From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -
Playa (plural playas) may refer to:
- Dry lake, commonly called a playa in the southwest US and Mexico
For twenty years, wind-powered enthusiasts from across North America have been gathering on Ivanpah Dry Lake for a week of fun and games every Spring. Located in the Mohave Desert, Ivanpah is situated in a valley about 45 minutes south of Las Vegas, where it is conveniently located near a three casino complex. Managed by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) this 13-square-mile (34 km2) playa is restricted for use by wind powered vehicles only.
The surface of the playa is nearly as hard as asphalt. This smooth, hard packed surface enables wind powered vehicles to amass great speeds. Speeds of 50 mph are commonplace for a kite powered land buggy. The kite buggy land speed record of 84 mph was set on Ivanpah in 2012 by Brian Holgate.
Recently, three very large solar thermal power plants, known as the Ivanpah Solar Electric Gathering System, were built on the western edge of the playa behind I-15. You’ll see this plant in the background in some scenes here.
NAPKA, the North American Power Kiting Association (napka.org/) organized circuit racing during the week.
What never ceases to amaze is the passion that drives someone to show up every year with a newly designed hand-built buggy. This year was no different. Dirk Hemza and his Nor-Cal Kiters brought their “Overkill” buggy. It was a sexy steel design that featured a handle on top of the fork. This was a great place to pull or lift the buggy and provide an attachment point for accessories. It also included a steering dampener.
Richard Enright from So-Cal also impressed with his “Terrablades”. Sort of like Rollerblades for kites. Check out the video: youtube.com/watch?v=_qiaYeK0FbU&list=UUZrAN8IvkcBOiRnU48wUdVA. He also brought an electric contraption called “Rollercycle”, which provides a 10,000 watt motor that can be used in a buggy or on blades and provide a 25 mile range.
The Telemundo network showed up and filmed a segment on kite buggying for their extreme sports and travel show “Ritmo Deportivo”
What makes the Ivanpah Buggy Blast special?
Is it the endless playa, a welcoming atmosphere and sense of community, spectacular sunsets, riding as fast as you can for miles before having to think about turning, new friends sharing the best BBQ west of Texas that’s been smoking all day, sailing the playa at night, or being so close to civilization, but feeling so far out? It's all that and more.