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 Post subject: N E W CARIBBEAN DESTINATION - LA PARGUERA, FASTER VERSION
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 4:25 am 
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I am on a 25 k dialup connection right now instead of the normal T1 or DSL hookup. These larger photo spreads look nice but they do load slowly on dialups. I just prepared this faster loading version. The original version, with the larger images appears at:

http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=2296118


W I N D, in the New World ...


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The KITE HOUSE in
La Parguera, Puerto Rico ...


TRIP REPORT: Just returned from La Parguera and this is what I learned ...


....RELIABLE WIND, 19 - 24 MPH SUMMER, 16 - 25 MPH WINTER

....WARM, SHALLOW, CLEAR & CALM WATER

....N O C R O W D S, LARGE OPEN RIDING AREA ACCESSIBLE BY BOAT

....GREAT RIDING CONDITIONS TO SHRED, LEARN AND ADVANCE RAPIDLY!

....TOP INSTRUCTORS AND CHASE BOAT AT HAND

....CLOSE TO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS

....YOU ARE IN THE USA

....NEW CABRINHA KITES, BARS AND LIGHTWAVE DESIGN BOARDS PROVIDED FOR GUESTS!!!

....GREAT KITE CAMP ATMOSPHERE, FOR FOLKS READY TO RIDE!


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Paul Menta shreds, this is what it is ALL about.

The Kite House at La Parguera, Puerto Rico is the creation of Paul Menta of Kitesurf the Earth, PASA Master Instructor, a director of the FKA and a lot more. He creates a laid back atmosphere for small groups of folks with a need for speed without the frills. We are talking riding immersion here. The concept is targeted at riders that have already had an intro lesson on land and are ready to advance on the water to guys that are working on staying upwind to jumping or even top end shredders working up to that double handle pass. More about this concept can be found on Paul's website at: http://www.kste.net/margarita.htm

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Click for full sized image:
http://gallery.kiteforum.com/albums/alb ... _VR2_s.jpg
A view of the Elevator riding area

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Another view of a few of the mangrove cays off of La Parguera


The Elevator is only one of the many riding areas available along the wide open coast of SW Puerto Rico. The trade and thermal winds pump in from behind the mangrove cay and through the legend "The Elevator." A very nice slip stream is setup over the mangrove cay. If you jump into the slip stream, BUMP AND UP YOU GO! It's a blast! This site is a short yolla (skiff), ride from shore. The Kite House has two of these sturdy island skiffs for rapid transport to riding areas. Riders can do downwinders escorted by an instructor in the inflatable boat to rapidly advance in kiteboarding and upwind technique. More advanced riders can toss off moves near the Elevator and can circumnavigate the chain of mangrove cays and reefs. The trades are pumping, why not take a run with your kite buds to one of the outer islands off La Parguera, if you can handle it, have at it!

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Paul transitions

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Rigging in the shallows, gonna be a GREAT DAY of fast time on the water!

Setup is easy, with Kite House staff helping your put things together. Everything is done in the shallows in the lee of the mangrove cays, with typical water depths around a foot or less.

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Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Sea

So where is Puerto Rico (PR)? In the Caribbean Sea, within easy travel from Florida, major airports in the USA, Europe and other parts of the world. Folks can fly into Mayaguez Airport about an hour to the north or they can fly into San Juan Airport about two hours away. Airport van or "publico" transport is about $30. and $35. USD from each airport respectively. Special arrangements need to be made on Sundays and holidays.

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Hang out off the mangroves ...
It is worth the trip, wind, water, sun

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Map of Puerto Rico

San Juan Airport is along the Northern coast on the east side of the island. Mayaguez Airport is along the western central part of the island. La Parguera is circled at the southwestern part of the island.

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The KITE HOUSE
Click for large image:
http://gallery.kiteforum.com/albums/alb ... _VR1_s.jpg

These are the digs. Nothing fancy but a place to hang out, sleep, eat, play video games, checkout kiteboarding videos, party and jump off from to RIDE.

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Everyone is loaded up and moving out ...
Riders are moving out to the Elevator. Rhondi of the Kite House team on the left with a couple of local shredders in training.

