Nicholas Aaftink – de Luca was born in Miami, Florida. Both of his parents are from Europe. Nic, which is the nickname his father gave him is somewhat of a local celebrity here in Playa del Carmen.
Kitesurfing the Riviera Maya is becoming a very popular sport. After watching Nic perform some of his highflying jumps and somersaults, I knew I needed to get a closer look at this up and coming sport.
After coordinating between schoolwork and the right weather conditions, I met this young man on the beach one day and got the opportunity to shoot some video. Afterwards, I had a chance to ask Nicholas some questions about his passion.
Our conversation was as follows;
How old are you Nicholas? “I am 15 years old”
How do you like living in Mexico and specifically in the Riviera Maya? “I find it great because it’s as close to a First World society as I can get without all the rules and regulations. I also enjoy the beaches and palm trees.”
What and/or who inspired you to take up Kitesurfing? “Funnily it was my dad who always wanted to learn and got me into it as well”.
Was it hard to learn? “No not really, just time consuming. It all depends on the person and conditions. The hardest part to learning how to kite is getting up onto the board and up wind”.
How often do you Kite Surf and/or practice? “Whenever there’s enough wind to have fun. Usually only in the windy season which is November through April. Winds must be coming from the water in and not land out”.
Where will you take your new found sport from here? Do or will you compete or/and enter competitions? “For me kitesurfing is just a really addictive hobby. I may in the future enter a competition just for the fun of it. But I don’t have any real goals of becoming pro”.
There is a necessary amount of equipped (shown left) – minus the kite (shown below), to take on this sport. Its seems like rather simple gear considering the skillset.
I personally did not know that the kite needs air pumped into parts of its framework to maintain form and flight. The kite is tethered to a harness that is strapped around the surfer’s upper body. These are the two major components needed.
Getting the kite airborne is a two person job. One person must hold the kite the same way as you would with a twine/string controlled kite.
The surfer must stand approximately twenty five to thirty feet away and hold on to the control arm that is attached to the harness. Once the wind catches the kite, you are ready to take flight.
The video provided below shows Nicholas gliding across the beautiful Caribbean waters. He is sometimes hard to follow. However, I captured many of his trips in and out to open water. I also caught some good jumps and acrobatic flips. Watch very closely because the scenes move back and forth rapidly.
Author: Anthony Scopel
Photography: Anthony Scopel
Videography: Anthony Scopel & crew
Article Formatting: Anthony Scopel
Video Production: Anthony Scopel & Matt Kemper
Associate Editor: Maureen Scopel
Technical Mastering & Web Support: Matt Kemper
Publisher: You, Me and The Dock
A special thank you to Nicholas and his father for making this story an exciting one!