Many of us are waiting presidential pardon to spend a weekend in Potrerillos. Here we tell you what you can do there besides barbequing and admiring the beautiful landscape.
Victor Videla by Nómada Windsurf, brings us closer to windsurf in Mendoza
Windsurf is a super fun, adrenalin producing and relaxing water sport. We only need a board and a sail to succeed.
“Wind is the engine. It is you, water and wind. You are sailing alone, your brain disconnects of the problems and connects with nature.“
In Potrerillos we can sail all year long, in winter we have the best winds, but it is cold and we need more courage. The best time to learn is summer. Classes are taught between January and April/May. This dam’s particular trait is that during summer its water level lowers a lot, because of irrigation needs, and recovers its full level in January, thanks to the melted snow.
The best time to practice it is from noon until 5pm. But you have to stay alert always, since some days wind starts to blow as from 10am. And if the wind starts at 830am, you know that it will blow all day long, and strong.
Classes for beginners are taught at the beginning of the dam, behind Potrerillos hotel. This is the highest part of the dam, and it takes time for the water to reach here, that is why they wait until January. The place is perfect due to the wind “onshore”—that is to say from the water to the land—returning you to the shore and avoiding to move away from it. Besides, in this area, the slope is kind, and you may walk for 100 meters, and practice all the moves in a safe (not deep) area.
The use of life vests is mandatory, helmet use is recommended. With certain experience, you may enter the lake as from November. From April to November, the use of neoprene suits and boots is mandatory. There is no need for special permits.
The basic gear is formed by a board, a rigging (sail, mast, boom, mast foot, extender, halyard) vest and neoprene suit. For advanced levels you need to include a harness, which is tied to the sail and is used to relieve the use of arms with the weight of your body. In winter you may add a hood and neoprene gloves, plus a wind stopper.
All new and used gear can be purchased locally, of local production in Tres Vientos, where they also repair gear.
To start, the school provides all necessary gear: wide and stable boards, easy to balance, and small sails. When we acquire experience and technique we will look for narrower, more agile boards and bigger sails.
Nomada School of Windsurf offers a theoretical class and a practice class with gear on land. Here we learn all the technique that we will use on water, correct positioning and explain the vocabulary we need to know to interpret the instructions given in the water. This way, the second class, already in water, is a lot simpler and surely will have you on your own successfully. Booking four classes, the fifth one is for free. After ten classes you may say you are advanced level, and you can purchase a definitive gear, with a board and sail that will serve you forever.