Yesterday, the Internet was abuzz with photos of President Obama enjoying the early days of retirement by paying a visit to Sir Richard Branson in the British Virgin Islands.
Aside from just chatting, the pair were doing some kitesurfing. It just so happens that your correspondent was also in the BVIs last week, aboard a 58-foot Catamaran named Poseidon’s Pearl, trying to learn to kitesurf.
And let me tell you, dear reader, that sh*t is hard.
Kitesurfing is basically what would happen if that really cool surfer dude and that super smart physics major from college had a child. It combines the physical prowess of extreme watersports with the logic and quick thinking of flying a kite 30 feet up in the air. As in: you are literally manipulating a kite in such a way that it leads you where you want to go without killing you (definitely a possibility, at least according to the waivers).
It’s unruly. It’s dangerous (especially for novices). And Great Odin’s Raven, is it fun. See below, in footage of our aforementioned attempts to learn:
But don’t be stubborn and think you can teach yourself without incident. You can’t. So take some lessons before you buy all the gear. Here’s where we recommend:
Next Level Water Sports | Massachusetts
Based in Nantucket and started by a CPA that loved kiting so much that he literally quit his day job to teach full time. Stay in the Harborview Nantucket, which is not too shabby a place to rest your head after a long day on the water.
Goodwinds Dorado | Puerto Rico
On the north coast, about 30 minutes from San Juan, you’ll find some of the best instructors around and beautiful, lush scenery. Stay at the Ritz.
Wind Voyager | British Virgin Islands
You’ll be staying on a 58 foot catamaran in the BVIs, meaning you can sail around the archipelago to wherever the surf/wind are best that day. You can also hit beach bars. It’s up to you. Good for up to eight guests, so make a party out of it. Also one of the best crews around.
Image and video courtesy of Tripp Schoff