What Size Kite Should You Bring to La Ventana?

One of the coolest things of La Ventana is that the wind blows consistently from the North, it is a side shore breeze, and usually blows about 17-24 mph. This means that the conditions are pretty much the same from day to day and when you are a beginner kiter that is exactly what you want! If conditions are changing every time you go kiteboard, you will have to adapt to them and learn to kiteboard at the same time. In La Ventana, you can focus mainly on learning and nailing down kite skills, use the same gear every day and get comfortable with the wind speed, and have the same upwind reference points because the wind direction and speed are usually the same on windy days. In La Ventana we call it, “the classic breeze”.
 
Playa Central is at the red star. You can also see how the bay acts like a catcher´s mitt for beginner kiters.

When choosing a kite size consider your weight, board size and wind speed.

 
The more somebody weighs, the more power they will need to ride, so a bigger kite is needed. Kite sizes are in square meters and refer to the surface area of a kite. In La Ventana, a guy who weighs 180 lbs would mostly be on a 9m kite, while most women weighing 145 lbs would be on a 7m. Some thrifty couples who kiteboard share a small quiver of kites since they will usually never be on the same size kite because of their difference in weight.

 

Couples can usually share kites because they will most likely never be on the same size kite. Photo taken on Playa Central´s beach lawn.
On a light wind day of maybe 17 mph, you could pump a 12m kite if you have one, or you can use a big surfboard or twin tip and use your 9m. The bigger your board, the less power you need to get water started, the less resistance there is on the water, it is easy to plain and steadily go upwind, and you can have fun with a surfboard! Sometimes, you can make up for a small kite with a big board.

Jessica takes out a surfboard and an 11m kite on a light wind day.
Note: an average twin tip board is about 134cm, a big board would be a 150 cm. A big surfboard would be a 6´or a 7´board.
Talking Facts
The season is from Oct-April yet the windiest months are Dec-Feb. You can see Ikitesurf´s Wind Statistics here. If you are able to travel all year, we recommend coming the first and last two months becuase you avoid the Christmas and New Year´s crowds on the water, and prices usually increase during the holidays.
* Roughly, at any certain wind speed, for every 10 pounds more per person, it´s about one meter increase for kite size.
It´s easy to rig your gear when you already know which size kite you will take out, one less thing on your mind!
October & November
Guys of 170-190 lbs: 9m and 12m.
Girls of 135-155 lbs: 7m and a 9m
(If you are a couple, then it would be best do have a 7m, 9m and 12m)
December, January & February
Guys of 170-190 lbs: 8m and 11m
Girls of 135-155 lbs: 6m and a 9m
(If you are a couple, get a 6m, 9m, and 11m)

March & April

Guys of 170-190 lbs: 9m and 12m.
Girls of 135-155 lbs: 7m and a 9m
(If you are a couple, then it would be best do have a 7m, 9m and 12m)
Gear Rentals
At Playa Central you can rent a kite, harness, wet suit and board all day for $110 dollars a day. You can exchange all your gear throughout the day and try out new styles. If you decide to buy some of the gear you tried, we sell you your new kite and you can apply your rental fee toward the purchase. This is another thing we do to help kiters kind what gear suits their riding the best.

We have lots of new and used kites for demo and rent, contact us for more info.
Tips:
– Try to get some line extensions for your kite, most lines are about 22m in length, but if you can get a set of short lines then you can use 15m or 17m lines and make your kite fly like it is about 2m smaller than it is.
– On low wind days you can do longer tacks to stay upwind, but make sure not to chase the wind out and only kite as far from the beach as you are willing to self rescue from.
For more information or questions please email jessica@playacentralkiteboarding.com
If you would like to book kiteboarding lessons, visit www.playacentralkiteboarding.com to check out prices. Thank you!

 

Free Kiteboarding Self Rescue Clinic in La Ventana

Jessica, the lead instructor at Playa Central Kiteboarding in La Ventana, offered a free clinic on how to do a self rescue and safety tips on how to handle unexpected situations. Her kite school instructs all level of kiteboarding and has found that even some advanced riders would benefit from a review like this. In this clinic she also encouraged people to feel comfortable enough to pull their safety release on the beach or in any unfriendly situation on a dime.

After announcing the clinic on her Facebook Page and a local Newsletter, Jessica had about 16 kiters of all ages show up at 10 AM and soak in tips on how to calmly self rescue, and what to do if you can´t remember any of the tips!
Here are some tips and FAQ´s from the clinic:
*When would I have to do a self rescue?
If you simply cannot re launch your kite after several attempts
If your lines are tangled/inverted/twisted and you have lost control of your kite.
If you and another sailor get tangled; and other unexpected situations.
* Step by step Self Rescue:
1. Execute your safety release (most safeties are push away safeties, make sure to know how to release from a kite before you use it in the water).

