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> Aruba - One Happy Island
KyleK
post Mar 22 2006, 02:05 AM
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Just back from six days in Aruba kiting with Fred Minkow and Jae-wrod Roth.

Arriving simultaneously on two different planes in a light drizzle, JR and I found Fred and Millie waiting to show us the best facets of the leftern most A-B-C island. As the sky cleared and the wind began to blow we settled in and took a peek at the most popular windsurf and kite spot Fishermans Hut just a six iron down the white sandy beach. It never became enough to ride and we enjoyed a fantastic meal on the water not knowing it would start to blow the next day and not stop.

Fishermans Hut is sooo different than any place we ride here in the mitten. The prevailing winds blow straight off shore at the 'Hut setting up glass flat conditions on the inside and a bit of chop on the outside. The water is 80 degrees or more and dark where the short seagrass grows and an unreal electric bluegreen that seemed magically illumintated where the white sandy bottom lies exposed. Aruba is very flat on this narrow end of the island and the wind is consistent but has some the biggest wholes in it ever. Difficult to stay upwind for duration here, only the locals can do it consistenly throwing tricks in the flats between the beach and the anchored fishing boats, keeping speed in the lulls and edging back ever so tactfully, and riding back into the beach at the end of the session. Big ups to JR for holding the line in our last session there.

Thankfully there are a few operations on the beach offering a boat pick up a mile or two (or three) out downwind for $20 a kite. We hooked up with Lysander of Aruwak Kiteboarding and he had our backs watching out for us with his skiff and also doing some serious ripping of his own. Not worrying about staying upwind we were able to make Huge reaches from the edge of the high rise hotels on port past the exposed carcasses of shipwrecks on starboard, we ripped shallow flats and hucked tricks for gasping and hollering passengers on sunset boat cruises ocassionally getting a swig of salty water and laughing.

We twice made the 30-40 minute 25 mile drive to the other undeveloped side to kite at Boca Grande - a nice half moon bay with big sandy beach, on/side onshore winds, waves outside / chop in the middle / flat inside surfaces. Locals call it da skate park. Great spot as long as the waves dont work you in the shallows at either end of the bay and almost break your kneecap (ouch). You could really get comfortable here and push it, dutch dudes throwing powered mobes, ecuadoran chicks wave sailing, Lysander riding strapless surfboard in chop and waves, ramps for popping, Canadians even!, and a sunset session with just me an JD.

Did I mention it was warm and sunny and blew the whole time? Check out Aruban winds recent history on Ikitesurf. Wow. I rode 14 everyday, morning and afternoon sessions, a few times a 16 would have been nice. Every other kiter had a 12 it seemed. And the SLE BOW kites dominated, Crossbows everywhere and Fab 5 Fred was seen taking it to the next level on the Shockwave.

Rode very hard, very hard, great company and delicious meals, five days of perfect weather, Aruban Independence day, what a stellar trip!


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KyleK   Aruba - One Happy Island   Mar 22 2006, 02:05 AM
ORK   Island Spirit Moves You w/This Post   Mar 22 2006, 10:03 PM
mpleatman   I just returned from a week in Aruba. There are 4...   Mar 18 2010, 07:13 PM


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