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!
Known from his professional riding days as "The Grasshopper," Andy Hurdman was one of the original riders competing on behalf of Naish Kites throughout the early 2000s. Andy is what you define as a true waterman. Whether it is surfing or driving a jet ski in double overhead waves in Puerto Rico or stand up paddlesurfing with his dog Naish on the nose of his board, he can do it all. Andy brings years of coaching experience to our team and teaches our advanced classes. Beyond just watersports, he is also a certified sports trainer and has a true passion for dietetics and nutrition. If you want to learn tricks you've dreamed of like darkslides, hand drag kiteloops, or handle passes, he will break down the moves, teach you how to learn in a controlled and safe manner, and have you laughing as you do!
From small island in the Caribbean called Antigua, Jake was soaking up sunshine and eating an ocean full of fun for breakfast from the start. He first began kiteboarding at only 10-years-old and has been hooked ever since. Jake's main obsessions are free riding & hydrofoiling, but, when he's not doing that, you can usually find him behind the lens snapping shots of people getting stoked. If you want to learn how to shred island style or take that perfect shot, Jake is your guy.
Megan was born and raised on the south coast of England where she spent her early days on the ocean sailing with her dad. While spending six months sailing the entire Caribbean with her family, Megan picked up a lifelong connection to the ocean and the outdoors. She moved to Antigua in 2013 and got addicted to kiteboarding not too long after that. These days she's all about sharing the stoke, learning new tricks and hydrofoiling!
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.
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.