Kiteboarding on Punta Chame
Kiteboarding, also called Kitesurfing, is an extreme board sport that uses a large kite to harness the power of the wind. The terms kiteboarding and kitesurfing are interchangeable, however some use kitesurfing when the sport is done in waves, and kiteboarding for the sport done on flat water.
Punta Chame is one of the best destination for kiteboarding in the world, drawing more visitors each year as the sport gains popularity. Each year at the start of December until May, the pristine point becomes a haven for kiteboarders. Punta Chame is an ideal stretch of beach, perfect for learning and advancing in the sport of kiting. With miles of empty shoreline and consistent side- on shore winds blowing 15 – 30 plus knots daily, it is no wonder why even pros end up here.
The costal strip, home to Travis Pastrana’s action sports resort Nitro City, draws big names in kiterboarding like Youri Zoon, and Gisela Pulido. This year Gisela, 21-year old world champion in the sport, opened her very own international kite school inside Nitro City.
Gisela Pulido is from Tarifa Spain and has placed first as World Champion in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 (two times freestyle and in waves), 2011, 2013 and 2015. With a list of win under her kite, the young professional is making an impression in the sport. Gisela started kite surfing under her father’s instruction at the age of 8 and competes in primarily in the Freestyle category. Professionals in the industry say that she is a very technical and smooth rider. Not only is she is the youngest world champion in the history of kite surfing, she just secured her 10th world championship title!
Itzick Lalo is another experienced instructor on the point. Itzick is the owner of Machete Kites, and has been kiteboarding on Punta Chame for almost two decades, offering lessons for over 15 years. Itzick tells us that the sport has developed quickly becoming both safer and easier, with higher quality products available and improved techniques for riding and teaching. Each windy season brings Itzick, along with a roster of highly educated kite instructors from around the world, back to Punta Chame. The crew of avid kiteboarders is not hard to find - just head down to the beach and you will begin to see their kites dancing in the wind.
Lessons with professional schools are always tailored to fit the students’ skill level and goals. Whether you are new to the sport, or have taken lessons before, there is certainly an instructor for you on Punta Chame. All of the instructors regardless of which school you choose are friendly, knowledgeable, and can show you Punta Chame from a whole new perspective.
What to expect as a beginner
Know going in that you’re not going to look like the pros right off the bat. Your definitely not going to be getting 30ft of air, you might not even get up on a board. The first lesson can be discouraging, but like any sport you’ll only get better if you keep at it. Your lesson will start on land. After your instructor relays some important basics and safety precautions you’ll learn to rig, launch and fly a kite. Many schools use trainer kites (smaller kites to teach control). When you get in the water you will most likely begin with just the kite, no board. You’ll work on re-launching (launching the kite from in the water), flying skills and control.
Getting To Punta Chame The exit for Punta Chame is just east of Bejuco - you will see a large green sign for Punta Chame and a small white sales office. Follow this road through a few small towns, and past a police station that sits in the middle of the road, until the end (approx. 24kms).