domingo, 30 de agosto de 2015

Hydrofoil/foil boarding kite lessons.

   There is a lot of hype going around recently about Foil boards or also referred to as Hydrofoiling. It is by far the most difficult aspect of kiteboarding at the moment, and is very popular because of its efficiency on (Over!) the water! It has been around for kiteboarding almost 9 years already, but has only started to hit the main stream for about the past 2 years now. There are many more manufactures getting into producing boards, making it widely available for the public. All though the Hydrofoil has been around since the 60s for going behind boats or surfing, it was not widely known for kiters until recently for its efficiency and gliding like feel over the water :)


  Kiteboarding or Kitesurfing has not been around for very long, and it must be the fastest growing watersport ever! Thinking about how much the equipment has evolved over the past years is insane!
Going from directionals, to twin tips, with boots or straps, high performance coarse race boards and now foil boarding is a lot of improvement on boards the past years. I will not even get into the actual kites, this is for another time!

   It is very technical to ride the foil board, you almost have to re-learn and start from scratch with your board skills. The way you lean back against the kite for normal twin tip riding is not going to work at the beginning. Your weight has to be very much shifted over top of the board with a wide athletic stance, putting a lot more pressure on your front foot then you would ever imagine! The first couple of rides may be like riding a wild horse, you will need to tame the beast, but could take some time. I Highly recommend taking lessons from a professional to avoid possible injuries and increase the learning curve, since very little adjustments and tricks will have a big impact on the learning curve.



The Foil board is definitely the fastest way to get around on the water with a kite, it has little to no drag on the water and allows you to go in very light wind. We are able to go possibly 3X faster then the wind speed, now thats efficient! The moment a kite will fly and you can get enough power to get your self for seated to standing, you are good to go! Once you get the board up on the Foil you will take off like a rocket! This is what appeals to me the most, is being able to get out in winds you would never dream about going in. The degrees of angle you can take in or out of the wind are limitless with almost no effort.

























  At PDCkiteboarding school, I will personally be offering foil LESSONS! Lessons will not be for everyone, since its very technical and high risk. If you have learned to kiteboarding already, you will be able to learn this! Very good kite skills are needed, as well as light wind kite handling, since we do not want to be very powered up. Being able to fly a smaller kite then needed in marginal winds is a requirement. There are many skills you will need to pick up before mastering the art of foiling! There are a few key points and other small tips that will make your progression much quicker and less painful! Everyone I have ever taught with good kiting skills, have all learned safely and efficiently, with lots of fun ;)!

Please contact me for pricing and availability!
Ask me about Foil boarding! Videos coming soon!  Stay tuned!

Dylan :)


martes, 18 de agosto de 2015

What does our team look like for the next season!? what are they doing now?



   We had an amazing 2014/15 season with a great team. Everyone worked hard and we all had a lot of fun. Anyone that came to visit us will surly say the same thing :)

The whole team will be coming back for the Playa del Carmen windy season to work again on great things! With one additional team member.

   We have the handsome Italian Marco coming back for his 3rd season at Playa del Carmen Kiteboarding. If you have followed any of our Facebook feeds or news, you would have seen him in all or many! Marco is at the moment back home in Italy continuing his passion for kiteboarding/Windsurfing and paddle boarding. He is teaching and continuing his education to be the best of the best ;)




 Returning for the Second time will be french man Jean-Charles, always referred to as JC so we don´t butcher the french language by trying to say his full name!!
JC flew home to France after the long busy season we had to spend all of his time jumping out of planes. He was not just jumping a few times, but took a full coarse and has a goal of jumping a total of 80 times this summer!   good luck JC! Be safe we need you!



   Our last returning instructor is young Arek from Poland living in the Netherlands. He is also not taking it very easy while learning how to properly fly. He left Mexico going straight to Czech republic for a 2 month paragliding coarse, making so far a total flying time of 30 hours! Now he is back home in the Netherlands kiting and looking for his next flight, maybe at home or heading to the alps! Maybe after my coarse we get to fly together somewhere in Europe ;)




  Our free lance super do it all guide Gilles stays in Playa del Carmen where his permanent home is.
He has the family and his Playa Private tours going all summer long! He is diving, guiding and swimming with whale sharks as well as taking care of all our Stand up Paddle tours. He is a very busy dude! But still keeps his cool ;)




  For many years my wife Sari has been teaching and working with us. She will continue to help us out on busy days teaching and shooting photographs. She is with me now in Dominican Republic kiting and working hard on her own wedding photography called Sweet Fire Photography. Her dedication and passion for photography is impressive, and its so nice that we can share both worlds :)




  We will have a new addition to the PDCK family! Doug from the UK! He has been traveling around for years chasing things underwater for his Photography  and teaching hundreds of people how to dive safely under PADI standards. We first met on a small island off the coast of Tanzania called Zanzibar. While I was running the water sports/kiteboarding center, Doug was managing the Dive Center. We quickly became good friends and always kept close contact. He came to Mexico as a diver and now will come and join us. He is now in Mexico diving, Snorkeling and swimming with the whale sharks! ;)

  Last but not least, There is me, Dylan! I am currently in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. This place is just windy windy windy all the time. I get to play around, teach a bit, and plan and organise for the next season. Its a place my wife and I have been coming for many years and will continue to come here due to the great people we meet and know , and *the WIND*! I cant get enough of the kiting and will not stop ! Next stop we will be in Budapest learning how to paraglide a bit and visiting our family. 





