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A Brief History

Hey there! Alex Kappes here and I am the owner of RAD Kiteboarding. My story starts off in Dallas, Texas, where I was born and raised. As a kid, I was extremely active, spending as much time as I could playing sports and being outside. Some would say that much hasn't changed to this day. Growing up playing team sports, I was conditioned to be active so as I grew older this part of my personality never changed. Yet, the older we grow the harder it is to find teams to play with thus my pursuit of individual sports and fitness grew. 

 

My greatest catalyst came after a life changing motorcycle accident. After that moment, I realized that life is short and that I should try to live my dreams now, instead of waiting until I thought it was the right moment. When the opportunity to move to the white sand beaches of Fort Walton Beach, Florida arose, I took it. This is where I was introduced to the world of Kiteboarding.  It changed my life from that moment forward. I became addicted to chasing the wind.  Everyday, I would check the forecast to see when the next opportunity to session would be.  Eventually, I decided to make instructing kiteboarding my job while working in the service industry. Fort Walton Beach was great, but my thirst for more wind became insatiable as the inconsistency of wind appeared more ominous. I decided to become an IKO certified instructor to create more opportunities for myself so I registered for a course. This would be a more challenging endeavor than I thought. 

The IKO instructor's course I signed up for in Miami was cancelled due to the lack of participants. I was crushed when I learned the news the night before the course was supposed to begin. I was staying with some friends in Jacksonville to make the trip from Fort Walton Beach to Miami more manageable. With their help we made the best out of the situation which of course involved multiple hours of kiting. During my stay, I saw an opportunity that inspired me to later move to Jacksonville. The opportunity was the ability to surf and kitesurf waves. While there my skills improved, however I wanted more.  I wanted the opportunity to work in other countries. So I again applied to become an IKO instructor and again the course was cancelled.  I was losing hope.  I wanted to teach kiteboarding as a lifestyle instead of the late nights of tending a bar.  Finally, I had a friend persuade me to apply for the course one last time and as the saying goes, third time's the charm.

While in Miami, I was able to make kiteboarding my full time job at an IKO (International Kiteboarding Organization) school.  I learned many styles and techniques on how to teach from different instructors from around the world.  I was feeling more confident and competent with my riding and my teaching skills day after day, but I wanted more opportunities for wind.  Becoming an IKO instructor opened doors for me to other places that would improve my understanding and my skills.  First on the list of those places would be Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Cape Hatteras is a kiteboarder's dream.  By far some of the most amazing kite sessions in my life have been in Cape Hatteras.  I was fortunate enough to start working for an amazing soul shop when I got here. The boys at Hatteras Island Surf and Sail are legends in the industry and their style of operating is something special.  When I say soul shop, I mean the benevolence of a family shop that caters to building a community rather than clientele.  You feel like you're part of something special and that's the type of energy I want for RAD Kiteboarding. I want a soul shop vibe with world class and friendly instructing. After 4 seasons, Cape Hatteras will always hold a special place in my heart.

From Cape Hatteras, I found myself reaching a personal goal of living and working in the Caribbean.  I first moved to a small island called Union Island in St Vincent and the Grenadines.  The kiting and beauty of the island are unparalleled. While on the island, I found myself surrounded by amazing people both coming and going and the locals.  During my stay I was injured while kiting and that made me realize that living somewhere with options to a hospital might not be a bad thing, but Caribbean living was right for me. 

After a recovery season in Hatteras, an opportunity led me to Puerto Rico. Upon landing, Puerto Rico captured my soul with it's amazing conditions and landscape. In Puerto Rico, I worked at a water sports center inside a private resort.  Here my skills improved dramatically due to having access to equipment and other disciplines like surfing, winging, and foiling.  I made it my goal to provide world class instruction to the clients of the resort.  I worked my hardest to improve and grow, achieving my goals, but realized I was losing part of myself along the way.  My soul wanted to feel part of a community and instead of constant grind to which I did not have control of after the pandemic.  So after taking much needed time off and joining another kite school, I came to the realization that I bring value and passion to the industry I love. I want to do what's right for myself and for the people that want to learn kiteboarding.  I decided to create a business that will do just that.

 

RAD Kiteboarding was established with a mission to bring top-quality kite lessons and experiences to the visitors and locals of Puerto Rico. Our passion for excellence, integrity, and kiteboarding inspired us to bring that energy to our community and to the island. We pride ourselves on offering a benevolent experience with lesson plans built to the individual needs of our students.  We strive to build long-term relationships with our students and look forward to riding along side them someday. Give us a call, text, or email and try for yourself!

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