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The inflatable chase boat follows along. Brian, running the inflatable, provides a lot of local knowledge having been on and around the island for a long time. He has great knowledge of the weather, reefs, fish and island lore in general.

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Tied up and ready to go!
Here we are, let's setup and have at it!

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The Kite House Staff helps the riders setup. That is Charlie carrying the kites otherwise known as Pochito, the FLYING CHICKEN!!! The local kids hung that title on him based on his yellow hair and high flying tendencies.

Expert instructors help with the setup of riders.

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Pump those puppies up!
No hand pumps here, just an air tank for easy kite inflation.

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RickI demonstrates GO TIME!

Wind's on and the shredding is fine ...

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Paul slides on by ...

Paul Menta out of some playtime, showing off his moves ...

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Paul hangs out ...


So, here are some impressions about the Kite House in La Parguera, Puerto Rico. It is a newly discovered, wide open area with virtually NO crowds. It is also easy to reach and is in the USA. It has great winds, more about that later. It has not only the normal tradewinds but in addition often has some nice thermal winds that come with all those arid shoreside conditions. It does rain in La Parguera, but only about 1/3 as much as the north coast of the island, so not much at all.


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Paul grabs a Buckler from Francisco, he didn't like it!

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Throwing a jump into the slip stream by the cay.NOTICE anything unusual about the water? It is certainly calm for such a nice jump, those islands and reefs really calm things out.

A few more details about the riding at La Parguera. There is no nearby shoreside beaches from which to launch. The Kite House operation generally launches from shallows adjoining mangrove cays offshore accessed by boat. This allows you to avoid crowds, hard objects on the beach and aids rapid progress with kiteboarders trying to get riding skills down. They may do day trips to other areas, some of which have beach launches when winds are suitable. Riders will want to bring booties as in the case of any trip to a new area. Some kiters take them off at time of launch while others wear them the whole time. I normally can't stand booties but the LWD board footstraps made me forget I was wearing booties so I just left them on. The Kite House brings lots of drinks and lunch out on the boat. Be sure to drink lots of fluids and put on block while you are hanging out and riding offshore. You may choose to bring kites and boards but this shouldn't be necessary. The Kite House currently has a wide selection of new Cabrinha kites and LWD boards for guests to use at no additional charge.

Winds off of La Parguera result from tradewinds which blow through a wide portion of the caribbean, often summed with sideshore thermal winds. I spoke with Ada Monzon, a promient meteorologist on the island. She concluded that the unsual micrometeorology of the SW portion of the island may allow for stronger, more consistant winds than may occur in other parts of the island. Brian indicated that the thermal winds can boost the tradewinds by 4 to 6 kts. Arid conditions along the southern portion of Puerto Rico particularly to the east in the area of Ponce seem to contribute to the locally strong thermal winds. I am still trying to find cataloged wind records for this area of the island and will post them once I locate them.

Shoreside, there aren't a great quantity of superlative restaurants. Fortunately, Paul, a former gourmet chef with three restaurants, prepares two great dinners each week. I had one of those it was excellent! So good in fact, that right after we finished they turned off the lights throughout the town. The starfield visible without the lights was impressive to say the least. Each week there is a least one night out at a nice local restaurant, La Jamaica, up in the hills.

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The Kite House Crew Chows Down at La Jamaca

For folks that want more upscale accomodations than the laid back atmosphere of the kite house, there is always the hotel portion of La Jamaca. The town may not bowl you over for partying. So you might want to spend a night or so in San Juan to take advantage of the party scene there before driving across the island. There were a number of places with live music in La Parguera when I was there so there are still things to do at night outside the Kite House if you are up for it after riding all day.

There are some other things to do in La Parguera and throughout Puerto Rico aside from kiteboarding. I understand that there are abundant, excellent reefs as well as a wall for divers off of La Parguera with lots other varied conditions about the island. More about this at:

http://www.pargueradivers.com/
http://www2.scubadiving.com/members/tri ... php?s=1540

The bay off of La Parguera lights up, literally, at night. It is a well known biolumenescent bay and excursion boats run at night to take folks out to check it out.

