On the look out for a kite boarding lesson:
Something visitors should know and are not often informed of is that Isla Blanca is virtually the only place along the Riviera Maya that is actually safe to learn and practice kite boarding.
The way the wind blows in Cancun the majority of the time is either a north, south, east or southeast wind direction. In the winter time we have the famous "el Norte" winds, colder currents that mix with heat that generate either very strong or steady 20 + knots conditions, and once these cold fronts pass, 85 % of the time the wind will start to blow either in an east or southeast wind direction, meaning toward the beach.
During a lesson a beginner should be taught that one of the 3 things you must take into account and focus on before rigging, preparing, launching and getting going is to evaluate in which direction the wind is actually blowing based on your area of practice, since this will allow you to either have a safe experience or not one at all. Not taking this factor into account can lead to either a potential accident or putting you in the situation of #1 - ejecting, letting go of the gear and losing it, #2 - the gear being a potential hazard for someone down the line making one liable and/or #3 - having to swim back on your own.
Anywhere along the Riviera Maya from Tulum up to Cancun the wind normally blows from an on-shore to side on-shore wind direction, meaning blowing you back onto the beach. This would not be much of a concern if the environment you're learning in is shallow enough for you and your instructor to head out to a safe distance, at least anywhere from a couple of kite line lengths (40 meters approx) from any beach or shoreline, this considering if all we are doing is learning to fly the kite and not yet trying to get on the board.
When trying to get up on the board one doesn’t really need much room from the shore to get going if you're experienced and can go upwind, although if you're just learning you will want as much room as possible since you will be losing a substantial amount of ground quite quickly once getting going.
My point is, the main reason you do not want to learn this sport on the beaches of Cancun is because there is not sufficient space between one and the shoreline, it’s mainly deep water with waves as high as 6 + feet, currents, bystanders, palm trees, side streets near by & hotels where one could potentially get hurt, injure someone else or the gear itself.
This is why Isla Blanca is considered an ideal environment to learn and practice since it’s shallow with little to no hazards, and no matter what direction the wind is blowing, on shore, side shore or offshore, you can always just let go of the bar, walk yourself back or have your instructor take over and help you with the rest.
Granted, Isla Blanca does have a few hazards of its own. There are rocks, sea life and shallow areas to watch out for, but this is where your experienced instructor comes into play and helps you avoid these areas for you to have an enjoyable experience.
It's important when considering taking kite boarding lessons that this information is taken into account. No one mentions these things and it's time someone spoke out about it. There is no sense in taking unnecessary risks, having you or your loved ones getting hurt. Unfortunately Cancun does not yet have a legal division to control this, so people are being enticed to go somewhere else instead of Isla Blanca simply to avoid taking the drive out to a safer environment.
The current lack of control means that there are pseudo instructors offering services like this, possibly at an enticing rate just to lure one in, finding out later you weren’t given proper instruction during your lesson or getting real value for the expense. There are many non certified individuals and operations out there offering services who don’t have the experience and are putting visitors and people at risk of getting hurt. There have already been a few incidents which no one is talking about in an effort to keep the word from getting out.
The organization of kite boarders in Cancun is working to keep inexperienced individuals from opening such operations like these. But until there is such a group or division that can put this to an end this will continue to happen on the beaches of the Riviera Maya.
Choose wisely with whom and where you're taking your lessons and safely learn this incredible sport.
Airlift Kiteboarding Cancun
Airlift Kiteboarding Cancun