Normally I’m fairly impatient and I chafed a little at the slow start (rigging, safety… come on I want to get going). But that only lasted about 4 hours, just seemed longer, and like the in-water instruction, it was INVALUABLE as I went along bc I already knew those 1-4 safety (and control) things above when I hit the water.
SUPER MAN — the most common rookie mistake, especially for old windsurfers, is to PULL IN/ POWER UP instead of LET GO/ DE-POWER when you start to lose it. I swore I wouldn’t do it but I did — cranked down instead of releasing and launched myself (a “Superman”, as you fly through the air, arms extended, feet trailing). But another great thing about LB in general: a side-shore wind means Supermen fly safely side-shore, not offshore or onshore.
The overall about an 11 on a scale of 1-10. The first time you get going is priceless. I had to leave after barely getting the hang of it. Can’t wait to get back this season for 2-3 weeks, 6 if I can swing it. And I didn’t even mention the ridiculously cheap FRESH fish tacos n beer for lunch. And dinner.
Basically, my comment can be summed up like this: 1. If you’ve been wanting to try kiteboarding, DO. 2. The best place to do it is Los Barriles. 3. The best location, instructors, and vibe is Vela. Go for it!
Hey John, Thanks for the great and detailed write up. We really appreciate you taking the time to write your reply and review of your Vela Baja experience.
We are just about to prepare for the new season and hope to see you back in Los Barriles soon.
All the best, your Vela Baja Team