Have you met any of us??! Will you come to meet us?
Contact me to help you plan your kite travels ;)

Dylan :)










martes, 11 de agosto de 2015

Kiteboarding in Playa del Carmen, where to stay?

  
   I often get ask where is the best place to stay in Playa del Carmen and still get the benefits of kiteboarding. It’s a tough one to answer since everyone has a different idea in mind, budget and comfort level! I will run you threw a few options from Hostels to all inclusive resorts in the area. This way you get an idea and can choose what fits you best :) Please note that if you are not staying in the hotel zone reaching us from the out side has a certain procedure. I will get to this at the end of this article.

  The most obvious answer would be to stay at the Sandos Playacar resort & spa! Its located at the south end of the Hotel Zone called Playacar. This is where we have our school and storage. We made this spot one of the only safe and recognised kite beaches in the area. Since it is the last resort on the south end there is plenty of space. It does not get any closer to the kite beach then Sandos Playacar, you are literally right on site! This is ideal for families or couples that just want to make their kite vacation as easy as possible, no need to worry about your next meal or how you will get everyone ready to head to the beach for a kite session.


     * Below you can see the map with the names of other resorts in order from closest to furthest within walking distance. For reference, the Reef Playacar is around a 30 minute walk down the beach to the kite spot.



  If you are not into all inclusive resorts and want to still be close to us, there are many B&B in Playacar to choose from. You can rent a bike or even walk to the kite beach within Playacar with not much fuss. There are options to just rent a room or a whole house for the whole family of group. I would suggest looking at AirBnB for Places, reviews and prices.

  Staying in TOWN there is again big resorts, boutique hotels, B&B and hostels.
Playa del Carmen is really not very big, you can be anywhere in Playa del Carmen and get anywhere with a Taxi in 5-10 minutes Max. at a fair price.
 
  To stay in Playa del Carmen alone or with a travel buddy or partner looking for something more fresh and inexpensive there are the Hostels. There has to be around 15+ hostels in the center of town, walking distance to night life and restaurants. Just to mention a few we have, The Yak, Hostel Playa, Hostel Che, Hostel 3B, and much more! Private or shared rooms are available.

  Moving around Playa is very easy, you can always grab a taxi, they are everywhere! Renting a bike is also a great option, so you can slow down and take in everything you pass by at your own pace. Renting a Moto/ scooter or car is also possible at bargain prices in season. 




   We offer storage and kite caddy services at our kite beach location. If you don’t want the hassle of dragging your equipment around, we can pack it up in our safe and locked storage. We also offer an extra service of pumping/rigging and packing away your equipment. Launching and landing is something we always help with since doing it by yourself is never 100% safe, Safety first!!



   Since our school is located at an all inclusive resort with private access for guests only, we have a certain procedure with the resort to get all external clients and riders threw the resort to get to the beach. Every person coming threw the resort will need a photo ID to access the property, as well as an invitation from us so we can keep track of who is coming in and out that is not staying in the resort. It’s a very simple procedure if we follow the right steps.
Since its an all inclusive for guest only, there is nothing to purchase on site, so bringing the essentials is important.  All of this is covered once you contact me for directions and to let me know I should put you on the guest list.





All of this is worth it once you come to our beach to enjoy a lesson or session with us! Trust me!

What would you like to know about us?  Email me to fill you in ;) PDCkiteboarding@gmail.com

Follow us on Facebook at Playa del Carmen kiteboarding to get all the news!

Want to know what to do in Playa del Carmen besides kiting?

Dylan :)

jueves, 6 de agosto de 2015

Things to do in Playa del Carmen

   
   In the Riviera Maya there is a wide variety of activities to do with the family or solo for those days with no wind, even on a windy day! We just prefer to do these things when its not windy so we can kite. You can book private tours, go along for the ride with 100s of others on a tour bus or get local and jump on a Colectivo (Local bus) to your next unknown destination.  There are too many things to mention for one write up, I could keep going on and on so I will keep it simple and tell you the things I feel are really worth it ;)

   Something famous about the area you should know is that the whole Yucatan Peninsula is made up of limestone. Under and in the limestone there is a whole underwater world that consist mostly of fresh water. Rain water filters through into underwater rivers and collects in various sink holes called Cenotes, eventually running out to the ocean. Every Cenote and cave is all connected, and this is what we are looking for!  If you come to the area you have to go to at lease one of the thousands we have around. Whether it is for a quick dip to cool off, snorkeling,  Stand up Paddle on top or more interesting, cavern or cave diving. 




   People come from all over the world just for Reef, Deep, Wall, Night, Shark, Cavern and/or cave diving in the area. Just in front of us we have a stretch of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System landing along the island of Cozumel. This makes for some amazing diving. If you are an open water diver you can do a single or double dive in an open cave to some very popular and beautiful caves. It’s definitely something out of this world when you are in there looking out of this massive cavern. To get into cave diving you will need some more time and a much higher level of diving, it’s a very technical dive with no room for error. The diving with the bull sharks is also something you should try while breathing underwater!!






