The wind is coveted when you ride, but despised when you get out of the water
If you are a kite and water sports enthusiast or adrenaline addict, you have certainly experienced the sensation of riding in an extremely strong and gusty wind. It’s incredible that moment when you see the trees bending, the sand flying so fast that you get whipped, and the kite deforming due to the gusts as it flies. In that moment it is our unconscious that prevails, madness and passion push us to overcome our limits and get out of the comfort zone. And it’s always worth it.
But there is a big difference from the session itself, after which you return to your calm shelter, and live in a place where the wind blows strong and incessantly.
Have you ever blessed the moment, at the end of the session, when the wind stops blowing or yet the moment when you are finally in a protected place? Don’t tell me no because I don’t believe you.
The wind is the force of nature that allows us to enjoy the practice, but it is not always pleasant to endure it, especially if we are not in the water to ride.
So what motivates a person to live in a small village where wind statistics above 40 knots are among the most important in Europe?
Would you do that?
I found the answer after living in these conditions for 1 year during my training as a kite instructor. During this time I also had the pleasure to meet two local riders, now friends, who moved many years ago just to benefit from this climate, Jordan Heurto (Jojo) and Jessy Bignon (Jessy).
What the two riders of the new story have in common is their choice to follow their passion, the one about kiting and the “extreme”. It pushed them to choose a place that most people, so-called normal, would hate: Leucate-Barcarès.
They both left their respective places of birth and convinced their family to move, to have a wind-influenced life and more man-made. A quiet life, far from the noise of the city, but animated by the roar of the wind, which blows persistently.
The feeling of 40 knots is difficult to explain, it is something that touches you deeply, because it comes out of human rationality.The news announces “storm”, normal people barricade themselves at home while they go out with their kite to feel those sensations they can’t resist.
Inspiration or madness?
Everyone has their own judgment on this, but I know them, and they inspire me. They don’t go out, arrogantly, to defy Mother Nature. On the contrary, they are aware of their abilities and decide to ride just after having analyzed the weather conditions in detail. They share the session as a group to help and motivate each other. This is their way of getting out of the comfort zone and experiencing that adrenaline rush beloved of the BIG AIR practice.
They are both very experienced riders and have been practicing for years. But what really drove them to this discipline and to endure 40 knots wind all year round?
Jessy told me how his memory of the first jump, not even 50 cm, is still engraved in his mind. That feeling of flying is something that no sport had ever given him. So, he wanted more and more, until the BIG AIR became his favourite discipline.
Jojo, on the other hand, told me about the first time he attended the Mondial du Vent, a historic kite competition held in Leucate. The wind was so strong that it thrilled the windows of the houses, and there Jojo saw the best international riders get ready and compete in those apocalyptic conditions. “It was exceptional“.
For both of them kiting has become more than a passion, and they couldn’t imagine living in an area far from the spots. And even better, if this area was renowned for being one of the windiest in Europe.
However, the area of Leucate is not for everyone. You need to have a strong motivation and a spirit of adaptation that are out of the mentality of those who live in the comfort of a city.
And this is exactly the reflection that intrigues me the most: when I observe them, I understand how every difficulty and discomfort is irrelevant if compared to the freedom to develop its own passion.
The confirmation comes directly from Jessy‘s words: “I love that feeling when I see the sand flying and I tell myself, let’s do it. I feel free and it’s like time stands still. The only barrier is my brain and I try to knock down all the limits imposed by the fear and anguish that it causes me. The kite is my life, No Wind No Life“.
The wind as a way of life, which unconsciously influences the moods. “Actually, people change according to weather conditions, in the north it’ s the rain, here due to the wind” Jojo says. “when we undergo two weeks in a row at 40 knots people can become easily irritable, but for me it has become my daily life. I love to ride in a strong wind so big air is the discipline I prefer“.
Jojo and Jessy are therefore two kitesurfers who have found their place in a location dominated by an unstable but generous nature. Respecting it and observing it, they understand it and take full advantage of it.
What do I learn from their story?
There are more factors to take into consideration.
The first is certainly the quest to find a way of life appropriate to one’s passions. This is not always an easy task, and it requires a long-time process, but if you succeed in making your passion become an integral part of your life, you will forget the negative aspects.
The second is to surround yourself with people who share your way of life. Jessy is quite clear when he says to me: “to live in these places you have to love the wind, and so it must be for those next to you“. It’s important to share without asking for exaggerated compromises that would only delay the destruction of a relationship.
Third, the human being’s ability to adjust and adapt. Jojo’s statement is eloquent, “I can’t even distinguish what’s special about living in these conditions, because I’ m so used to it“. Our way of thinking should therefore be focused on taking the first step, trying to consciously accept the present by building the basis for the future we want. In this way, all negativity will take second place.
The power to tell a story
I hope you enjoyed this story, that it conveyed something to you and that it could be a source of inspiration for you or your future projects.
If you have a story to share, don’t hesitate to write me.
I’m looking forward to read your feedback and I’ll always be happy to spread true and genuine stories to help our community!