The San Carlos kiteboarding report is mostly about wind, kite boarding, beaches and bikinis in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico and a few other places. Lots of photos and up to date reports of all the beach action. If you would like to contact me directly about kiting in San Carlos or about kite boarding instruction, my email is: firstname.lastname@example.org (Donald)
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Back on the Water
Lots of people on the beach and lots of kiters on the water. I like it a lot better than the years past when often it would be just a couple of kiters and no one on the beach. Water temp is still way above normal at 66 degrees.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
I've been looking at Playa del Carmen as a place to go next month for a kite vacation but the wind reports lately don't look encouraging. The search for warm water and good wind continues. Any suggestions?
Merry Christmas to all.
Friday, December 15, 2006
The water temperature is still several degrees warmer than normal at 68 degrees. Usually it is closer to 60 and by the end of the month it is often into the 50's. Let's hope that it stays warm all winter.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Three Days Without Wind
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Saturday, December 02, 2006
This is Sunnie
In my blog of Nov.16th, http://kiteboard-mexico.blogspot.com/2006/11/still-hasnt-kicked-in.html, I wrote that there was a non-certified instructor showing up at the beach that I said should be avoided, implying that he didn’t follow the current safety guidelines. He replied with a post in the sailing forum that he moderates at http://sancarlosmx.mywowbb.com/forum4/2027.html . He seems to be challenging me to back up what I wrote, even calling me a coward. Well, readers – you be the judge.
He teaches his clients to set up the kite in the self launch position. WRONG
I have observed that Vinny always sets his kite up this way (he is the only one that does) and will leave it up on end while he goes and gets his wetsuit on, etc. He doesn’t even turn the kite down wind; it is constantly attempting to blow away and the only thing that saves it from doing so is that he underinflates the kites and thus are not so apt to try to straighten out. Your kite should be upside down while you set it up and while you get ready.
He then usually shows them how to self launch. WRONG
Beginners should not be self launching; they should be encouraged to always seek out someone knowledgeable to assist. Many beginners have been having rough launches and they need to know that none of us mind giving them a hand to keep everyone safe. If we see you need help, we won’t wait for you to ask – we want a safe beach. Vinny has objected when we try to give advice or help to one of “his” students.
Vinny also has had his students launch on the beach while hooked in and facing away from the sea, towards land. WRONG
Beginners should never hook in until they are getting into the water and should get into the water as soon as possible after launching. (Please note that this was written in 2006 before we had a modern chicken loop - hooked in meant powered up.) It is better to launch towards the water for obvious reasons. Vinny has his beginning students not just hooked in, but he has them putting the kite through the power zone while on the beach in order to be drug down the beach on their heels.
He teaches his students when self rescuing they should attach the bar leash to the board and follow the safety line to the kite. WRONG
The kite can relaunch with this setup and if you are tangled in the lines, you will get hurt, and look out for the board as it flies past you – that happened to me years ago and I will never self rescue that way again. If you don’t know how to do it right – get instructions from someone who does know.
The other day I was telling someone that I really recommend an impact vest harness and Vinny said to him that he doesn’t need the flotation because he will be wearing a wet suit. WRONG
Turns out he had already sold this guy a harness. Well, an impact vest is not for flotation, Vinny, it is to absorb the impact of crashing as the name suggests. Most have very little flotation. Your ribs are very vulnerable. One of our seasonal kiters, Stuart, broke a rib just a few days ago. Last year Ricardo cracked one, Jeff has broken one and Dave Baraff did also. That is just on our beach, where we only have a few kiters.
Vinny sold a 20M kite to a friend that has never tried the sport. WRONG
Oh my God. A 20M kite to use on a beach where the wind howls. Someone sold a 20M kite to a novice on the other side of Mexico and the local kiting community practically called for his head. Read the comments at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kitesurfmexico/message/6040 (It is in Spanish) I admit that Vinny’s customer weighs more than 70 kgs but this is a kite that can easily get any beginner into trouble.
This is just the major stuff.
My opinions are based on what I have read and watched, and what I have observed on regulated beaches in many locations including major areas such as Cape Cod, South Padre, and Cabarete.
