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La Ventana

Nov 22, 2007

Author: Captain Kirk

La Ventana in Baja, Mexico, is as good as it gets for kiting from early November through the middle of April. Consistent afternoon winds make La Ventana rideable about 90 per cent during these months, and there is a huge sandy beach downwind for the ultimate in safe ocean conditions. The riding is primarily freeride-oriented, but there are numerous reefs where small waves break. On highwind days, a big, well-spaced swell makes for killer backside riding and glassy water in between the swells.
What makes La Ventana unique is that 95 per cent of the people who visit are either kiteboarders or windsurfers, so it isn’t a tourist trap in any way, shape or form. The area consists of two small fishing villages and retains most of its original feel. Riders come from all over the world, but primarily from California, Oregon and British Columbia. The nightlife is low-key, usually a few cervezas, dinner and falling asleep halfway through a movie. But La Paz is only a 30-minute drive away and has a rocking club scene.
La Ventana is excellent for all levels of riders: the wind starts mellow in the morning and builds into the afternoon so everyone gets ideal conditions for their own level on most days. Typical kite size is 12 or 13 metres, but for full coverage you’d want a nine, 13 and 17. —Captain Kirk
Getting there: Fly direct to La Paz from LAX, or to Cabo San Lucas from many other major cities. La Paz is a 30-minute drive; Cabo is a 2.5-hour drive.
Conditions: A little bit of everything, but a typical day the wind peaks in the mid-20s, but starts and ends less strong.
Best time of year: November through March.
Local knowledge: Wait a little when the wind starts to come up in the late morning so you don’t get blown off the water in the first hour of your session. Take a mountain-bike ride to the hot springs in the morning. Do a downwinder from the hot springs. Get up early and go fishing with a local guide.
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