Look at that idiot! What is he doing going out now? And all by himself! I bet you two beers he'll get in trouble. Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuh this is gonna be fun to watch…
Aurel and I had the same kitesurfing coach, Massimo. We developed a healthy rivalry and got the greenlight to do a down winder. It means riding downwind over a long distance and cramming in as much practice as possible. The wind was blowing, strong and steady, at 25 knots on that clear morning. We loaded our gear in la Chichona and drove for 15km on a tiny dirt road north of La Ventana.
By the time we arrived, the wind became stronger and gutsy. My last incident with the rocks hindered my confidence in riding strapless. Besides, leaving la Chichona by itself in the wild always makes me anxious. What if someone sees me hiding the key? Maybe I should go with the twin tip. The wind has changed. This is not a good idea…
Aurel eased off my worries. We would ride in a tight formation close to shore. If something were to happen, we could do an emergency landing on the closest beach. Good plan. I decided to choose safety and go with the twintip board. We were taking out our gear when I noticed I had forgotten it at Playa Central…Shit! It was the surfboard or nothing. One less thing to worry about.
We launched our kites and took off practising what Massimo's exercises. I Within the first minute, I was glad I had forgotten my twintip board. The feeling of riding strapless was wonderful. The freedom to move across the board, to bliss of gliding on water. I was in heaven. All my worries vanished with the first wave. Action relieves anxiety.
Aurel was practicing his back rolls, a jump with a 360° body twist. Halfway through the trip, I saw his kite shaking in the air, uh-oh! He pointed to the closest beach and we did an emergency landing. His kite was deflating. Luckily there were people nearby who had a pump. We pumped up the kite to its maximum and returned to the water.
We had to get to Playa Central before his kite deflated again. So we rode at full speed, the wind blowing in our faces. In the distance, we saw the shiny yellow building of Playa Central. We landed safely and congratulated ourselves. By having an emergency plan and riding together, we had fun and avoided trouble. I let Aurel pack the gear and went with Diego on his dirt bike to get la Chichona back. Upon return, Aurel greeted me with a warm pizza and a cold Modelo: life essentials'.
The wind dropped in the afternoon. We were watching the sunset from the rooftop as kitersurfers left the water one after one, until there was nobody out. And then, a guy took out his foil and started gearing up. You should never kitesurf alone, it's dangerous and stupid. But this guy had the confidence of a pro. He ignored all the red flags and entered the water.
Riding a foil is the most advanced and technical style of kitesurfing. A foiler can ride in very light wind and in any direction with less effort, as opposed to a regular kite. The rider levitates smoothly above the surface, it looks beautiful and magical. Besides, a foil costs three times the price of a regular kite. If you ride a foil, it's assumed you've mastered all other styles of kitesurfing.
Aurel and I share our hate for foilers, and a little jealousy too. So when that lone foiler went out, we were excited to judge him. We watched from the rooftop like the crowd in a gladiators' pit. First, he had a foil which made him better than us. Then he went out when everybody else left. That meant he was either a great and arrogant rider, or clueless and stupid. Both options fueled our hate.
Just from the launch of his kite, we knew he was doomed. His piloting was rough and inaccurate. We bet he would get in trouble; it was only a matter of time. Shortly after, we were eight guys on the rooftop, each announcing how and how soon the man would get in trouble. The hateful eight.
The guy managed to ride for about 50 meters… then he fell off his board, head first, his kite crashing into the water. That was it! We bursted into laughter, he had trumped even the lowest bidder. We were merciless, laughing our asses off and yelling "SHAME".
Relaunching your kite in light wind is challenging. The foil kite has no inflatable bladder which makes it even more difficult. As expected, the guy could not get his kite back in the air. He drifted with the current like a log of wood, slow and helpless.
About half an hour later, another guy went into the water in a kayak and dragged a second one behind. He was super fast compared to the dumb drifting log. When he reached him, he put the miserable foiler in the second kayak and towed him. The stupid foiler was being towed from the back while he looked in the opposite direction, like a naughty kid dragged by the collar.
We didn't know if the kayaker did it on purpose to humiliate him, but it was brilliant. The worst walk of shame in the history of kiteboarding! We howled and clapped when they passed us by. Excited and savage, the hateful eight screaming and demanding the loser's demise.
You could learn many things from that idiot: risk assessment, humility or just common sense. For the rest of us it was a bonding moment, it united us in hate and cruelty.
Stupidity can have many virtues.