Asked when he started on the water Jon says, “My parents used to tie my crib off to the handrails on the inside of their boat so that I was suspended. That way I wouldn’t roll out when the boat heeled over.” Jon grew up in Darien, CT and has spent his whole life on the water. He has raced dinghies and big boats across the country, was captain of his high school and college sailing teams, and has coached juniors and adults in dinghies, big boats, and kiteboarding at premier locations from Puerto Rico to Boston. Jon is a Certified Public Accountant who, after working in professional services in Boston for four years, decided to marry his passion for the water with his career. Next Level Watersports is a dream come true for Jon, and he’s excited to teach you the same sports that make him smile every day!
Jake is a thoroughbred D1 athlete turned avid kiteboarder and coach from Hampstead, NH. Jake remembers his first time kiteboarding with his dad when he was just twelve years old down on the Outer Banks. Cautiously launching the kiteboard, he would get pulled downwind on his board so that his dad would grab him by the back of his harness and pull him upwind to restart. But he kept at it until it clicked. With the gear being much safer and user friendly these days, it is much easier to teach. Jake is an incredible communicator who can break down the concepts behind kiteboarding into simple steps. After playing hockey for and graduating from Northeastern University, he moved to the Outer Banks in North Carolina to pursue his passion. With thousands of hours on the water coaching, Jake cannot wait to get you riding!
Growing up in Burlington, VT, Nick has grown accustomed to leading a life of adventure on the water and in the mountains. After graduating from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 2011 with a degree in Navigation, Nick began to lead the tough life of spending summers in Nantucket, winters in Jackson Hole, and a few months here and there guiding ships on the high seas. Nick was first introduced to kiteboarding while working for Nantucket Community Sailing in 2011. As a sailor, surfer, and snowboarder, he quickly fell in love with the freedom, speed, and big airs of kiteboarding. With his experience as a lifelong sailing instructor, teaching kiteboarding was inevitable. A testament to his skill and patience as an instructor, when Nick met his girlfriend, he taught her to kite and they are now married! His kiting fire is always stoked, and he can't wait to teach you how to kite!
Chris grew up in Southern California where he fell in love with the ocean, He later moved to Stuart, Florida where he learned how to sail at the age of 12 and has been competing at a high level, and coaching sailing ever since. This passion for the sport of sailing led him to his school, Jacksonville University, where he is a starting member of the Varsity sailing team, as well as a Mechanical Engineering major. Chris was originally introduced to kiting through a friend and was immediately hooked, he later bought his first set of gear and started to teach himself how to kite by applying the skills and knowledge of the wind and waves he learned from his many years of sailing. With countless hours on a kite Chris has learned the skills necessary to share his passion with others, and is excited to get you riding.
Originally from Cartagena, Colombia, Lucca is a passionate kiteboarder and watersports enthusiast. His first steps with kiteboarding were during a summer vacation in his teens, and he has been hooked ever since. Throughout college, Lucca spent his breaks traveling, coaching, and accumulating hours on the water. Gravitating towards the big air, freestyle, and foiling disciplines, there isn't an element of the sport that bores him. Lucca has found coaching kiteboarding as a vector to connect people with untapped potential. Whether it's just learning to fly a kite or learning how to jump, Lucca is always captivated with excitement to help guide students to the next level.
Growing up on Cape Cod, constantly surrounded by water, it is no surprise that that's where you will usually find Payton. He always knew his goal was to work on the water, which led to Payton attending Massachusetts Maritime Academy and spending time in both the boating and fishing industries. When friends introduced Payton to kiteboarding, he was at once hooked, quickly excelling. Now, he motivates his clients with his own enthusiasm and sense of fun, adapting to different learning styles and energized by seeing others achieve their goals on the water.
When not coaching, you will still usually find Payton on the water. He is often still under a kite or wing, working on his freestyle jumps or the backroll hand drag. Or you can often catch him in the middle of a surf session. Payton is an all-around watersports instructor who believes that kiting opens the door to explore and discover the water in a whole new way.
Born and bred on Nantucket, Cameron's love for the ocean and what it provides stems from his island life. He grew up surfing with his buddies, swimming competitively, and sailing as a captain for his high school. Even though Cameron did not come across kiting until about his mid-teens, once he made that discovery, his free time has revolved around obsessively checking the forecast to make sure he never misses an opportunity to get out on the water and have a blast. Cameron is now a rising Junior and an International Business Major at Elon University where he spends much of his time counting down the days until summer when he can come home and get back to shredding. Cam’s love and obsession with all watersports is truly amazing, and he can’t wait to share it with all of you!
Ellie learned to kite with her parents, cousins, aunt, and uncle at the age of 11. Ever since, kitng has been a family sport, especially when they started to come to Nantucket a few years ago. She is now continuing the family bonding, helping along and inspiring the same passion in her twin brother and younger siblings. Ellie loves kiting with the Nantucket kite family and taking the opportunity to learn from the many talented instructors at Next Level. She is excited to be joining the crew as a coach this summer, allowing her to share her own skill sets and grow the special, tight-knit community on island! Currently enrolled at Brown University, studying pre-med, Ellie is a student-athlete, planning on alpine skiing and playing field hockey for Brown. Though Ellie is passionate about her studies, nothing beats kiting, and she is thrilled to be spending time on the water, helping others learn and improve at this incredibly fun sport!
Born and raised in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, Finn grew up traveling to Nantucket each summer. While spending time on the island, he fell in love with the water and all the activities it brings. At the age of 14, Finn began learning how to kiteboard with Next Level Watersports, and since then, he has never looked back. Now a coach with Next Level Watersports, Finn is thrilled to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport of kiting just as he was taught by the team years ago.
Jakki has always been in love with the water. Growing up her parents would call her a fish because she never wanted to leave the water. In college, she worked as a lifeguard manager and swim instructor. After graduating from Appalachian State, Jakki moved to DC and worked in a corporate job for 5 years. While traveling for work, she decided to take a kite lesson and has been kiting since then! Once she purchased her first kite quiver, she knew that she wanted to pursue her passion. She lived for over a year in Saint Kitts where she kited and started her own swim company. Since then, she has kited around the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Belize and multiple locations across the United States. On a windy day, you can always find Jakki at the beach where she works remotely and, on her lunch breaks, you will see her kiting away! Jakki helps as Next Level Watersports' incredible office manager coordinating for our instructors and our clients each and every day.
Richard has spent the past 28+ years on Wall Street but would rather be kiteboarding. He took up the sport in 2014, taking lessons from both Jon and Jake and qualified as an IKO level 1 instructor in 2016. Richard helped Jon and Jake start Next Level Watersports and enjoys advising the team on business matters over a couple of Whale’s Tale Pale Ales.