If your kids love water and adventure, Next Level Watersports has a ton of options for summer fun, from kiteboarding to wakeboarding and more. The company was founded by Jake Hoefler and Jon Beery, two friends who simply loved the freedom of being on the water. Their motto? “Let us teach you how.” They are based in Nantucket and Stuart, FL, just north of Jupiter & Palm Beach, but also service Martha’s Vineyard and beyond through offsite coaching programs. We asked the team at Next Level Watersports to share a bit more about their program:
What is your most popular activity?
We offer four core services: Kiteboarding, Wakeboarding, Winging, and Hydrofoiling. Young kids can’t get enough of our wakeboarding and tubing offering. It’s a remarkable thing when you get a set of kids who have never been on a board before, and, by the end of just one session, they’re launching themselves off the wake grinning from ear to ear. For teenagers and adults, it’s our kiteboarding offering. The best analogy for kiting is that it’s like a powder day every day. We pride ourselves in teaching you how to do the sport safely to where you can learn to soar high into the air and touch down butter soft on your landings.
Sounds amazing. What else would you say separates Next Level Watersports apart?
What truly sets us apart is our caliber of instruction, passion, and skill for teaching the watersports we love. The sports we teach may seem intimidating from afar, but, in reality, are achievable for pretty much anyone. Through individualized instruction from our professional coaches, you can go from being a complete beginner to an advanced rider, pushing your abilities, all while having fun. You end up with what thought might have been an ordinary day transformed into an exciting and educational experience that keeps you coming back for more! And, beyond the coaching, we love what we do and our clients, often forming friendships that last for years.
Which activity is best for a newbie in water sports? And a total daredevil?
If you have just one day to come out with us we’d definitely recommend wakeboarding. With this watersport, you are most likely to learn the most in one session, and it also sets the foundation for learning how to kiteboard. Then, if you enjoy wakeboarding, you’ll love kiting even more. While kiteboarding takes a few lessons to learn it, it gives you the freedom to travel the world exploring and riding for the rest of your life. This is the “gift” we mentioned previously. We like to say that, when we teach you to wakeboard, we can teach you how to jump over the wake. When we teach you to kiteboard, we can teach you to jump over the entire boat!
Can you please describe your water sports camp?
We started our Watersports Camp to help get the next generation of kids out on the water, pushing themselves like we do ourselves. It’s why the motto for the camp is, “Let us turn your kids into legends.” Most kids’ camps offer pretty vanilla activities such as biking, arts & crafts, tag, etc. Stuff you can do anywhere. We love Watersports Camp because we offer activities that you can really only do with the Next Level team, and it keeps the kids engaged with the infinite learning curve. For example, imagine your child coming out having never really been active on the water. By the end of four short days, they’re ripping along under a kite and flying on a hydrofoil with a newfound love for sports they didn’t know existed. To top it all off, they have a new group of friends to do it with. This is the goal with Watersports Camp. It’s offered for kids 10 – 18 YO and takes place out on Nantucket Harbor, Monday – Thursday each week all summer.
What is hyrofoiling? And winging?
Let’s start with a hydrofoil. A hydrofoil is a board (or boat) with wings underneath it that allow it to lift out and fly above the water. Many have seen it applied in the Americas Cup, kiting, surfing, sailing, etc. Hydrofoiling is remarkable in that way, when you’re flying above the water, as there is no resistance, It is smooth and graceful, and feels a lot like you’re skiing in deep powder. The eFoil is a battery powered hydrofoil that allows you to fly around floating along on your board and represents the latest advancement in hydrofoil technology. Most importantly, it makes learning to hydrofoil extremely forgiving, easy, and accessible to anyone. Winging represents the latest iteration of windsurfing combined with a hydrofoil that came to market last year. The “Wing” kind of looks like a bat wing that behaves much like a windsurf sail and powers you along on a hydrofoil. It gives you the sensation of foiling, but allows the freedom to ride waves and make smooth turns you couldn’t do on a traditional windsurfer. Both are a blast to teach and offer a bit easier learning curve than kiting.
You do private parties—why is this a great option for those still taking COVID precautions?
Our private parties have proven to be a hit! We’ve taken out all types of groups. From wedding parties to birthday parties to family reunions to a group of friends looking for new way to experience Nantucket outside of your traditional beach party or day at the brewery. Groups can bring their own coolers, hop on our boats, and have a blast trying their hands at the various water activities. For the COVID minded, it has been a great option, as we are all outside in the open air, and you are distanced from other groups and riders.
And what other precautions has the company been taking during COVID?
When we started our season last year, like everyone else, COVID was on the forefront of our minds. We worked with consultants and other camps for guidance and implemented masking, social distancing, and sanitation policies to reduce the risk of transmission, as well as followed all local and state legislations. One of the best benefits of our watersports offerings during this time has been that we are always outside in blowing breeze where risks are extremely low. In addition to having coaches vaccinated, we’re continuing these policies and have our fingers crossed for another year with zero COVID cases.
Awesome. What’s next for the company?
We are excited to keep growing the camp aspect of our business as it has proven to be a lot of fun for participants and coaches alike. We can’t get enough of watching the kids we started working with as beginners become competent and start going out on their own. Sharing the gift of these amazing sports is why we’re in this to begin with, and it is truly rewarding to watch it come full circle. Beyond camp, we’ve been a vendor for all the major brands in our industry for years, providing our clients with the resources to purchase their own gear once competent. A big next step for us is going to be building a web store to grow our ecommerce business.
Anything else you’d like to share?
We’re really excited for the 2021 season The boats are getting cleaned up and dropped into the water, and our staff are arriving back on island for another amazing summer on Nantucket. Come out and join us for some of the ultimate water activities designed for fun for the whole family!
This story is sponsored by Next Level Watersports.