I normally don't like the cold but I thought that it couldn't be that cold on the southernmost tip of Spain in Tarifa around February/March. That's why I rented a flat with my teammate Stefan Spiessberger, with the goal to get used to riding in a wetsuit and the different conditions, that was supposed to help for the coming competitions.
I heard already rumors that it was a particularly cold winter this year and I thought that I would be well prepared. At the Airport in Malaga it was sunny and warm, wow what a relief. I made it to Tarifa, to a nice flat with a beautiful balcony and a great view where I was able to see if it was windy all the time. This was going to be my home for the next 2 months.
It was around 3 o'clock when I woke up the first night and it was so cold in my room that I had to get a beanie and put on some more clothes. I had no heating system like many other places here. First thing in the morning I went to the china shop to buy a heater to warm up my room, boom, the first problem was solved.
My friend Kristin was also in Tarifa and it was nice to catch up, as I haven't seen her since the last PKRA World tour competition in Hainan, China. As soon as the wind picked up we went down to the beach to start our training. It was cold but my 4/3 Rip Curl Wetsuit kept me warm for one hour. We were lucky it was high tide in the afternoon and we were able to ride in the lagoon where you find conditions similar to Brazil. It was a bit cold to pack our kites and change and I couldn’t wait to get home for a hot shower.
The Poniente wind was for the most of the time light and if it was windy enough, still only around lunchtime and afternoon. That’s why I spend a lot my mornings going for a run on the beach as well as doing Power Yoga and TRX on our roof.
Everything changed as soon as the wind direction changed, it got colder because the sun wasn’t out and the wind was so strong, sometimes so strong I even couldn’t kite. Levante is an offshore wind and most of the time too gusty and strong to kite in Tarifa. It was sometimes ok in Valdevaqueros or I had an amazing day in Punta Paloma but that was the only good experience with Levante so far.
20-30 minutes north is another spot called Palmones that is rideable during the Levante but it can still happen that it is incredibly windy in Tarifa and no wind at all in Palmones.
Luckily there is one spot in Tarifa that isn’t so bad provided the levante wind isn’t too strong. It is located right by the harbour in Tarifa and offers flat water riding with an incredible backdrop. When there is even a small amount of swell small kickers roll through that offer up some playtime on the shoreline.
I never really got into a routine. It was a lot of waiting for the wind to drop or to pick up and to figure out where to kite. The locals said that they had two good Poniente years and as it looks, this is going to be a Levante year now. On top of that it started to rain and it didn’t stop for around 4 days. That’s why I spent a lot of time reading and my Friend Daniella helped me to get into cooking with superfoods. Through this started making energy balls and raw brownies. It helped a lot that my boyfriend James Boulding was able to spend some time in Tarifa too. He was filming with the cabrinha crew and we were able to have a few weeks together, which doesn’t happen often.
I was not unhappy when it was time to fly home again, as I was lazy and unmotivated towards the end but I think everything happens for a reason. I had a lot of time to think and I am looking forward to my next trip to Porto Botte, Sardinia before I go for some time to the US, where I plan to compete at the Triple S.