Former US President Barack Obama hits the water after eight years on dry land
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 8 February, 2017 - Barack Obama hasn’t surfed in eight years. When he became president of the United States his security team forbid activities that could put America’s national security at risk.
A champion of the environment during his eight years in office (he expanded coverage for the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument) Barack was able to go (kite) surfing.
Mr. Obama got the chance to hit the water again while vacationing in the British Virgin Islands with Billionaire Richard Branson. While a far cry from a dirt camping bros surf trip into Baja, it did mark some much needed ocean activity for the former president.
Branson’s blog is below:
It was a huge honour to be able to invite President Barack and Michelle Obama down to the British Virgin Islands for a complete break after Barack finished his second term as President and the family left the White House.
One of the first stories Barack told me when he and Michelle arrived on Moskito Island was how, just before he became President, he had been surfing on a dangerous break in Hawaii. When he came in from an exhilarating session, the new head of his security team turned to him and said: “This will be the last time you surf for eight years.” For the next eight years he didn’t have the chance to surf, enjoy watersports or do many of the things he loved.
So it was tremendous to offer him the chance to learn to kitesurf. The sport has really taken off in the past decade and we have the perfect conditions and team to help anyone learn. I have also wanted to learn foilboard surfing. So we decided to set up a friendly challenge: could Barack learn to kitesurf before I learned to foilboard? We agreed to have a final day battle to see who could stay up the longest.
Barack started learning to kitesurf on the beach on Necker for two days solid, picking up the basics and flying a kite as if going back to being a child again. Then he went into the water, standing up and getting a feel for the kite. Finally, he put the board at his feet and gave it a go. Being the former president of America, there was lots of security around, but Barack was able to really relax and get into it.