From rainforests, rocky coastlines, caves and a lot more, there are interesting sights to checkout in Puerto Rico. More images from the trip appear, with more to be uploaded there soon at:

http://gallery.kiteforum.com/gallery/albuo88


Last edited by RickI on Mon Aug 04, 2003 5:16 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 5:32 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2003 5:25 am
Posts: 10
Quote:
....WARM, SHALLOW, CLEAR & CALM WATER


Rick,
Is this how it really is?
Why dont you tell us how it really is?
Quote:
Setup is easy, with Kite House staff helping your put things together. Everything is done in the shallows in the lee of the mangrove cays, with typical water depths around a foot or less.

Where is the water shallow? Where you ride? Where you rig? Where are the black sea urchines? Where are the coral heads? Where is it safe to stand while kiting?

It would be better to tell poeple the TRUTH about the water rather than mislead them.
When they arrive they will know what they are getting into and not be surprised. So tell us the TRUTH about La Parguera not an advertisement for Paul Menta.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 626
Hey Rick, how come you didn't stop by my place? Sounds like you saw 1 % of PR over there. Nice Add though. Check out kiteboarding mag for an overview of all of PR. See you next time eh?
Aloha Royce.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 4:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2003 5:25 am
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Royce wrote:
Hey Rick, how come you didn't stop by my place? Sounds like you saw 1 % of PR over there. Nice Add though. Check out kiteboarding mag for an overview of all of PR. See you next time eh?
Aloha Royce.


Right on Dude :thumb:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 6:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:00 am
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Location: Florida
The Truth wrote:
Quote:
....WARM, SHALLOW, CLEAR & CALM WATER


Rick,
Is this how it really is?
Why dont you tell us how it really is?

Yes, that is how it is, at least the parts that I saw. Checkout the Sat. photo, tons of shallows downwind or west of many of the small mangrove cays there. As you can see from the Sat. photo there are a LOT of islands there and virtually no kiters. Yes, it really is warm and clear honest to god, didn't see one iceberg and no polar bears either, Scouts honor!

Quote:
Setup is easy, with Kite House staff helping your put things together. Everything is done in the shallows in the lee of the mangrove cays, with typical water depths around a foot or less.

Where is the water shallow? Where you ride? Where you rig? Where are the black sea urchines? Where are the coral heads? Where is it safe to stand while kiting?

See above and the Sat. photo., shallows abound near the islands and reefs. Look at the pictures for rigging locations, in the shallows in the lee of the mangrove cays. I stomped all over for about 20 hours plus over four days, with booties on, and didn't hit ANY sea urchins. I saw some short spined urchins but didn't have any problems. There were no live coral heads in the majority of the shallows where I rode. There are a few isolated small dead elkhorn branches to watch out for in the shallow areas.It is normally easy to see and avoid this things while riding. I stood and walked all over the place around MANY of the islands off of La Parguera.

It would be better to tell poeple the TRUTH about the water rather than mislead them.
When they arrive they will know what they are getting into and not be surprised. So tell us the TRUTH about La Parguera not an advertisement for Paul Menta.



No intent to mislead anyone, nor do I believe any inaccurate information was given, other than by yourself. You obviously have an agenda in this, so before I ask what it is and your real name, I will give you mine.

I was genuinely impressed to learn that SW PR has such good consistent winds. The fact that it is readily accessible from Florida, with frequent flights is even better. The abundant calm, sheltered, shallow waters make riding quite easy. The waters where I normally ride are rough and up to several hundred feet deep. Also, Paul Menta is a friend and I wanted to help to spread the word about what he discovered for kiters. His is quite a small operation and not a threat to anyone. So why are you threatened? So, those are my motivations, what are yours and what is your real name in the interest of TRUTH?


Last edited by RickI on Sun Aug 03, 2003 1:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 6:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:00 am
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Royce wrote:
Hey Rick, how come you didn't stop by my place? Sounds like you saw 1 % of PR over there. Nice Add though. Check out kiteboarding mag for an overview of all of PR. See you next time eh?
Aloha Royce.


I tried to get in touch by PM in July with some questions about PR riding in general but didn't hear back from you. I didn't have a lot of time this trip to travel around the island more although I would have liked to. The island has a lot of different interesting riding areas. Congratulations on the article in Kiteboarding Mag. It would be good to hook up on the next trip.


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