Barack Obama learns to kitesurf on vacation with billionaire Richard Branson

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

#IslandLife was good to Barack Obama.

Before returning to Washington, the former president dove into an aquatic and athletic challenge with his friend, Virgin Group founder and billionaire Richard Branson, while vacationing on the British Virgin Islands with former first lady Michelle Obama.

Now that Obama is free from many Secret Service-imposed restrictions that did not allow him to partake in activities like surfing, Branson offered Obama the chance to learn how to kitesurf.

Image by Jack Brockway. Virgin.com

Image by Jack Brockway. Virgin.com

But to make things more interesting, Branson took on a challenge of his own.

“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,” Branson wrote in a post on Virgin.com.

Image by Jack Brockway. Virgin.com

Image by Jack Brockway. Virgin.com

Kitesurfing is riding on a surfboard while holding onto a kite and foilboarding is riding a surfboard with a hydrofoil that goes into the water lifts the board above the surface.

Following a few days of training, the challenge was on and Obama kitesurfed his way to victory.

“We were neck and neck until the last run on the last day, when I got up on the foilboard and screamed along for over 50 metres, three feet above the water,” Branson wrote. “I was feeling very pleased with myself, only to look over and see Barack go 100 metres on his kiteboard! I had to doff my cap to him and celebrate his victory.”

Image by Jack Brockway. Virgin.com

Image by Jack Brockway. Virgin.com