We’ve all heard the stories, seen the videos and many of us have even visited the Latin hotspot….Brazil, most notably, the state of Ceara and the Northeast coastline, THE go-to kite spot from late September to early December. Adored for it’s hairdryer winds, glassy lagoons, endless downwinders, buggy strewn beach highways, strong cocktails and antioxidant rich Acai.
Year after year, pros, aspiring pros, vacationers and the like flock to one of the many established kite lagoons or coastal spots to spend their holiday or even their entire fall season at the thriving kiteboarder’s paradise. Brazil’s popularity as a kite destination continues to skyrocket, attracting more people each year to it’s idyllic locales. Having just returned from 5 weeks spent at my personal favorite Brazilian lagoon and witnessing by far the most crowded conditions I’ve ever kited in, I can’t help but ask the looming question…. is Brazil’s stellar popularity leading to it’s demise? Have the perfect flat-water lagoons exceeded their max capacity?
What once felt like the ultimate kiteboarding wonderland now at times feels like rush hour when you’re already late for work. Of course the wind is still constant, blowing around the clock with a steadiness that is unparalleled but is that enough to maintain the growing popularity of the spot? Or will it find it’s tipping point where the lagoons simply become too crowded to make the most of?
There’s no question that the kiteboarding conditions in Brazil are a step above the rest and are the breeding grounds for up and coming talent. Maybe this overcrowding is simply a phenomenon similar to what happens at any popular surf spot where locals and more advanced riders run the rotation. Or maybe Kiteboarders are simply cut from a different cloth and relish in the hustle of the jammed spots and it will forever be the more the merrier.
I can’t say I know what is to come of our beloved South American lagoons but if we take this phenomenon as a litmus test for the general well being of the industry, I’d say we’re doing great. And who knows, maybe the overcrowding is just the push we need to break out of our comfort zones to take the road less traveled once the leaves start to fall. Or possibly the next ‘it’ spot is already on the rise waiting to be exposed just as Brazil was only a short while ago. One thing I’ve learned for sure is that Kiteboarders are insatiable when it comes to time on the water during their holidays; so whether its Brazil or somewhere new, the buzz is only getting stronger.