Tarifa: One visit and your soul will be mine
In Europe, in Spain specifically, is the most important spot for Kitesurfing: TARIFA.
A town located in Andalucía which corresponds to the most southern coast of the European continent. Here’s is the best view I’ve ever seen. It’s a mountain in Marruecos, in the African continent, located just in front of the beaches of this Spanish town. Its energy and magic captivate the stare of the swimmers and kiters that enjoy sailing between the winds of Europe and Africa.
This closeness to the neighboring continent causes and incredible effect for all of us who love the wind. For this reason my summer at Tarifa was amazing. I spent 10 days on the place where the best kitesurfers of the world tour live and train. Riders such as Gisela Pulido and Liam Whaley are some of those I found in the streets of Tarifa.
The wind changes every day. One day it can be offshore (when it comes from the sand to the sea) and the next day it can be onshore (when it comes from the sea towards the sand). In offshore days “Los Lances” beach is prepared with 5 or more rescue boats throughout all the diameter the riders sail in. If they fall down or lose their boar or have any kind of complication, the boats will quickly head towards the kite surfer to help him. In onshore days the boats disappear because they’re not necessary. If there’s any eventuality you always end up ashore.
My experience was with “Wayuu Water Sports” a school dedicated to the “spirit of the wind and sea” where besides teaching Kitesurfing they also teach Paddleboard and Surfing. Its creators are Juan José Gómez and Wladimir Rodríguez. Together with Sara Barella they’re the main team of this mobile school. They transport their clients in a van in order to catch the best wind of the area. The Atlantic sea offers different surprises every day and for this reason “Wayuu Water Sports” decides every day, after studying the conditions, the beach we will sail in. Depending on your aptitudes Juan and Wadli will give you practical and theoretical techniques in order to improve your skills at this sport. In my case I only “come and go” sailing. The most difficult thing for me has been to properly choose my direction and that was the goal I had in Tarifa. The amount of athletes in the water of these beaches is outstanding. One day I saw more than 300 kites in the renowned “Valdevequeros” beach. This detail would make me feel more nervous regarding my scarce abilities with the kite. However, I felt great with these teachers and able to handle the situation.
I was there for 10 days, sailed on 6 afternoons and it was in my last session where I felt that everything I had learned had come together. A, out-of-this-world sail in which I finally managed to choose where I wanted to go.
I still have a lot to learn and what I mainly take from this spot is that is in us wanting to improve every aspect. That’s why is so important to set goals and overcome them little by little, going forward in new steps over the sea.
In this town I felt just like home. The vibe is surreal and 100% Kitebrotherhood. Tourists come from every country in Europe and that’s what makes it such a fascinating and multicultural destination. At night, all the faces we saw swallowing water or showing off we would meet again at “Café del Mar” and other nightclubs in the historic center of Tarifa.
The majority of the locals live very near the center or in Furgonetas and Caravanas so almost all of them move by foot or bicycle.
This is why I’m certain that if Tarifa spoke it would tell you “One visit and your soul will be mine”. See you next summer.