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La Ventana Questions (Beginner)

 
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watercamper

Since 08 Sep 2017
7 Posts
Boise
Kook



PostMon Sep 18, 17 4:13 pm    La Ventana Questions (Beginner) Reply with quote

So, our lessons are over. Now comes the fun part, right at the end of the season. Bad timing on our part. We'd like to head to La Ventana/El Sargento/Los Barilles to enjoy some time in Baja and practice what we have just learned. Say January and February. I last windsurfed in LB in 1990. Never visited LV but I've read a bit. I have some questions I hope you guys can help with.

First, we're beginners. Gotta start somewhere. Just got up on the board. One direction only. Didn't ride far. With a smidge more time, we should be riding.

Hard question: Is the LV area good for us? I don't want to take more lessons. Just practice what we just learned. And, I don't want to get in the way of other kiters. I was looking at the beach in front of the El Sargento campground for example and it looked okay for us. We could easily walk upwind and get out of everyone's way. But, definitely not shallow water. That said, having other kiters around to help launch and land would be nice. Or, to point out those novice errors. Or, to sit around and drink beer with Very Happy

Or, would you recommend waiting until March and going to S. Padre Island? Shallow water on the bay side. Great for beginners so I hear.

I would prefer Baja. Always loved going there. And, we speak Spanish so that's not a problem. And, LV has mtn biking. SPI - no. And I wouldn't have to go to Tx. Better camping in Baja. More touristy in SPI.

TIA for your thoughts!

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ldhr

Since 21 Jul 2009
869 Posts
Hood River
Opinionated



PostMon Sep 18, 17 6:19 pm     Reply with quote

Do you have your own kites and boards?
Wetsuits, harnesses?
Are you on a budget or can you go deluxe?
Are you driving and camping in a camper?

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Sasquatch

Since 09 Mar 2005
1531 Posts
P-town
STACKED



PostMon Sep 18, 17 6:44 pm     Reply with quote

Go to LV. Get back on to a board the sooner you can to cement what you have learned already.

Lots more to do when and or if it isn't windy.

There is really no shallow water down in LV like SPI. Texas is a sh%t storm and will be for some time . . .

Sounds to me like you might need another lesson or two.

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watercamper

Since 08 Sep 2017
7 Posts
Boise
Kook



PostMon Sep 18, 17 7:22 pm    Gear/Camper Reply with quote

We will have our own gear. We will be living/camping in our van. We may spend some time at one of the campgrounds or look around for free camping or both. Any suggestions?

We can boondock for quite awhile. Usually, food and water needs force us to go shopping. We like fresh fruit/veggies so trips to La Paz will probably happen to pick up large garrafones and have a choice for food.

Can't find any good info on cell signals in LV. I'll bring an unlocked GSM phone and see if TelCel will work or whatever carrier. Or get wifi at a campground. Or...

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moondog

Since 15 Aug 2007
385 Posts
white salmon
Obsessed

CGKA Member


PostMon Sep 18, 17 7:37 pm     Reply with quote

The bay in LV is a big catchers mitt. Any issues you just drift to the south beach. Very beginner friendly, lots of free camping at the Hot Springs and the Boofadora. ATT cell phones are connected with Telmex, no extra charges. Huge farmers market every thursday with fruits and veggies. Winds blow 5 days a week in Jan-feb, it is becoming GENTRIFIED!
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5walnut10

Since 01 Aug 2014
43 Posts

 



PostMon Sep 18, 17 8:58 pm     Reply with quote

La ventana will be fun. The only stress I would expect is that the bay by the catchers mitt gets very busy. I remember being intimidated there as a new kiter. The closer to the mitt you get, the fewer kites and unfortunately less downwind room. Try to find the happy medium.

I hope you have a blast!

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ErraticAKn

Since 08 Jul 2011
522 Posts

Addicted

CGKA Member


PostTue Sep 19, 17 6:40 am     Reply with quote

Quite a bit of camping north of La Ventana and a little to the south. If you don't mind boondocking your camping options will double in both options and views.
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ldhr

Since 21 Jul 2009
869 Posts
Hood River
Opinionated



PostTue Sep 19, 17 8:44 am     Reply with quote

You can check out both places. They're just 2 hours apart.
Both towns have proper campgrounds that are van friendly and various off the grid spots.
I used to prefer LV but I had a recent trip to Barriles and it was awesome.
Both towns have busy beaches but there's lot's of less crowded spots to launch.
You could hit LV first - get a spot at the campground in LV on the beach, take a few days to check out the scene and determine if you prefer the campground or off the grid camping.
The campground and the adjacent overflow into the arroyo is pretty sweet. Once you're setup you won't need to drive - everything is within walking distance.
Also - lot's of people who own land rent spots for boondocking.
Same advice for Barriles - just show up and wing it - lots of options.

