Roughing it out on a race board in Mexico
If you didn't know a thing or two about kite board racing equipment,the photos of this weeks PKRA Racing stop in Mexico would lead the uninitiated to believe that we use hydrofoils on a regular basis!
With a combination of variable winds, rough water and catastrophic weed patches floating around the water, racers had a little too much on their minds while racing in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Several of the big names all missed marks, forgot to finish or simply crashed out at crucial times, making for extremely entertaining racing for the guys in the middle of the pack, and provided a much needed boost for the smarter competitors who remembered the rules.
The winds were always variable for the second and third day of competition, with riders making or breaking their races by choosing the left or right side of the course. Riders praised the event organisers for setting such a good course with even the losers commenting that they lost fair and square, by making the wrong moves on the day.
Weed was also a big issue for everyone, with the glare on the water being so strong many racers found themselves being launched over the nose of their boards when the weed struck their fins. Throughout the course riders could be seen hopping off the top of waves to clear their fins of weed in the attempt to lessen the drag on the boards.
One more interesting detail that emerged from the weekend was that almost every racer was running with a tri fin setup. With the overwhelming response being that they offered more control, better performance and above all else - less drag. Check out the photo's to see what they were using, but don't be deceived by the company logos on their boards, most of these riders are using expertly tuned custom boards that are built for speed. Try riding one of these things with no experience, and you're in for a nasty surprise!
Although the racing scene in Australia is still relatively small, the Australian Kiteboarding nationals are coming up in Townsville soon. This event is sure to bring out the big guns in Australian kite board racing, and hopefully give everyone the push to get on a race board and have a go. The production boards are not as hard to ride as you think!