After being off the water for almost four months, I manage to film two decent freestyle heats on my 10-meter kite. The 10m Duotone Vegas is my kite of choice for Freestyle. After watching my video heat, I am sure I can do better! My curiosity is still thinking there could be other notable spots along the Brazilian coast. I will keep these heats as a backup, but my mission for Freestyle is not finished!
The second day, I decided to film in the Taiba lagoon located 15 minutes north of my house. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough water, and there were big rocks everywhere. I am so disappointed because this is my favorite lake for training Freestyle. Unlike most years, the lake depends on high tides for water! Another failed stop.
After my disappointment in Taiba, my third stop is for Strapless freestyle riding in Prea, Ceara. Prea is about three and a half hours north of Taiba and is renowned for strong side-onshore winds and choppy conditions. It is the epicenter for wind on the northeast coast of Brazil. As you move north or south from Prea, the wind conditions tend to be less intense. Upon arrival, Prea didn’t let me down! The wind was almost too much! It was blowing 35 knots and over 40 knots in the gusts! I struggled to hold down my 7m Duotone Neo and had a hard time doing some of my tricks in the intense winds! Conditions were cruel, but I decide to hang on and not rig my 5m kite because I want my tricks to be big and powerful. Somehow over the next two days, I manage to pull off two heats. I couldn’t do a couple of my new tricks because the wind was too strong, but I manage a decent heat considering the conditions. I decide to submit the video—Strapless mission, DONE!
Now, with the Strapless video completed, I need to focus on Freestyle and shoot a better heat. The next stop on the agenda is Barra Grande, Piaui, a 3-hour drive from Prea. There are many flat spots in Barra Grande that are worth checking out.
On day six, I went to the flat water lake in Barrinha, a ten-minute drive south of Barra Grande. The lake depends on the tides, so when the tide is high, the lake is about knee-deep, and you get about an hour to an hour and a half of excellent water conditions. However, the lake’s wind direction is on-shore, which means the tricks I do to the right side will be challenging because the kite tends to pull from behind. I struggled to make one of my required maneuvers, the Front Blind. Still no perfect heat.
Day seven, I took a 30-minute donkey ride to the mangrove lake on the north side of Barra Grande, which is best at high tide. The lake’s scenery was surreal, with flat blue water surrounded by dense green mangroves and inlets and a white sandy beach. It was picture- perfect. Unfortunately, the wind was on-shore again! So no Front Blinds for me today! I still had a blast and got some great shots and videos, but I didn’t manage that perfect heat.
My time is running out. I have just three more days to submit my video heat! Day eight, I decided to film in the ocean in front of my hotel, BGK. As the tide comes in, the water is perfectly flat, and the wind direction is ideal! But it won’t stay perfect for long. The conditions will change rapidly with the incoming tide, so I have less than an hour to perform that perfect heat. I need this heat more than ever, and the pressure is on!
I land a perfect Back Mobe, followed by a huge Front Blind. I come back to shore, knowing I only need to land two more tricks. I land my third trick! Then my mom starts yelling and waving to get my attention, “I need another Back Mobe,” she says. I don’t understand because I already landed a huge Back Mobe. She yells again, “We didn’t get it on the film”! At that moment, I wanted to scream! How did they miss that trick? The tide is starting to come in, and the water will get choppy very soon. It is now or never! The window for perfect conditions is