Today’s blog is about a popular new sport that I’ve recently discovered since moving to the Riviera Maya called kite boarding. The sport of kite boarding has been rapidly gaining popularity and exposure since the 80’s through the efforts of extreme athletes worldwide. Please do not be alarmed because this sport allows people of all ages and experience levels to participate.
The Caribbean is one of the best locations in the world to kite board. Coming from a snowboarding and wakeboarding background I felt the urge to find a new sport to replace my pastimes back home. It turned out that kite boarding was very similar to both and is very popular in the Riviera Maya.
Always being an avid follower of Richard Branson (founder of the Virgin Group) for his business concepts and extreme stunts,I noticed that he was a kite enthusiast himself. The 62 year old business aristocrat says “Life begins at 60”. Branson is notably known in the kite boarding world for his popular photograph of the naked model wrapped around his back while kiting. “I just wanted to use it as another excuse to talk about kite surfing,to me it’s the best sport in the world. You can start at 8 and keep at it until 80. It is not as expensive as you might think”,says Richard Branson. “You find friends to teach you and it doesn’t take more than four hours to be up and away. You can share your kites with friends too. So you just need to be able to get to a good lake or beach with good winds and you can embark on one of the most addictive,clean and enjoyable pastimes of your life”.
Kite boarding has recently become so popular that it nearly qualified to become a Olympic sport. Although it fell slightly short it was still inducted in the 2016 Olympics as an evaluation sport. Despite the fact Richard Branson still has high hopes for the sport. "We'll keep trying,because there could be no better Olympic sport," Branson says. "It looks great. It's man against the elements. It's highly competitive. It's the perfect Olympic sport. It's what the Olympics were originally conceived for."
Richard among others have been pushing the envelope for years,trying to make kite boarding a house hold sport comparable to skate boarding,skiing,wake boarding,and snowboarding.
In 2009 Branson,Charlie Smith,and Scotty Wilson came up with a brilliant idea over lunch on Branson’s own Nector Island in the BVI (British Virgin Islands). With the combination of creative minds and some off the best conditions in the world they decided to start their own kite boarding event. Knowing that the BVI is well know for their consistent 20 knot trade winds and year round 80° water,what better place to host the event then right there in Branson’s back yard. So they sought out the most decorated and skilled kite boarders around the world to gather in the BVI for an international competition. They named the weeklong event “Kite Jam”. It features both professional and amateur competitors in freestyle and racing events.
Up and down the coast of the Riviera Maya are a loads of great kite boarding schools. Some of the best are located in Tulum real estate. Below I have listed a couple of my favorites:
- Tulum/Villas Las Estrellas – This is the kite boarding school where I took my first lessons. It is located about 3 kilometers down the beach road in Tulum in front of the boutique hotel Villas Las Estrellas (which has the most amazing food). They have 4-5 teachers available on staff all day so it is a great place to bring your family and friends. I highly recommend Jerry,the instructor who trained me. He is big on safety but will push you to the next level.
- Sian Kite – Ran by Sian,a life long local of Tulum. Sian is one of the most decorated and reputable kite boarders in the area. He teaches all ages and experience levels. The school is a cool palapa located directly on the beach in front of the Papaya Playa Project. Sian has equipment to rent for all experience levels from trainer kites to professional trick boards. With a trained professional like Sian walking you through the learning curve you can be up and on the water within hours.
If you are feeling adventurous and want to try something new or if you are looking for something to supplement your hobbies back home than look no further. Stop by one of the schools I listed above and tell them Ryan from Investment Properties Mexico sent you. Until next week … Hasta Luego.!