Read the manuals, watch the videos, and take lessons from a certified instructor.
Check out: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xk0ca_ca-fait-mal
I invite comments.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Better Than Nothing
Ive been reading postings on a Canadian kiteboard forum, http://www.skypilotkiteboarding.com/forum/, about kiteboarding in other places in Mexico and the Playa del Carmen area is sounding awfully tempting.
Here are a couple of photos of recent action.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Two Good Days and Then...
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Still Hasn't Kicked In
Jeff has been going nuts doing his back roll with a kiteloop. He nails them most of the time. We also have had a number of new people to the sport out at the beach. It is great seeing people getting excited about learning to kiteboard. Most everyone has taken or is taking lessons. Make sure your instructor is PASA or IKO certified so you know he uses the latest and safest methods. Jeff is PASA certified and he follows their curriculum. There is another rogue instructor on the beach that should be avoided. Jeff can be contacted through his site at http://www.sancarloskites.com/.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Saturday was an off day but the beach was busy as you can see below. Haven't had much wind since Monday. Hoping to get some flying in tomorrow but the forecast says we may have to wait until Sunday when a good four day blow should start.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Great Wind, Finally
For those of you not familiar with our kite site, this is a picture of the bay. We have great wind, flat water, and sandy beaches on a horseshoe shaped bay. In short, a perfect place to kiteboard.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Saturday, October 28, 2006
The northerlies are back but still a bit sporadic. We have had some really good days with wind getting over 20 knots but the wind doesn't stay consistent all day. A bit hit or miss. After a couple of good days we have to put up with two or three lousy days. The water temp has already dropped below 75 degrees so I am having to wear a shorty wetsuit to be able to stay out for extended sessions.
We've had a couple of new people show up and it is always interesting to check out other gear. There is so much stuff out there now and an equal amount of hype about all the gear.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
The Good Wind is Back
The strong northerlies are back, at least they were for the last two days. The forecast doesn't call for anything for the next five days but they have been wrong before. Yesterday Jeff and I were powered up on 9M kites, first time since last season. I forgot how quick those kites are. So much fun, such big air.
I tried out a couple of new boards that Jeff picked up this summer. I was a little skeptical of his Cabrina Icon 138 because it has a lot of rocker and I was going to use it when the wind was already dying late in the day, but it felt great. The next day I used his 142 Airush in powered conditions and does that board ever dig in. No sliding around the turns, that board grabs the water more than my small boards. It goes where you point it.
The water and air temperatures are still great, but I am already using my shorty wetsuit as the wind gets chilly late in the day. It will be full wetsuit weather in two or three weeks as the water cools off quickly this time of year.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Both days had several people on the water, and the beach was full of sunbathers. We also had a few quadrunners that kept racing through the area causing havoc, running over boards and peoples belongings.
The weather is great this time of year. The air temperatures get into the upper 80's and the water is in the lower 80's. Unfortunately, the water will cool off quickly and it will soon be wetsuit time again.
One sour note for the weekend was that Carlos Spriu lost his board when he got blown down wind, crashed his kite and got separated from his board. Usually when this happens the board is found when it washes up on the beach on the other side of the bay but being the weekend there were jet skis on the water and lots of people and vehicles on the beach so it must have gotten picked up before Carlos had a chance to find it.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The Start of a New Season
The weather hasn't changed much yet but it seems that it is trying We are getting more north-westerly winds, although they have mostly been weak. We get at least one good session in a week. I went out today from the La Manga beach and had an enjoyable afternoon ride but it was marginal and I had to really work it to stay upwind. It should just get better from here on out.
The cooler weather has been good for taking the motorbike out into the desert. We are still getting an occasional rain, making this summer one of the wettest I've seen. The often barren desert is covered with grass and all the bushes and trees that just a few months ago were dry and brown are now lush and green.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Back in San Carlos
Well, it has been over a month since my last entry. Not much kiteboarding going on. In Cape Cod there were only a few days of good wind and it was mostly too cold to get me out on the water. I should have brought my full wet suit. I got back to San Carlos a couple of days ago and although there hasn't been much wind there has been a lot of anticipation for the coming season. Jeff went to North Carolina and got his teaching certification and besides the latest teaching techniques he brought down lots of new stuff. New kites, new boards, new videos, a land board, and a great trampoline with an enclosure that allows you to try out all kinds of moves without any danger of bouncing off and killing yourself.
