This time last year, Riviera team rider Thomas Maximus visited one of his favorite Kitesurfing destinations http://bluedreamhotel.com/ in Bahia Salinas, Costa Rica. It's located in the northwest corner of Costa Rica situated directly across the bay from it's neighboring country Nicaragua, and less than an hour drive from it's International airport in Liberia, which is accessible via direct flights from LAX in under 5 hrs and less than 4 hrs from NYC which makes it the ultimate winter getaway for east coast paddlers!
During his trip last year Thomas had a few days with extremely strong winds and gusts over 50 mph! He didn't bring his smallest kites for those conditions and decided to improvise by dusting off an old 11' windsurfing board he found in the back of the hotel's storage shed. The 11' windsurfing board worked great with really strong winds and steep waves but couldn't hold long glides on lighter days and thought a 14' downwind board would be the ultimate craft for the conditions. Upon returning from his trip last year and discussing the opportunities of opening up this kitesurfing destination to Standup Paddlers with rentals, shuttle service, lessons, and retreats with the owner/ Nicola Bertoldi of Blue Dream Hotel. The owner invested in 3 Riviera Downwind 14' SUP's and paddles.
Thomas just returned to Bahia Salinas, Costa Rica last month to test his hunch with regards to how the Riviera downwind 14' would perform....he paddled it downwind for 8 consecutive days on a perfect downwind route (@5.5K) across the bay which can be easily shuttled in 22 minutes for multiple runs within a day. He just returned back to SoCal a few days ago and we haven't seen him stop smiling and claiming it's the perfect board for one of the best downwind locations in the world....but we'll let you decide when you check out his videos below: He's also working on organizing another trip back down to Costa Rica next month to explore a 20 mile open ocean point to point downwind route he's identified along with hosting a few #PaddleClass downwind clinics and request anyone interested in more details or taking advantage of group discounts on accommodations, rentals cars, etc. Contact him directly at: Maximus@FirstTeamXtreme.com w/ Costa Rica Downwinder in the subject line.