The Desert Downwinder Download PDF
A Brazilian surf champ, a former New York internet marketing exec and a wave rookie from Colorado make the trip of a lifetime along 200 Miles of Brazilian coastline.
I just stepped off a red-eye flight from Miami to Fortaleza, Brazil’s fourth largest city, and I need to crash hard. But my guides, Dave and Jessie Hassell—an American couple who ditched their Manhattan cubicles to become kiteboarding outfitters in Brazil—are determined to get me on the water. “This is the hammock capital of the country,” Jessie, 27, informs me as I haul my gear onto the beach in Cumbuco, a dusty burg 30 minutes from the airport and 1,700 miles from the throngs of Rio de Janeiro. “They call them rede, pronounced ‘hedgy.’” “I could really use a hedgy,” I confess, about to wimp out in favor of a nap when a flash of red and blue whooshes past. It’s a kiteboarder racing downwind. Watching him shred through the South Atlantic surf gets me fired up to ride. I live in Colorado, where my riding is confined to reservoirs and where, as you might guess, we don’t get many waves. Ever since I started kiteboarding four years ago, I’ve fantasized about riding real, ass-kicking ocean waves, as opposed to the puny speed bumps spit out the back of a ski boat. Continue reading