Stance, the international kitesurf magazine, contacted ClubVentos in early December with the idea of creating a video about new potential spots in Brazil. Part of their plan was to come up and check out Jericoacoara and Icaraizinho, however, their stay ended up being a little longer than expected.
The trip began after the finale of the 2017 World Kiteboard League competition in Cumbuco, where local talent Carlos Mario claimed his third world title. Organized to finish with a bang in Brazil, the competition ended with more of a whimper, with very little wind and many heats being cancelled.
The world champ, Carlos, was joined by Valentin Garat, Paula Novotna, Liam Whaley and Set Teixeira in this adventure. Knowing the wind gets stronger the further north you go in Brazil, and with the minimal wind in Cumbuco, the only option was to get in 4x4’s and head north.
WORLD CLASS ICARAIZINHO
You won’t forget the first time you step onto the glorious 6km crescent beach at Icaraizinho, it has everything you’d wish for. Stunning scenery, check. Great conditions, check. Only a handful of kiters on the water, check.
The difference between Icaraizinho and other spots in Brazil is there has been hardly any influence from tourism. In a world where it’s hard to go even a few minutes without seeing some sort of advertising, being in Icaraizinho gave us all a welcomed break from the commercial society we now live in. It’s like stepping back in time and has a real coastal community feel about the place, where everybody looks out for one another and competition is minimal. This does mean the village is quite basic, but with this comes a quieter, tranquil and safe atmosphere. No rooftop parties or samba until 5am, but the food is fresh and the living is cheap. There is an air of exclusivity about being in Icaraizinho, a feeling that you aren’t just following the crowd on some mass tourism hype.
Compared to the recent lack of wind at Cumbuco, the wind in Icaraizinho was blowing a steady 25 knots, side shore, which it does all season. Kitesurfers can launch right in front of the ClubVentos center, making it perfect for anyone coming to Brazil with a non-kitesurfing partner.
The water state changes depending on the tide height, meaning in any given day there will be waves to play on at high tide, or a beautifully flat water lagoon created by a reef at low tide.
“The river mouth was unbelievable. It’s gone straight into my top 5 kiting spots of all time” - Paula Novotna
The river has glassy water which is formed by a long sandbar that faces just the right direction. The wide flat water avenue had nobody else kiting there and the unobstructed, steady wind meant the spot immediately went into the riders top 5 kiting locations in the world. It’s hard to find the words describe how great this spot it, so you have to check it out in the video.
THE BIRTH OF KITING JERICOACOARA
The laid-back vibe of Icaraizinho was replaced with a buzzing atmosphere. Jericoacoara is famous for its parties, natural beauty and sunsets.
Although Jericoacoara is a definite tourist hotspot, the local authorities try to keep the spirit of old Jeri alive. There are no high rise apartments, the street are made of sand, no foreign cars are allowed to drive in the village and there are no streetlights polluting the night sky.
We know Jericoacoara is well known for windsurfing, but not so much for kitesurfing. However, kiters now ride behind the famous sunset sand dune. At one time the dune was huge compared the tiny size it is now, which meant there was a lot of turbulence behind it.
But now things are different and the dune has shrunk, which has seen the rise of a new, improved kiting spot in Jericoacoara. This new phenomenon has happened because the moving dune has now reached the sea. Every high tide, the ocean takes more sand off the dune and deposits it along the shoreline. The piling up of sand along the coastline has built a natural wall, when, on a large high tide, the ocean will spill over into the lagoon and stay there. This area is now part of Jeri Kite Zone, a kitesurf exclusive area where windsurfers are not allowed.
This is game-changing for kiting in Jericoacoara. The death of the famous sunset sand dune has given birth to a brand new world class kitesurfing spot.
The next day was another downwinder, with the final destination 10km away at Guriú. The spot is another jewel with a beautiful landscape, perfectly flat water at the river mouth and it never gets overcrowded.
The intention of this trip for Stance was to discover new beaches along the Brazilian coastline. Instead, the spots visited were not remote places that are only accessible to the pro rider or beach bum, who seem to have unlimited time to travel the world. Both Jericoacoara and Icaraizinho have great infrastructure, hotels and restaurants, but have just been overlooked by kitesurfers in the past. The kite center, operated by ClubVentos, is the only IKO centre in the region and provides the full scope of services you can expect when travelling.
Jericoacoara and Icaraizinho would make ideal destinations for either the pro or recreational kiter. As they are still relatively unknown in the kitesurfing world, there is normally only a handful of kiters out at one time, making for a safer and less intimidating place to learn and improve.
What really makes these places stand out is that they are more than just a kitesurf haven. They are an idyllic destination for the non-kitesurfers in your life, so everyone can get away and have the perfect vacation in paradise, no matter if you’re single or the size of your family.