Isole: experiencing Lençóis by International Kitesurfing Magazine
Camille Delannoy telling his story to the International Kitesurfing Magazine, Published in Issue 84
I’ve always wanted to go to Lençóis. For those who haven’t heard of it, Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is a protected area on Brazil’s north Atlantic coast. It’s known for its vast desert landscape of tall, white sand dunes and seasonal rainwater lagoons. It’s also a kite surfer’s paradise, with endless butter flat lagoons. It’s mostly been explored by freestylers, but with the rise of strapless freestyle in recent years, I was excited to be one of the first strapless riders to explore it.
From what I had heard, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. However, every time I was in Brazil, I was either competing, shooting or training, so I never found the time to go there despite it being pretty close to Preá, where I live.
Due to the pandemic, I’ve been solidly training a lot during these last months. Like everyone, my life stopped when the virus hit. Trips got cancelled, competitions got cancelled and photoshoots got cancelled. However, in the end, taking time to slow down actually turned out to benefit me. It feels weird to say that I’ve benefitted from the pandemic, but during the last 6 months I focused on training only and I couldn’t be happier with where I am today.
I knew I was lucky to be able to go in the water and train when most of the world was in lockdown. I decided to make the most out of this period of time and, because I knew we wouldn't have any competitions for a while, I had plenty of time to try new things. I didn't only want to learn new tricks that would score a lot of points in competitions, I also wanted to do tricks that no one has seen or thought about before. So, I worked hard on new tricks and tried to approach strapless freestyle in a different way than usual. It really helped me to find my own style of riding.
Anyway, back to the trip! After all the training, I felt I was ready and wanted to do something different, so it was the right time to explore Lençóis and the conditions looked perfect.
Getting there was a mission. Lençóis is only 500km from where I live but it took me over a day to get there.
The first part of the journey is an 8-hour drive. One the way, we stopped in the Parnaiba Delta. It’s one of the biggest rivers in northern Brazil and it’s definitely worth a look! From what the guide told me, there is a lot of sandbanks due to the water going out of the delta and carrying sand to the sea. These sandbanks are apparently creating some spots where perfect waves break for hundreds of meters. I’ll have to come back to check it out…
After 8 hours of driving, we unloaded the 100 kg of gear on a tiny boat and after 30 minutes, we arrived in Atins. The next day, after 2 hours driving through the extremely bumpy dunes, we finally made it to the Lençóis.
The place is so remote and hard to reach, we all felt like just getting there was a big part of the trip. You somehow feel like you’ve earnt it by the time you arrive.
The first thing I noticed when we arrived at the park is how unbelievably beautiful the place is. It is as if you are dreaming. There are hundreds of dunes and lagoons, its vastness is breath taking. We had the entire place to ourselves which really adds to the beauty of it (I only saw one other kiter during the whole trip).
Because there is so many lagoons, there is a countless number of spots to ride. However, they are not all kite able. The high dunes disrupt the wind a lot, making it very gusty, so you have to search for the right spots. Finding the best spot was a huge part of the trip, as we needed some strong and steady wind to be able to shoot. We were always searching and exploring the different lagoons to see where I could kite and play worry-free.
Once we found the right lagoons, I had some of the best sessions I’ve ever had. I was riding my 10m Carve, 2021 Navigator Control System and the Comp 5’0 surfboard and it was the perfect set up.
Read the full article by IKsurf here
Photo by Diego Correia
View Camille Delannoy’s Rider Profile here