I thought that I had already posted a photo of San Carlos' newest resident but I don't see it anywhere so I will post it here. His name is Noah. He is only two days old in this picture. He was born to Jeff and Kellie, who stayed here in Mexico for the birth which was around the 11th of August. Congratulations.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Out of Here
East Dennis, Massachusetts.
I'll try to write a few blogs from there because it is really a great place.
I made the drive up from San Carlos to Tucson (where I'll fly out of) a couple of days ago and everything was lush from the recent rains. We have had an extended dry period and things were looking pretty brown and dead but the desert has bounced back as it always does.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Still Hot in San Carlos
Yesterday was a nice exception. We had strong wind out of the northwest. A little cooler and drier. And enough to go kite boarding. Jeff and I had a great day. We put up our big kites but really could have gone smaller as we were over powered much of the time. It blew all day from around 11:00 AM until sunset. Didn't get any pictures; too busy playing in the wind and water.
Two other notes: There has been enough rain that everything is nice and green. And Kellie from the Hangout is still patiently waiting to have her baby. She is 41 weeks or so.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Well, I am in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. The flight was long to get here, but not too bad. The trip was worth it. The weather and water are warm, and the wind starts out 10 - 15 knots in the morning and picks up in the afternoon up to 25 knots. The area has plenty of restaurants and the night life goes all night. Maybe the best part of the Republic is the people; friendly, helpful and always with a great attitude and an ability to enjoy life. It seems like they are always smiling. The resort where I am staying is Kitexite where the staff and equipment are great. I am renting their kites and boards for $200 a week and I am trying out different stuff daily. It does get a bit crowded out there but crashes are surprisingly few considering the number of people here that are new to the sport.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Anyway, as to more important things - we had wind ! Wednesday and Saturday it blew out of the northwest up to 22 knots. Very unusual for us to get wind out of that direction this time of year. Usually all we get are southerlies, which are never as nice. So we had a couple of really good days which felt great because it has been an unusually non-windy summer so far. Non-windy enough that I am taking off this week to go to Cabarete, in the Dominican Republic.
And, speaking of unusual things, there was a parade and party on the beach on July 5th. It was a cross dress affair. I was told a story behind this event. Apparently five years ago a group of people new to the area read about a transvestite show in Guaymas and decided to dress the part and go. The show never happened that night, and not only were they the only gringos at the bar, they were they only people in drag. They had a great time and decided to do something similar every year. They live in the subdivision, Costa del Mar, and recruit neighbors and friends to participate. The theme changes a bit from year to year and seems to make for a great excuse to party on the beach.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
San Carlos Beaches Most Polluted in Mexico
Wow, what a report that just came out about the beaches of this area. The worst in Mexico. If the bacteria count gets to 104 they close the beaches in the USA. The bacteria count was as high as 22,000 at our beaches. I don't know how it can be this bad and there not be a lot of people getting sick, but the testing was done by an official government lab. Maybe we locals that are in the water all the time are immune to this level of bacteria but it could make an unsuspecting tourist very sick. Green Peace Mexico has started a campaign called "Queremos Playas Limpias" or We Want Clean Beaches. I know that of all the places that I have been in Mexico, Guaymas is the most polluted, and I have read that the levels of skin and respiratory infections are extremely high among the children of Guaymas. It will be interesting to see what the reaction will be from the local business leaders. Will they demand action to clean up the pollution, or will they try to cover up the facts and downplay the risks. Would you swim in water or let your kids swim in water that you know is more than 200 times the established at risk level for bacteria? You wouldn't if you were in the states because the risks would be well publicized, but I'll bet that most people here will ignore this report. Swim at your own risk !
