After spending the last 8 years in office, President Obama and his family were invited to Richard Branson’s Moskito Island in the BVIs for a complete break.
Obama told Richard that right before he was sworn into office over 8 years ago he was learning to surf on a dangerous break in Hawaii. When he came in, one of the security officers had told him this would be the last time he would ever surf again for the next 8 years. Over the past decade, kitesurfing has really taken off and Richard’s passion for kitesurfing encouraged Obama to give it a try.
Richard wanted to learn how to foilboard so they turned it into a friendly competition to see who could ride the longest. Having never kitesurfed before, Obama spent 2 days learning all the basics. After learning kite control, Obama went out in the water to put a board under his feet. Both Obama and Branson fell again and again but were able to pick it up. Branson was able to tack for 50 meters, balancing 3 ft above the water on his foilboard, only to see Obama cruising along going 100 meters on his kiteboard. Needless to say, both of them had a great time and will kiteboard together again.
The full story can be read over on Richard Branson’s Blog on Virgin.
Richard is 66 years old and Obama is 55 years old and kitesurfing is a sport both of these men can do. With proper lessons just about anyone can pick up this exhilarating sport. Kitesurfing requires mental focus and finesse; the better you can control the kite the better of a rider you will be. It doesn’t take much physical strength, but is still an excellent workout!
For their next competition, Richard will race Obama from his island to Anegada island, stay tuned!