2. At this point you are not connected to your bar, only your leash will have tension and be connected to one of the center lines, and your bar and the 3 or 4 lines (depending on if it is a 4 or a 5 line kite) will bounce away from you toward your kite leaving all other lines with slack. When all the tension is on one line, the kite can no longer take shape of that solid wing, thus it will keep depowring the more slack the other lines and keep the tension on the leash line.
3. Pull yourself to your bar, wrap the line around one tip of your bar to secure that tension. Then grab all the lines and continue wrapping until you get to your kite, if you have rubber bands around your bar use it to keep the lines wrapped up. You will be tired, so rest here and catch your breath.

5. If your kite is face down on thew water, just like you would have it on the beach, then sometimes it is hard to flip the kite over belly up. Start at a wing tip if you can, and slowly get flip the leading edge over.
6. You will sail in toward the beach by using your kite as a sail by essentially holding the two wing tips. Sometimes you grab the back line and ce
nter bridal and feel out the kite and find the best position to sail with the kite. Remember the canopy needs to be exposed to the wind to get it to sail, so play around and find that sweet spot where you start actually sailing back to the beach.
* What if you cannot remember any of this?Just release your kite, grab the only line you will be connected to (your lead through or leash line) and pull yourself to your kite, don´t bother rolling your lines up, and once you get to your kite make a sail our of it and sail back to shore.

Jessica´s school is open to everybody but it so happens that a third of our clients are kids! Yes, kids! Ages 8 and up, so if you are a parent please make sure to contact Jessica and ask about Kid Camps and special kid packages.
For great kiteboarding lessons in La Ventana reserve your spot by e-mailing jessica@playacentralkiteboarding.com or visit playacentralkiteboarding.com
You can also check out the link from The Kiteboarder’s website for beginner kiters:http://thekiteboarderschool.com/self-rescue/ to see some videos and read the tips they give you.

10 Things You Need to Know to Learn How to Kiteboard

Our kiteboarding school in La Ventana, Playa Central Kiteboarding is a great place to come and learn how to kiteboard. We hope you can make it! If you are not able to come to Baja for lessons, we wish you the best with your kiteboarding learning curve. As you are learning to kiteboard you will get lots of info and tips from your friends, online sources and your instructors. Just as a reference, we have made a simple check list of the ten things you should make sure you know how to do and understand about kiteboarding.

Use this as you check list for learning how to kiteboard:
Disclaimer: there are many more things that are very important when learning how to kiteboard and these are just 10 of the most important ones. For best and safest results make sure to take at least 9-15 hours of kiteboarding lessons before you try it on your own.

Wind Window and the Kiteboarding Power Zone1.The Wind:
Learning what the wind window is and where neutral and the power zones are and why. Understand how to generate power with the kite as well as how to depower it. You will need to know how to keep the kite stable and how to create power strokes with the kite. For this you will want to use a trainer kite.

 

 

 

 

Jessicaaa2. The Kiteboarding Gear
It is important to know what gear is used in kiteboarding and the adjustments or options you have as a consumer. There are several types of harnesses, boards, kites and bars, as well as gadgets and accessories you might be interested in, some being waterproof headsets, to a GPS tracker, to safety vests with bells and whistles (popular for people who kiteboard under the Golden Gate Bridge), to Go Pro cameras, etc. Find the best gear for hometown conditions so you can enjoy kiteboarding to the fullest. Know how to put your gear up and and tips on keeping it in good conditions

 

 

 

One handed Kiteboarding in La Ventana Baja3. Learn How to Fly the Kite with Stability and Do One Handed Walking on the Beach.
You need to feel confident on the beach, so learn how to walk one-handed upwind on the beach while keeping your kite stable. Learning how to launch and land your kite is very important and is mainly about knowing how to keep you kite stable while you are standing on the beach lowering and elevating your kite. You also need to know how to launch and land other people’s kites for them.

 

 

 

Learn How to Relaunch a Kite in the Watrer at Playa Central in La Ventana4. Re-launching Your Kite in the Water.
There are three ways a kite can land in the water and there are three ways to relaunch it. Make sure you know how to do this so that you can optimize your time while you are in the water.

 

 

 

 

 

DSCF60215. Self Rescue and Safety Release System
Make sure you know what a safety release system is and how to use it, know that different kite manufacturers use different safety release systems. Before entering the water alone you will want to know how to perform a self-rescue with your kite. A great way to learn this is to practice it on the beach before practicing in the water so you can ask your instructor questions and not lose time and energy practicing it for the first time in the water.

 

 

 

Body Dragging in the watter in La Ventana Baja California Learn How to Kiteboard6. Body Dragging Skills.
Once you are in the water you want to continue to practice your kite stability, make sure you can keep your kite stable at 45° angles on both sides with one hand. Also make sure you can do fluid power strokes towards the same direction without letting the kite pass “12 o’clock” in between strokes. Start being aware of the traffic that surrounds you. After knowing the previous skills begin practicing the up-wind body dragging.

 

 

 

Geeting your board back when you are kiteboarding in la ventana7. Handling Your Board and How To Get It Back
Practice body dragging with your board and handling it in the water switching it on and off your feet, side by side. In order to get your board back you need to know how to body drag up-wind. Some other tips include buying orange or yellow boards when learning because white and dark boards are not as visible in a windy sea of water and white caps. Make sure you have your ear on your shoulder, that helps you point upwind better. Do about 100 yard tacks because beginners tend do not do long enough tacks. Always wait for the board to be in front of you before you reach to grab it, if you are reaching behind to grab it you might hurt your shoulder or as you life it out of the water the wind may blow it toward you or in between your lines.

