After bit of miss-adventure trying to learn kites on my own, decided to seek a pros instructor at the best venue I could find.  Watching folks walk up the beach hundreds of times, I knew there had to be a better way.  Fast forward 5 years, I now wave ride strapless surf style at Santa Cruz, and frequent Maui or Mexico winter time.  My son, Sean, is now an amazingly strong wave rider – Joel also got him going.

How to get started?  I took lessons from both Joel & Petra, enough to get myself over the hump to ‘safe place’ and start riding at our home beach in Santa Cruz.  Both are friendly, patient, very professional, and safety conscious.  When it was time for my son to learn, we could have gone anywhere.  We flew down to Padre for Joel to do a boat follow with radio helmet – he simply knows what to say, and when, not too much or too little.  In a few days, Sean was getting water starts, up, and tracking across Laguna Madre.  Not everyone picks it up that fast, but it’s possible.

After several Maui trips, my wife’s got the Kite bug as well – yep, we’re returning to Padre for lessons.  All in all, the family has done lessons in Maui, SF Bay at Alameda, checked out Corpus (eh), and other SF Bay boat venues (way cold).  The food is good in S. Padre, drinks are cheap, and hotels far more affordable than Maui.  Santa Cruz has sharks, bobbing about learning is not a good plan.  Maui coral, waves, small beach launch, & rock jetties are not as beginner friendly.

Joel & Petra are top shelf, highly recommended, and the Laguna Madre is an ideal intro venue – that combo is simply the best, by far.

John H, Santa Cruz, CA