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I'm planning a trip to Brazil in November with some windsurfing friends. We're looking at both Icaraizinho and Jericoacoara through Vela resorts.
Does anyone know what wind conditions/kite sizes are typical for those locations? I was in Cumbuco last year and like most people rode a 9m on most days, but I've heard that it is far more windy as you go up the coast. Also, what is the surf like in Jeri? Too much for beginners/intermediate riders?
Any other tips or suggestions much appreciated.
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Jeri is much more remote than Combuco, if you get hurt there it will be a while before you find yourself in a decent hospital, so be caucious. It is much more windier compared to Combuco. I was there a few times and last time Mark Doyle came in totally overpowered on a 5m kite when I was going out on a 7m kite, this is before I even knew who he was, today I would take his advice to rig a smaller kite before going out as my session was not that fun when totally overpowered on a 7m. The sand on the beach can blow so hard that it hurts when you are rigging up, the waves can get big but not too bad. It is wild up there and there are other elements that you will deal with when kiting in the open water at a place like Jeri. In my opinion Combuco is the place if you are a kiter, but the north is nice to check out, but you will definitelly need a smaller kite than a 9m. Hit me up when you are up there as I am moving to Brasil in September and I will take a few trips to the North...
Well, you're going to get two different opinions I guess. Last year, we went to combuco for a few days and then to Jeri a few days. At Combuco, I was on my 8m and 10m, at Jeri I was on my 6m all day every day.
We're going back this year and we're not even gonna bother with Combuco. Straight to Jeri, staying for a couple weeks. Jeri is AWESOME. We would do 20 mile downwinders per day and never see another kiter. I also like the vibe of the village of Jeri much more than combuco. Finally, for windsurfing, Jeri is much much better than combuco.
The swell North of Jeri is small and fun, the swell South of Jeri (near Prea) is bigger and meatier. It's still windswell though either way.
The advantage of Jeri is there is no one there. Combuco is pretty crowded. Jeri is beautiful and pristine. The disadvantage is that it can be really really windy. But if you have the right size kite, it's heaven. It's windy, but not gusty, and that makes all the difference.
With that said, a 7m is borderline too big of a kite. The 6m was perfect for me, but all the lessons were being taught on 3m kites. So a 4m or 5m wouldn't be bad to have.
I agree with Czech's comment about the sand though, my shins were bleeding at the end of each day (from sand blasting).
In terms of learning, there are pros and cons to each place. At combuco you have to deal with crowds and choppy water, but the wind is lighter and there are more schools. At Jeri, there is no one else around, the water is flatter, but the wind is very, well, windy.
let me know when you're going, as I'll be in Jeri in Nov as well.
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We are both talking about the same thing, Jeri is more windier and remote, so if someone wants to be on a 5m kite than that is the place to be or if they windsurf. You are a good rider and I too like alot of power and small kites but keep in mind that some people still like to say that they had a epic day on their 12 or larger kite when for you or myself pulling out a 12 means a light day. Also what about night life, some people go out every night and they will cab it to Fortaleza if they are in Combuco. But I think we are on the same page, both places are nice just totally different from one another.... Martin
I was in Jeri Sept. before last, and Jeri proper was banned to kiters.
Windsurfing only, quite a shock; maybe it has changed since then? The best kiting around Jeri is in Prea. Check out Vila Prea: they spoiled us rotten, a la fresh banana milkshakes upon kite landing after every session, and that's just the begininng.
Take your smallest kite, and pack as much spare gear as you think you might need; there's not much in the way of kite shops/gear available once you are out there, but it's sooooooooooo worth it. Some of the most divine, deserted stretches of silky beaches on earth.
RE: surf. It's pretty much all shorebreak, but user friendly. Mostly sandy shores make it easy/not terribly dangerous for intermediate folks.
KEY: you're a couple degrees from the equator; take serious sunscreen, croakies/sunglasses you can lose and not weep over, etc., or you will PAY. Brazil rules! Beautiful people, kiting, food...I'm jealous! GM
My wife and I went to Cumbuco and Jeri/Prea last August, and although both are great we hands-down loved Jeri and can't wait to go back. We stayed at the Villa Prea and thought it was the best kite hotel or even hotel we've stayed at. The housing was beautiful, right on the beach, food was amazing, and the staff was really friendly. Jeri is also a great place to hang at night.
Jeri is windy (agree with the 6-9m comments above, I weight ~185lbs) and the chop can be extreme (although I don't think the shorebreak is too bad) but there are some lagoon options in the area. Skyriders (the school next to Villa Prea) takes students to a nearby lagoon (need to drive), which is not big, but a fun flatwater place to play around in. Also, the Vila Prea can book you an all day sand buggy expedition to Tatajuba lagoon, which was probably the best lagoon kiting experience I've had-- much bigger and more interesting than the famous lagoon near Cumbuco. Awesome.
Also, we didn't have time to go, but have heard great things about this Barra Grande Kite Camp-- it's even further away from Fortaleza, but definitely on my list to check out if/when we go back.
If you have time for the long drive from Forteleza and don't mind the windy conditions, couldn't recommend Villa Prea and Jeri/Prea overall more highly. Cumbuco is nice too though, so can't go wrong either way. Enjoy!
Thanks for all the awesome feedback. Yeah, I wouldn't go out of my way to go back to Cumbuco, except that it's close to Paracuru, which I'm told is a great location for both flat water and waves.
Definitely leaning toward spending more time in Jeri/Prea. And thanks for the feedback on the stiff winds, I'll look into a smaller rig...
BTW, a couple of friends had a bit of sticker shock at the flight prices ($1800-$2K RT) - does anyone know of cheap flight options? The only way I know to get to Fortaleza are the TAM flights from Sao Paulo or Miami.
I saw a flight on TAKA airlines from SF to Rio for $1,000, but it included a 14 hour layover in Panama City.
Sadly, that is the state of travel to Brazil these days. Just last year, tickets were ~$1,000, now $1,500 is a steal. I was looking at tickets to Rio from SF for ~1,400, then a ticket to Fortaleza was about $500R or $320 US, so you are still around $1,800. The flight direct from Miami to Fortaleza would be the way to go.
Paracuru is definitely worth a stopby on the way to Jeri, although it didnt seem to have the housing and night life options close to even cumbuco. the waves are gentle, rolling and very orderly which makes it really cool, and otherwise very flat. it is a popular spot, but definitely worth the trip. the wind is more in line with cumbuco than jeri...
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