Board Life: Island a world-class draw for wave riders

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Bob Beletic was kiteboarding with a group who came as far as France and around the U.S. to catch the wind and ride it fast.

There is a reason they come from so far away — SPI is known for its kiteboarding.

Beletic, 55, hooked up with the Lakawa kiteboarding group for the first time this month.

The group comes to the Island two times a year. They’ve been riding the waves here since 2005.

This month, they organized 34 people who came for the sport. Some stayed the entire month while others rotated in and out for a week or weekend of kiteboarding.

Kiteboarders use the wind to pull them on a board while edging over the surface of the water.

Bob, who lives in Colorado, said he heard about the group and he wanted to join.

Over the course of his life, he said he has always windsurfed. Then, one day he was just tired of seeing kiteboarders fly by him. He decided to learn how to kiteboard, too.

“There is so much more power with the kite,” Beletic said. “Once you figure it out, it has a lot to offer.”

For the rest of this story and many other EXTRAS, go to our premium site,

Subscribe to it for only $6.99 per month or purchase a print subscription and receive the online version free, which includes an electronic version of the full newspaper and extra photo galleries, links and other information you can’t find anywhere else.