In the very south of Europe, with a view of Africa, there is a city ruled by the wind. On windless days, people cavort on the beach, stroll through the small alleys, and sit down with a drink in one of the countless cafes or bars. As soon as the wind comes up, the atmosphere in this small Spanish town changes – you see people (and dogs) with rain jackets and ski goggles making their way to the beach despite the insane winds. Kiters sit in the countless vans that stream into town, desperately searching for a free parking space in the narrow streets. You can feel the energy pulsing through their veins as they pump up their kites to hit up one of the best freestyle and Big Air spots in the world.
The season in Tarifa had begun. I couldn’t wait to spend the summer in this vibrant, lively city, and planned to stay as long as possible. To save money and be more flexible and spontaneous, I decided to live in my car. So one day, on a chilly morning in May, I packed my kite gear, got behind the steering wheel of my Volkswagen T4, and raced the 2500km from the Netherlands to the city at the tip of Europe. While I let cities, fields, mountains and lakes pass me by on my way, it was slowly getting warmer outside. Rap music blasted at full volume from the radio, and my van life had begun. When I arrived in Tarifa, I was anything but disappointed. The little Spanish town is known as the capital of wind with good reason. The Strait of Gibraltar accelerates the wind like a funnel, with Tarifa literally being embraced by the wind. About 40% of the time, it blows from the Mediterranean Sea towards the Atlantic Ocean. This warm strong wind coming from the east is called Levante. In the first few days, we were blessed with Poniente wind, which blows the remaining 60% of the time. Literally translated, the wind comes from where the sun sets, from the west. This one hits the whole beach in Tarifa onshore – perfect for freestyle.