Mexico, Avalanches and Aruba with Phil Soltysiak


After a few days of resting, hanging out with the family and eating Christmas food at home in Canada I flew to windsurf a popular winter destination for North Americans; La Ventana, Baja Sur, Mexico.

Early morning cross country skiing with my older brother = head lamps and frozen hair.
Toronto parking lot upon return from Brazil.

I’ve never seen as many kitesurfers in my life as in La Ventana! Turns out it’s such a popular place because if you end up downwind you will always land on a safe sandy beach.

As far as windsurfing two American pros Wyatt Miller and Tyson Poor hosted me at their Pro Windsurf La Ventana accommodations and rental place. They have a good selection of the latest windsurf gear for rent. They offer lessons, rooms and homes for rent, as well as social evenings. If you’re planning a windsurf trip there, either with your own gear or renting, make sure to reach out to them:

Pro Windsurf La Ventana.

Statistically 37% of days are over 16 knots in La Ventana in January. I scored a bit better than that as I sailed 5 days out of 10, so pretty good! I used my 5.0 Sailworks Revolution most of the time on my Starboard Flare 93.

After La Ventana I snuck off to learn about avalanches in Bend, Oregon. I completed the level 1 AIARE course with Oregon Ski Guides. AIARE stands for American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education. It was a 3 day 24 hour course in which I learnt about planning ski touring trips, decision making around avalanche terrain and how to find and dig up a buried person. 1 in every 4 people caught in avalanches die from trauma alone, so even with skilled people around you your chances of survival are slim. All in all a very interesting class in which I got to do quite a bit of skiing too! So as far as avalanche training I’m more prepared than ever for my annual ski trip, this time in Eastern Oregon to the Wallowas.

Bundled up!

Before then I got a month of training in Aruba! It’s been blowing for 4.5m since the day I arrived, and we’ve been mostly sailing at Barcadera and Rodgers Beach. Barcadera is where we go for flat water and small chop freestyle, while Rodgers Beach is port tack jumping and stunt ramps. I love the variety between these two spots.

Hard to beat Aruba’s water colours! Photo by Armando Goedgedrag.
Barcadera on Aruba offers perfect freestyle windsurfing conditions! Photo by Adam Wojtkowiak.

If you want to explore Aruba with me March 18th – 24th , shoot me an e-mail to to sign up.


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