   Snorkeling might be more for you and the whole family to enjoy together. Number one destination for some easy snorkeling would have to be in Akumal with the turtles! It’s a 100% chance you see a turtle or 15! There is also a reef on the outside you can swim to and see many different tropical fish. There is a restaurant on site with cold beer and ceviche, a Mexican kitchen everyone can appreciate. For a bit more of excitement and to make a day out of snorkeling you can visit the whale sharks from May until September. One of the biggest migrations of  these huge sharks passes close by reaching possibly 800 or more swimming passed us though out the season.








   If you come to the land of the Mayas you will have to visit one of the many archaeological sites. Its not just a big pile of old rocks, it’s a lot of history built thousands of years ago! The pyramid called Coba is still open to the public for climbing. It has 130 steep and high steps till the top! Once on the top you will feel like you are on top of the world. It’s a very flat landscape, so not very hard to be on top of the world around here ;)


   Almost forgot to mention one of our top no wind activities!! The Stand Up Paddle boarding tours! This is great fun for everyone to enjoy. You get to experience a beautiful Cenote while getting a bit of exercise with this very popular easy sport. You get to SUP on the top of the Cenote and if you feel up to it you can get in the bay with the waves ;) We throw in some snorkeling and to top it all off we sit down for lunch.





    If you are not a certified diver yet, you can learn quickly and safely starting with baby steps on a PADI program. We do all of our diving and all other activities with Gilles at Playa Private Tours. Gilles handles everything with tons of care and love. Highly recommended by everyone that has done anything with him ;) I have only scratch the surface of what is possible in the small area around us. If you would like to hear more about it, Contact Me and lets explore more of the area and see what is for you!






         What about the Windy season you say? 

         Follow us on facebook for all updates and news: Playa del Carmen Kiteboarding

Dylan :)

        









domingo, 2 de agosto de 2015

Windy season in Playa del Carmen. When? How? What? Where? Who?!

   Most of you will know that the wind is not forever and always blowing all over the world. There are some places that are more consistent then others, but all spots have a specific time thats better then another. In the Riviera Maya, we have a pretty long and good season for wind. It starts slowly after the hurricane and rainy season. October is when WE start to get our wheels in motion getting ready for the season. October is a perfect time to get going, since the rain has stopped and the wind starts to fill in, we get a nice taste of whats to come!

     The windy season in Playa del Carmen is best from October until the end of May. We get a pretty reliable system that is easy to keep track of and schedule with. To start it all off the EL NORTE comes rolling in, from you guessed it, the north! Its a cold front that comes with a punch. This could and should last for at least 2 days with winds from 18-38 knots and temperatures as low as 12°C in the NIGHT to 20°C in the day. 20°C during the day in the dead of winter may not seem cold to a northerner, but when you are used to sunshine 30°C and board shorts, it can get a bit nippy! With saying that I would suggest to bring a shorty or even a long 3mm wetsuit for the El NORTE days! The north wind blows off-shore along the whole coast, for this reason we do not teach out of our home spot in Sandos Playacar Resort. This is when we make our famous excursion to a flat water lagoon past Cancun for the day. Its an early start to a great windy day on the lagoon, all organised by yours truly!

   The El Norte starts to slow down after a couple of days, it heats up with the East wind and swings Side-on shore for nice flat perfect day in Playa del Carmen. These are the days we are looking for, winds ranging from 14-25 knots. We more then often get around 16-20 consistent fresh wind. It gradually over a coarse of 1-2 weeks starts to swing more onshore and go all the way around to South South east wind, side onshore from the other side. This could last 2-4 days. Then comes EL norte again to swing us around for another cycle.


   I always get asked when is the best time in the season to come to Playa del Carmen, Cancun or Tulum for kiteboarding . The best months are generally the middle months from December until April. Its always a case of hit or miss with any destination in any season. Last season for 2014/15 we had wind almost every day from end of November until the very last day of May. This up coming season should be similar to the last or even better :)

  This is why Kiteboarding is so passionate, you can spend a lot of time chasing or waiting for the wind. I often quote William Arthur Ward "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." Adjust your sails people and go for the ride the wind takes you on, whether it be waiting around or pumping up your favourite toy!



  What to do on non windy days?: http://pdckiteboarding.com/SUP.html
  Where we are in the off season? http://pdckiteboarding.com/Cabarete.html

Email me for more information @ PDCkiteboarding@gmail.com

Dylan :)

sábado, 1 de agosto de 2015

Playa del Carmen Kiteboarding 2015 riding with Dylan Shewfelt

Here we go, back on it!!



We will start the blog reentry with a short video clip of Playa del Carmen Kiteboarding. Take a look into my riding during the busy windy season in Playa del Carmen at Sandos Playacar resort. The heart of our kiteboarding school.  Its great to look back and not only remember how busy we are teaching and attending to everyone on the water, but get a chance to ride around for ourself ;)

Its a hard life and someone has to do it, am i right?









Dylan
 
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