 

 

 

Get a feel for how much power you need so you can get up on your kite when you are leaning to kiteboard8. Water Starting Power Strokes
Once the board is on your feet you will need to know how much power you will need to generate with your kite in order for you to be able to be pulled up and begin riding. If you are still learning, try these two things: either start with an up-stroke before you do the down stroke (this way you will be pulled up and out of the water a little before you are pulled across the water), or just try to first learn how much down-stroke power you need to just stand up, not up and riding. These exercises will help you learn how much power you need and prevent you from face planting.

 

 

 

IMG_64659. Riding Stance and Transitions
As soon as you can control the kite power you will have the ability to start riding. You progression at this stage depends on your board skills, but basically controlling the kite speed and using the kite as your speed leverage is the key to riding. Being able to stay upwind and travel upwind is important so you can return to the same beach. As a beginner it is common to end up downwind from where you started, so make sure you know where you will be coming into the shore downwind and have a plan of how to do it.

 

 

 

IMG_626910. Kiteboarding Rule of Thumbs
There are lots of tips and rules of thumbs when learning how to kiteboard, and these are just a few of the most important ones: kite sizes depend on the wind speed and the kiter’s weight; never kiteboard in offshore winds; before launching your kite go ahead and put your board by the shore so you can grab it as you are entering the water; do not stay on the beach with the kite in the air, the beach is for launching and landing; make sure someone knows you are kiteboarding; have a plan B of where you will might need to come off the water in case of light wind or not being able to ride upwind; be safe and aware of other people’s safety.

Kiteracing Enduro Month in La Ventana, Baja: 28 days of #kiteracing.

The Playa Central staff is creating an opportunity for kiteracers and people who are getting into kiteracing, to go on a long term training vacation  to improve their skills, tune their gear set-up to go the fastest possible and network with pros, brand owners, and learn about upcoming races and events. We have learned that when pro racers, gear designers, and people who are getting into kiteracing are at the same beach sharing information and experiences it helps the kiteracing industry grow in a direction that is welcoming to beginners, interesting to spectators and promotes the pro racers of today. Playa Central´s Kiteracing Enduro Month will be a chance for optimized trainning, allow people to receive instruction for specific areas of their kiteracing, let the industry more familiar with the hands on experience that beginner racers face when getting started with the discipline, and it provide a real time testing ground for R&D with gear designers and their team riders all at the same beach.

 

Enduro boys Racing

kite_crop8The enduro month will be Feb 1st-28th, and will be twenty eight days of #kiteracing, clinics, yoga, racing drills, and fun. Racers can register for a month or week at a time, yet we will keep score of the total race points of the whole month and have an Enduro champion. Playa Central will run one evening race every day, and a regatta on Fridays with hopefully 5 starts, weather permitting. After the Friday races there will be a small awards ceremony for each week at the Playa Central wood oven restaurant bar and there will be soft goods as prizes for both men and women. Twice a week we will have a short clinic on gear, and another on tactics and skills, both which will be included with the enrollment, as well as morning yoga classes for all racers. The idea is to be one stop kiteracing training center for international and national riders, covering all areas, including raceboard storage, at a low price.

Enduro Brian and RistaThis 2014 Kiteracing Enduro Month has been inspired byASV Performance KitesRista FinsAguera BoardsAdam Withington, Adam Koch, to name a few companies and pro racers who have been using La Ventana as their training grounds and as R&D hot spot. The fact that lots of other pro racers, like John and Erika Heineken, Bryan Lake, Joey Pasquali, Jessica Sikinger, Brian KenderSean Farley Gomez, Cynthia Brown and Julien Kernuer have also spent weeks and months in and out of Baja for regattas, R&D and training has promoted La Ventana as a kiteracing spot, and made it a place where people can go and race and most likely be lining up next to the best in the world.

Enduro ASV RistaWe expect to see American and international teams of kiteracers come down for the whole month, and train here because it will be inexpensive living, valuable training, and fun networking. Beginner racers mainly from the West Coast, as well as other places will seek out one of two weeks of the Enduro Month and get the most concentrated practice time they can get, or if they can work it out, we would hope to see beginners commit to the whole month. We also would like to invite kite companies and their team riders to base out of Playa Central for the month, and really take advantage of the casual, yet high level of the kiteracing that will be going on.

Enduro Race Month Xantos and AdamWe expect to see American and international teams of kiteracers come down for the whole month, and train here because it will be inexpensive living, valuable training, and fun networking. Beginner racers mainly from the West Coast, as well as other places will seek out one of two weeks of the Enduro Month and get the most concentrated practice time they can get, or if they can work it out, we would hope to see beginners commit to the whole month. We also would like to invite kite companies and their team riders to base out of Playa Central for the month, and really take advantage of the casual, yet high level of the kiteracing that will be going on.

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