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windwatcher

Since 18 Aug 2005
19 Posts
B.C. Canada
 



PostMon Sep 25, 17 8:15 am    La Ventana Reply with quote

The campground is a great place to start. Lots of friendly people and large beach. Start there and end up at Baja Joes and do the walk of shame back up the beach. The reason I say get out at Baja Joes is there is aways someone to land you and the rocks that line the shore under the water have mostly been picked up (same as the camp ground). If you want cheaper or free camping the arroyo just north of the campgroundis a great choice. Last year the mexican band that owns the campground was trying to collect money in the arroyo between the road and the beach, which I think was shoot down as I beleive the arroyos are Federal land. I know for sure people staying above the road in the same arroyo, stayed for free. From the campground and that arroyo you can easily walk to the farmers market or the grocery store south.

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windwatcher

Since 18 Aug 2005
19 Posts
B.C. Canada
 



PostMon Sep 25, 17 8:28 am    La Ventana Reply with quote

Sorry one more thing Groceries are more expensive in Los Barrelis. More expats there and much further to big city shopping. In La ventana you are 35 min away from La Paz where their isn't a big tourist trade, which keeps the prices down for the local mexican population. Because of this the price of food in La Ventana is cheaper. We have spent three winters in La Ventana and make a big grocery run into La Paz once a month and buy bread, milk and produce as we need it in La ventana. My wife and I eat nicely for around $300 CA/month. We can't wait to get back down there, to the warm dry days of a Baja winter( only about three hours of rain all winter and maybe 7 days of cloud over.

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watercamper

Since 08 Sep 2017
7 Posts
Boise
Kook



PostMon Sep 25, 17 10:12 am    Thanks and rain Reply with quote

Thanks to all of you! Lots of good info here. As for rain, we went to Los Barriles in 1991. Part of Dec and Jan if I remember. Many of the arroyos on the drive down had washed out the road. Some still had flowing water and people were waiting to cross. Most has some kind of vehicle path to get through.

We arrived with good weather and some wind that didn't last long. It rained so hard and much that the campground flooded. I have photos some where of all of us in rain jackets n shorts with shovels. We dug a big trench through the middle of the campground to channel the water away from the tent spots.

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butch simones

Since 30 Sep 2016
10 Posts
N.H.
 



PostMon Sep 25, 17 6:33 pm     Reply with quote

If you guys are beginners LV can be very intimidating . The water is always over your head , usually with pretty good size waves . If your only riding in one direction , how do you plan on getting back to the beach ? Someone suggested drifting down to the catchers mitt . That means you could be in the water drifting for up to 2 hours . IT is also extremely crowded out on the water for a beginner . Sounds like your riding would progress much faster in the shallow water of South Padre Island . I have been to both places and it would enhance your kiting much more at SPI at your level of riding .In my humble opinion .
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eric

Since 13 Jan 2006
1141 Posts

XTreme Poster



PostMon Sep 25, 17 7:13 pm     Reply with quote

^^^

I agree

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Gman

Since 11 Feb 2006
4681 Posts
Portland
Unstrapped



PostTue Sep 26, 17 11:32 am     Reply with quote

^^^^ disagree Laughing

padre and la ventana are both great - warm thigh deep water in padre is hard to beat but if you can swim - and you will be swimming - a lot of swimming is in your future - floating, swimming, untangling - it has been foretold!

go to mexico its awesome - go to texas its also fun

just go already

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teabagger

Since 15 Jun 2012
32 Posts

 

CGKA Member


PostFri Sep 29, 17 10:44 am     Reply with quote

La Ventana is one of the most beginner friendly areas I have kited, and where I got solid after starting in late summer here in Hood River. I am not sure if the person above is getting it confused with somewhere else?

• Not big waves. Barely ever anything you could consider a wave or swell in the normal LV area (not the boof).

• Not crowded in most areas with the exception of the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

• Doesn't take 2 hours to get to the bottom "catchers mitt" unless you are successfully staying upwind for a good portion of that. If you are learning to pop up and ride a little you will drift down in no time and can walk up and do laps as long as you want each day.

• If you are up and riding in only 1 direction you wouldn't want to go very far in 1 direction no matter where you are learning to kite. You would want to stay in a safe area and learn to pop up in both directions as both are needed to be a kiter, period.

• If you need to be in shallow water to kite (aka you are a bad swimmer), you might want to take a few months to a year of swimming lessons prior. I had to save a kiter from an area that couldn’t swim, and that was fine for their home kiting spot (shallow) but then they traveled to kite somewhere else and literally got in over their head when they couldn’t touch the bottom and freaked out and nearly drowned when the wind died. Please don’t put yourself or others in that position - become a strong swimmer prior to kiting.

butch simones wrote:
If you guys are beginners LV can be very intimidating . The water is always over your head , usually with pretty good size waves . If your only riding in one direction , how do you plan on getting back to the beach ? Someone suggested drifting down to the catchers mitt . That means you could be in the water drifting for up to 2 hours . IT is also extremely crowded out on the water for a beginner . Sounds like your riding would progress much faster in the shallow water of South Padre Island . I have been to both places and it would enhance your kiting much more at SPI at your level of riding .In my humble opinion .

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