Certified Kiteboarding Instructor Profile
Tampa / St. Pete, FL Muskegon, Michigan Cape Hatteras, NC
P.A.S.A. Certified Kiteboarding Instructor
Certified US Sailing Keelboat Instructor
Kitemare.com Associate Instructor
South Padre Island TX,
|St. Petersburg, FL||11/09 - 05/10|
|Cape Hatteras, NC||05/10|
|Muskegon, MI||06/10 - 10/10|
|Iles de la Madelaine||09/10|
KM: Roberto, tell us, where does this story begin? Why Kiteboarding?
RV: My life has been filled with all sorts of exciting sports, including alpine ski racing, rock climbing & mountaineering, scholastic hockey, sailboat racing, and motocross racing.
As time went by I gravitated toward the wind-driven watersports.
After 20+ years of windsurfing on the East Coast, San Francisco, The Gorge, Maui, and the Middle East.. I had my second awakening watching pros like Robby Naish, Flash Austin, Mark Doyle and others KiteSurfing at the Gorge Games. I was hooked immediately!
Soon after discovering kite surfing I took my first lessons in the year 2000...and it’s been an absolutely amazing trip ever since that first day with a big kite.
KM: What kind of work were you doing before? Why the career change?
RV: Construction Business. After kitesurfing for a few years I decided to take a break from my 20+ year career as an architect and builder and became a certified kite surfing instructor, which kicked off a multi-year journey traveling around the world learning my new “craft”, working with different schools in Texas, Florida & the Keys, plus a few other wonderful and far-off places like Costa Rica, Thailand and Viet Nam.
KM: We understand you've taught hundreds of students to Kite. Quite a few huh?
RV: Actually, I've now logged over 500 success kite lessons and also proud to say that's 500 with a 100% Impeccable safety record.
KM: Wow that's Impressive! What's your secret?
RV: During my travels, adventures and internships I gained a lot of experience and knowledge from different schools and instructors which, along with my own experiences teaching sailing and design in my offices, gave me the insights and knowledge to develop a very safe, comprehensive, and reliable teaching method.
KM: Where do you do most of your Kiteboarding?
RV: Most of my riding has been on Lake Michigan during the Summers, and Florida, Costa Rica, Thailand, Vietnam during the Winters.
KM: Favorite Places to Kite?
RV: That’s a tough question…They are all great in some way or another. Some of my memorable kiting days have been in Michigan, Iles de La Madeleine, Florida, the Gorge, Costa Rica.
KM: Where's your favorite place to teach?
RV: Although I've taught in lessons in Maine, Cape Cod, Nantucket Island, Cape Hatteras, Corpus Christi & SPI Texas , I feel places like SPI Texas, Cape Hatteras, and St. Petersburg, Florida have been my favorites because of the flat, shallow water conditions which provide an ideal opportunity for beginners to advance quickly. The Florida Keys are also good but it’s hard to teach the beach skills that are very important for beginners to understand. So, for overall learning conditions and other day to day interests I have found St. Petersburg, FL to be my place of choice for the past several winters, and a very convenient and cost effective destination for my customers who come from all corners of the globe for lessons.
After watching him teach, speaking with his students following lessons, and knowing his
reputation, its very easy to recommend Roberto. There are many certified instructors
out there who have little more than a certificate in their hand, The accident reports I
get sent to me about some instructors is unsettling to put it nicely. Its really a pleasure to
have an instructor like Roberto associated with our company who knows how to focus 100%
on his students and to keep strict safety standards.
To date, Roberto has taught over 500 students!
That's Five - Hundred AND.. a 100% squeeky clean Safety Record.
One warning.. If you're looking for an instructor to only "skim over" the safety
aspects, and to put you in the water before you're ready, Roberto may not be for you.
He's highly detailed, and safety oriented, and you'll need to demonstrate you comprehension
of one level before moving onto the next one.
An Excellent Instructor! - Jeff Weiss / Kitemare.com
Feel very fortunate to have met Roberto. I had lessons elsewhere. Didn't really appreciate how much is involved in kiting until Roberto's first class. He's very thorough, patient, and professional.
-Mac Clark 11/27/2005
Excellent safety and situational awareness concepts taught. Will Recommend.
-Chris Bigger 11/17/2005
I am a 44 year old female in good physical condition but with zero board experience.