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Monday, June 19, 2006
A Nice Sunday
Well, there wasn't enough wind Sunday. What else is new. It was blowing 10 - 12 knots, which was enough to go out on a Hobie Cat. Rodolfo, his 5 year old son, and I had a nice sail, pulled the boat up on the rocky beach near the tip of Deer Island and had a nice time snorkling in the warm, fairly clear water. There were lots of fish, especially hiding in the sargaso seaweed that reaches from the bottom almost to the surface. I didn't take my speargun, but I should have. Later, back at the Hangout which has a new bar called The Soggy Peso, it was time to enjoy a cold beer and listen to some live music. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Earlier in the week we tried out the conditions at a beach the other side of Guaymas, called Cochorit. It was fun to go someplace else but the sand is oily, the result of being downwind from the sardine packing plant. Below are a couple of photos from that day. We also got in one good day this week kiting near the condos Pilar. A bit gusty, 12 - 24, and big choppy surf but it was fun.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Quiet Summer Days
The visibility in the sea has gotten decent and the water temp is up to about 83 degrees so the snorkeling is good too. Still the heat is oppressive and I have been spending lots of time looking for other places to go. Dominican Republic is looking real good for kiteboarding. I think that I'll be making reservations very soon.
A couple of weeks ago I had my ripped up Crossbow kite repaired at a local shop, Marine Mart, and they did an excellent job for only 300 pesos, about $27. They have also done other repairs for kiters including things like harness repair and zipper replacement, usually while you wait and for as little as $10. The shop is located on the way to the beach so it is a great asset to the kiting scene.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Road Trip to Altata
Food, drink, and live mariachi music at the waters edge.
In the center of town in Navolato.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Three Good Days
Tueday Scott and I did a session at the other end of San Carlos near the condos Pilar and had fun with the waves and all the space. Didn't take any photos there, so here is one from Wednesday back at "the kiddy pool."
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Still no Wind
Friday, May 12, 2006
Is the Season Over?
Enough ranting about a bad kite. Better I should be ranting about the wind, or lack thereof. I am told that there was very little wind for the week that I was gone and now the prediction doesn't call for anything but light southerlies for the next week. According to windguru they are having better wind a little south of here, at Altata. I think that they used to have a Red Bull King of the Air competition still further south at Puerto Vallarta in June. It may be time for a road trip.
Sunday, April 30, 2006
Later in the afternoon the wind mellowed out a little but it was still real gusty. A few people were getting beat up by the conditions including getting picked up and getting slammed in the water and on the beach.
I was too busy to get any photos when everybody was out on the water but here is a photo of Carlos Spriu earlier in the day tearing it up coming in toeside with a 7.5 meter kite and an old pickle fork board.
Friday, April 28, 2006
Below is Carlos arriving by bike to the kite beach and to the right is Carlos getting some nice air.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
San Carlos is approximately at 28 degrees latitude so you can see what color the chart is where the 28 degree line intersects with the mainland of Mexico. From the key you can read the temperature in Celsius. For those of you from the USA and used to temperatures in Fahrenheit, I have included a conversion chart below.
13 C ..........55.4 F
14 C ..........57.2 F
15 C ..........59.0 F
16 C ..........60.8 F
17 C ..........62.6 F
18 C ..........64.4 F
19 C ..........66.2 F
20 C ..........68.0 F
21 C ..........69.8 F
22 C ..........71.6 F
23 C ..........73.4 F
24 C ..........75.2 F
25 C ..........77.0 F
26 C ..........78.8 F
27 C ..........80.6 F
28 C ..........82.4 F
29 C ..........84.2 F
30 C ..........86.0 F
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Wind is Still Blowing, the Water is Still Cold
Monday, April 17, 2006
Back to Normal
Now that the crowds of Semana Santa are over, the beaches are accessible again. A bunch of us did manage to make it out last Saturday for a decent session but it was a long ride home due to bumper to bumper traffic. Sunday was less traffic but also less wind. The weather prediction for today called for very little wind but I measured gusts up to 26 knots. There were people on the beach, but I was the only kiteboarder.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
The Semana Santa Fiesta
I recently got an email from Glen, who was here kiteboarding this winter. He and his buddy, Dave, came down as novices and left as accomplished kiteboarders. They recently made a trip to South Padre in Texas and Glen said that he kited all ten days he was there, with several days of 30 - 40 knots. Below is a photo of Glen when he was here this winter, getting some good use of an old kite that I sold him for $50. Way to go Glen !