This winter, Cabrinha team riders Alex Maes, Annelous Lammerts and James Boulding went to Brazil's new promised land. What they found? World's most perfect park riding conditions, solitude and the best team to built a kicker. Check out James' solo ride in the video below and read why he's giving Brazil another chance.
I first traveled to Brazil in 2007. I was fresh out of university and kitesurfing had completely taken over my life. I had seen Brazil mentioned as the promised land, with wind every day and hundreds of miles of kiteable coastline, with warm winds and coconut-supping babes. It seemed too good to be true, but the first chance of a trip I jumped at, through some friends who had moved out there to live in Taiba, and I wasn’t disappointed… Year on year I then made the pilgrimage back to improve my skills and to immerse myself in all things kiting. Then, around three years ago, I lost the love… Why? Overcrowded lagoons and expensive flights for starters. And then just too many days in a row doing the same freestyle air trick just burnt me out. So I turned away from trips to the Promised Land.
Cut to a cold, wet and windy Rhosneigr Kite Park Jam huddled in the (very) local village pub and I was persuaded by friends and Cabrinha team mates Alex Maes and Annelous Lammerts to try a spot they had been going to for years. They had already built a hand rail the previous year and plans were laid out for a new kicker. The spot is south of Fortaleza where the kiting crowds thin out and there is a much more relaxed vibe. The kiting is still typically Brazil but it almost feels like you’re back in time, before kiting had taken its grip on the country’s now infamous coastline.
Step forward a few weeks, and things quickly took shape. We managed to transport possibly the biggest (and heaviest) wooden kicker ever built in kiteboarding to the lagoon estuary where we planned to keep the features. Each day we were alone, except for the local fishermen who would wave happily, grin with their toothy smiles, and offer satsumas as they headed out to fish during the low tides.
I had brought with me an assortment of camera equipment, and the best thing with Brazil is the guaranteed wind, day and night, so I made sure to bring flashes and triggers to shoot pictures in the dark, and also some Lume Cubes – the latest tech in lighting for videography and photography – to light up the features so we could ride. It’s one thing doing freestyle in the dark where take offs and landings are a given, but for some states of the tides our handrail needed to be ollied on to (a way of jumping onto a slider without the use of the kite to lift) which, if missed due to not being able to see, would result in catching a front edge onto said metal rail and toothless smiles similar to some of the local fishermen…
The added bonus of having light to brighten up the scene a little before the flashes kick in is that you have better ability to get points of focus. Shortly after sunset your camera’s ability to autofocus will become nulled by the dark. And a more mundane fact was that they were also a bit of a lifeline for finding our way back after we were done!