In most scenarios, telling someone to ‘go fly a kite’ may be ill-advised — but in the world of extreme kiteboarding, such a suggestion constitutes just another day at the office. Whether adventure seekers have already mastered the sport or they’re just getting their toes wet, the seasoned professionals at Nantucket-based Next Level Watersports can help deploy a memorable excursion based on where the weather is primed for kiteboarding.
When the absolute best conditions align, Next Level partners Jon Beery and Jake Hoefler can be found chasing them, finding the sweet spots to share with anyone who wants to ride.
“Basically, we love when ferries get cancelled, because that means big weather is here,” explains Beery, whose ears — along with Hoefler’s — tend to perk up whenever a storm is brewing over the Atlantic. “So when everyone is trying to get off Nantucket, we’re trying to bring people in.”
A wind-dependent sport, extreme kiteboarding is best served with a side of intense elements, so the pair has developed a plan to bring the sport’s enthusiasts directly to the action. With Next Level Watersports’ Surgical Strike Club, discerning kiteboarding clients can get almost-guaranteed exposure to a safe, yet thrill-inducing setting to ride across the waves. Lucky for private aviation travelers in the Northeast, this singular experience is only a Tradewind Aviation flight away.
“For a lot of our clients, their scarcest resource is their time — so they want to ride the best conditions in the best spots,” Beery says. “They want to know that the wind and the weather is going to line up so they don’t fly somewhere and end up sitting on a beach doing nothing. That’s when we came up with the concept of Surgical Strike Club.”
When a weather window opens, the early stages of a Surgical Strike trip spur into motion as Beery and Hoefler keep a close eye on the forecast and contact their portfolio of kiteboard-loving clientele. If a developing storm looks like it will deliver prime conditions, the pair kicks into full throttle with securing reservations, booking flights, and preparing gear for the impending expedition. And if clients can commit to a last-minute kiteboarding adventure, they should expect to leave their jobs behind for a few days in favor of an action-packed playground of sweeping gusts and roiling waves.
“We like to say that kiteboarding is the new golf,” says the 29-year-old Hoefler, who’s been dabbling in the sport since he was 12. “Our clients are highly motivated, successful individuals who like pushing themselves, and it’s another way to do that outside of the office, an activity that clears their head for getting back to work.”
While Nantucket is especially conducive to Surgical Strike trips in September when the region abounds with kite-friendly winds, Next Level Watersports also runs excursions in the wintertime months to chase the trade wind breezes throughout the Caribbean, particularly around Turks and Caicos, the Grenadines, and Antigua.
The kiteboarding company generally has two types of clients: those from the Northeast seeking an executive weekend with a quick turn-around in order to make it back home for family dinner on Sunday night, and then those who are able to take more time off in order to explore the world’s premiere kiteboarding spots.
“They can go to a place like Fiji,” says Beery. “The possibilities are endless when you have a little more time.”
No matter which type of outing they choose, kiteboarders of all abilities are in good hands with the experts at Next Level, who specialize in curating the kinds of trips that are not soon forgotten.
“Kiteboarding is this amazing sport with incredible freedom where the wind is powering you and you can fly around, jump, ride extremely shallow water, and get out and see all these new areas,” Beery says. “It feels a lot like you’re riding powder. Anyone can do it, but you have to work through the whole learning curve and once you have learned, you can basically go anywhere in the world and explore.”
As a partner of Tradewind Aviation, Next Level Watersports offers premiere kiteboarding opportunities from Nantucket with an emphasis on convenience and luxury. Tradewind also offers regularly scheduled shuttle flights to Nantucket from late April through early December, as well as private charters year-round.
All photos courtesy of Next Level Watersports.