There is a hidden world beyond the known, a place obscured from the lands of the average kitesurfer. As humans are often born of passion, waves are born from the winds of the world. Some are tall and lengthy, while others are short and truncated. The former, typically the oceanic waves of the world, are heavily documented and trafficked, while the latter are lesser explored. Here lies Elandia, a mystical land of successive and compendious waves amalgamated amidst a steady wind swell. And what many Northern Hemisphere kitesurfers don’t know is that it lies just under their noses.elandiacover-02Initially ridden by a few intrepid, strapless air journeyers in the first decades of the modern century, Elandia is a place of angry dogs, distant cement castles and fish shacks nestled along an eastern coast. It lies adjacent to the Cardon-infested jungles that surround the Land of Caracara, whose arid environment favors camels and gigantic scorpions. All in all it was a mistake, or shall we say, an accidental discovery; for it was located in a part of the world that was surmised to possess no waves. Flatness was always the playing field in this locale; the attraction was skimming fast while jumping was king. Despite its reputable planar surface, every once in a while, a mighty wind would blow north of the village and small wavelets would find their eight second gap, belying a somewhat peeling behavior along the shoreline.

Trimming for the tunnel in short period wind swell. // Photo Gary Strachan

Trimming for the tunnel in short period wind swell. // Photo Gary Strachan

Slowly, it became known that one could prone surf Spouting Toad Point, however small, it was the single wave venue on the map. While the Toad became known, Elandia remained elusively out of sight and existed as a place where only a very few would venture. But even then, and for those few, Elandia’s consistency could not be comprehended. At the same time, the Olas Alberca area was blossoming into an attraction for whitewater enthusiasts. Some in the vicinity would understand how to ride them, but most would not. Who would have known that these short interval harbingers were indicators that there was a land close by that offered up the real deal, a land we now know as Elandia.05-ELANDIA--7867-webIn a world of technology and digital mapping, there are still surf spots that remain clandestine. Geologic arrangements and weather patterns continue to be imperceptible to the masses. There are certain sandbars and reefs that actually work better with short interval swells. Thus, it should be written that this place, Elandia, favors this lesser-chased cousin of the long period. Born from catastrophic, seismic events, Elandia’s sea, like the ancient Mediterranean, rarely sees ground swells habituate upon its shoreline. However, once in a great while, southern storms send feelers into this oceanic crag, wrapping around well-kept secret points in high latitudinal locations. While this is unknown to all but a handful of surfers, the predominant cold winds and their waves are becoming familiar to the ever-expanding kitesurfing population. When this combination occurs, the board and kite riders utilize this opportunity to adhere to the cause.

The tribes of Elandia are an eclectic mix of age and interest but Elandians are united by the common drive of finding the margins of the next frontier. // Photo Evan Netsch

The tribes of Elandia are an eclectic mix of age and interest but Elandians are united by the common drive of finding the margins of the next frontier. // Photo Evan Netsch

The journey to Elandia is somewhat fraught with unknowns. Arid lands are like that. All with a smile, the indigenous people live on the line just trying to survive. Entering their lands with respect is the best formula for acceptance. These endemic peoples usually have a wealth of information about their locale: traditional cuisine, shelter under the stars, weather patterns, waves formations and what to keep an eye out for. One must bypass the questioning of the village’s non-surfers who continue to inquire as to where the adventurers are going. Their inquisitive frowns accompany puzzled musings of why anyone would leave a place of prostrate waters and so much wind.

Those who do not venture are comfortable enjoying what they harvest close to home, safe in their beliefs that there are no opportunities in this region to ride anything akin to a wave. This harmless oblivion has persisted into modern day, mostly by virtue of the tribes of Elandia who practice deceit in order to prolong its abiding myths. While Elandia is an inviting vista of blue and green bays with white beaches unto her horizon, the coral and lava reefs lurking beneath can be vicious to man’s flesh when combined with the unrelenting push of the surging waves.

The lonely exploiters of Elandia’s bounty find Zen in setting their rails into eight second interval lips while executing cutbacks on overhead faces. Within the Kingdom of Elandia, there are, of course, territorial divisions to be explored within the myriad of various intertidal zones: Angry Dog, Fish Shacks, Olas Alberca and the Pit. The people of Elandia know of the superior conditions in the many places of far-off lands, but are also aware and dissuaded by their infestation. Elandia’s people do not follow convention; they seek out solitary locales in vast open spaces to enable their desire for a remote experience while interacting with the natural entities, both living and nonliving physical objects.

So be it. There will always be unknown lands that are enjoyed with great immense until more arrive, fruitfully bearing the attributes required to fulfill the needs of the intrepid journeymen of surf. Tucked away as unforgettable memories in the consciousness of those who have adventured here, Elandia is one of these unexpected regions.


This article was featured in Tkb’s spring 2016 issue. Want more like this? Subscribe here: https://www.thekiteboarder.com/product/magazine-subscription/