Barack Obama Goes Kitesurfing on Vacation with Billionaire Richard Branson
After eight years as the leader of the most powerful nation, former US president Barack Obama had a chance to finally get loose and enjoy water sports with his friend and founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson. Barack Obama, who was on vacation on the British Virgin Islands was accompanied by former first lady Michelle Obama.
— KiteSurfer (@KiteSurf_Life) February 8, 2017
Obama, who as president was under many secret service imposed restriction like not partaking in water sports activities like surfing, was keen to learn how to kitesurf.
According to a blog written by Branson, they decided to make things interesting by setting up a friendly challenge where Obama would learn kitesurfing while Branson would learn how to ride a foilboard. A foilboard is an advanced hydroplaning surfboard. The two would then see who would be able to ride their respective watercraft the longest.
Barack Obama Is Learning To Kitesurf On His Post-Presidency Vacation https://t.co/UE4OpgRSvV
— Selena Quintanilla (@SelenaQ_Fans) February 9, 2017
The billionaire, who has his own private island, spend a few days with the former president learning to ride their respective watercrafts. Branson notes that they fell many times but kept on trying over and over until they began seeing progress.
Even though the billionaire is known for his adventurous lifestyle, the former president did incredible well. He kite surfed his way to win the challenge by travelling for over 100 meters tor Branson’s 50 meter distance.
— CNN (@CNN) February 7, 2017
Writing on his blog, Branson says that they were neck to neck throughout the learning period until the final run when Barack Obama pulled one over him to win the challenge. He says he began riding his foilboard and felt happy about his progress only to look up and see the former president way ahead of him. After riding for 50 meters, he had no other no option but to congratulate Barack Obama and celebrate his victory.
Branson says that despite being the former US president, with security around, Obama was able to relax and enjoy the challenge.
For Obama, this water adventure was a long way coming. The former president had earlier told Branson that before being president, he had gone surfing in Hawaii, only to return to the beach to be informed by his secret service team that he would never surf, let alone kitesurf for the next eight years.
According to Branson’s blog, the two plan to ride the long kite the next time Obama comes for a vacation. On this long kite challenge, the billionaire says he is already practicing for a win.