Photo courtesy dave norona


Dave gets submerged by the crashing surf in La Ventana, Mexico.

My girlfriend Kim Duess and I love winter but that does not mean we don’t like to sneak away once in a while to some far off warm place to play. Like many Vancouverites, we love to escape the rain in favour of sunny skies, warm water and cheap drinks.

As our plane touched down in La Paz, Mexico, the warm air engulfed our bodies. There is something about that fresh, floral smell in the air of a tropical place that you can almost taste as you read this. We quickly boarded a large van with our friends for a one-hour ride south to the small town of La Ventana.

La Ventana is a tiny fishing village located right on the Sea of Cortez. The cool thing about this quaint sleepy destination is that the wind howls every day making it a mecca for windsport enthusiasts like us who were craving some much needed kite surfing time.

This was our first time in the Baja and as we arrived to Baja Joe’s, our amazing accommodation, the wind was up. Instead of getting sorted with our rooms, we all piled out of the van, grabbed our gear and hit the water to get our fix.

The water, wind and ambience here is amazing and as I ripped across the water surfing the huge sea swell, I could not think of a cooler place to be right then. It was hard to believe that just six hours earlier I was in North Vancouver in the pouring rain and now I was flying across the water with only a pair of shorts on. Everyone was hooting and hollering, which as I found out was a common practice on most days.

As everyone slowly came in from their epic session and grabbed a cerveza, we were introduced to Joe and Angie who own Baja Joe’s ( They kindly showed us around our new home and the important gear room that allowed us to easily store our gear just seconds from the water. Each night we would meet new people from all over the world who have been coming to this spot for years and they’d fill us in on all we needed to know over an incredible fresh fish barbecue.

Some of our friends had never kite surfed before. However, our good friend Marie Leclerc who runs Elevation Kite school at Nitinaht Lake, B.C., during the summer, spends the winter teaching at Baja Joe’s. She is one of the best instructors out there and had all our friends out on the water on the very first day, with huge smiles on their faces. Marie is just in the midst of putting together some very cool women’s beginner courses in February so check out her website at www.elevationkiteboarding.comfor more information.

If you’re looking for the ultimate adventure holiday to learn something new and experience one of the most beautiful towns in the Baja, put La Ventana and Baja Joe’s on your Christmas List — you never know!

gear guide

North Rocketfish Surfboard

Description: Carve the waves while kiting with North’s impressive Rocketfish surfboard. This lightweight board is available in three sizes, is super-durable even while jumping and it can be ridden with or without foot straps.

Price: $799

Where to find it:

Xcelerator L/S Top

Description: The long-sleeve Xcelerator is the ultimate top for playing on the water in warm climates or as an extra layer in colder climates. Two-millimetre nylon front body and ultrastretch two-millimetre back and sleeves for awesome mobility and it’s reversible!

Price: $89

Where to find it:

Oakley Dredge 2.7 Board Shorts

Description: Hit the surf with these classic flow board shorts from Oakley. Athletic cut for functionality, super soft suede, and durable quick-drying material so you’re not cruising around in wet shorts.

Price: $50

Where to find it:

North Vegas Kite

Description: Rip it up with one of the best kites on the market. The Vegas provides constant power to give you confidence while you throw hard tricks or jumps. High depower and fifth element safety and quick and easy to re-launch if you crash it.

Price: $1,399

Where to find it:

Dave has travelled the world to challenge some of its toughest races. He has raced in over 400 events throughout his career, and hopes his passion will excite you to get involved in your own wild adventures. Visit www.davenorona.comfor more info.