Roberto is a wonderful instructor and I would recommend him without hesitation.
Very professional. Extremely knowledgeable. Infinite patience with students.
Would recommend him to anyone. Look forward to taking advanced lessons
from him in the future! - Barry Jones 5/4/2005
I was very happy with my lesson & will be having more with Roberto, would
recommend him to anyone wishing to try this sport. - Marc Rice 4/27/2005
I highly recommend Roberto as an instructor to anyone looking to get into, or
further their skills in, Kiteboarding! - Patrick Breen 4/20/2005
Roberto was able to take what could appear to be complicated information
and made it extremely easy to understand! He also was very patient, kind,
and professional while letting his passion for the sport come through.
- Pat Breen 4/21/2005
Roberto keeps it safe, simple and fun. His calm and mature manner gave
me confidence to achieve my goals. I would highly recommend him and look
forward to training with him again. - Andy Murrant 5/10/2005
Great sport! I enjoyed Roberto's instruction... he was very thorough with an
emphasis on safety. - Hannah 10/26/2004
Very professional and inspiring training. Only thing I lacked was perhaps slightly
more time on the water ;-) - Olle 11/10/2004
Very good. He took his time to make sure that we understood all the basics. I felt
very safe during my lessons. - Karen Shiers 11/15/2004
Just a great day of instruction and information. Unfortunately, it is a lot to absorb and
learn in a little time. I am looking forward to another lesson. - Alan Yahanda 7/1/2004
Roberto was a great instructor. He is very clear and easy to understand and got me
up on the board on my first lesson. He's a great ambassador for the sport!
- Bob Shaffer 4/7/2004
Great instructor, had a great time and learned a lot! I plan on taking more lessons for
him in the future! - Phillip Skvarce 7/24/2004
Roberto is a great instructor. He is very hands on and makes sure that you get not only
the skills needed but also the knowledge that comes along with it. Really great instructor
and would recommend him to anyone. - Jeff Ferry 7/10/2004
We found Roberto to be a very good instructor with good attention to detail and very safety
conscious. We are looking forward to an on-the-board lesson with him.
- Doug & Colette Cowan 9/25/2004
Roberto did a great job of explaining a lot of little details that will make things easier when I
eventually get my own equipment. He was encouraging even when we made mistakes. I would
recommend him as an instructor to my friends if they take lessons. Matthew Occhipinti 9/12/2004
Had a great time. Thanks! - Anamie Occhipinti 9/12/2004
Roberto was really great, exceeded our expectations tenfold! Highly recommended. :)
- Michael and Helene Ramsey 9/19/2004
Roberto is a top notch instructor and does the sport great justice by being not only an instructor of
the sport but just being a part of it. - Jeffrey Potthoff 9/19/2004
Excellent instructor and great guy. Highly recommend. - Fred Klein 4/9/2005
Roberto chooses the methodical approach emphasizing safety and knowledge. I was
very happy with the instruction I received and the skills I acquired. Time well spent.
- Zachary Ivar Knutson 6/12/2005
Roberto was great. I left SPI excited about the sport and hope to go back and take
another lesson from him. He was very instructive and stressed allot of safety, which
I think is essential to kiteboarding. - Travis Lee 5/17/200
Excellent instruction with emphasis on safety - well worth the lesson. - Doug Frazier 6/23/2005
This instructor made kiteboarding really easy and fun. I walked away from my lesson with
full satisfaction. - Matthew 6/8/2005
Please confirm rates directly with your instructor.
Lessons are generally available every day of the week (wind permitting)
Plan in advance:
Lesson schedules book up quickly, so check your calendar, speak directly with
your instructor, select a day or 3, and then Lock-it-in with a Reservation.
Lesson Reservation Deposit:
$100. Per-Person / Per Lesson-Day
Due to the high demand for lessons, and the small supply of Outstanding
Certified Kiteboarding Instructors, Lesson Deposits are required.
Ready to become a Kiteboarder?
1. Pre-Lesson Trainer Kite practice is highly recommended.
( see Trainer Kites for more details)
2. Please Email us. Subject: Kite Lessons,
Include: Name, Ph number, and tell us how soon you'd like to begin.
3. Speak with your instructor, Contact Us, , Ask you questions and confirm the Details.
( Location, Date, Time, Price, Policies, and what to expect)
4. Place your Reservation Deposit and get set for a great lesson.