by Samantha Berlin
In 2001, Trip Forman and Matt Nuzzo turned their love of watersports into a career. With $100 apiece, they set up shop in Forman’s garage and began teaching kiteboarding and surfing on the shallow, sandy-bottomed waters of Cape Hatteras.
Fifteen years later, Kiteboarding magazine calls Forman and Nuzzo two of the top 10 most influential people in the sport, and their REAL Watersports in the town of Waves is considered one of the country’s leading kiteboarding shops and lesson destinations. It’s also situated in what many say is the best kiteboarding location in the world. Cape Hatteras National Seashore – 30 miles east of the mainland, 70 miles long, and at its widest just one mile wide, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Pamlico Sound to the west – is close to the Gulf Stream current, which allows for warm weather, great bursts of winds, and large waves. Ideal kiteboarding conditions.
More than 42,000 people have learned the ropes there from REAL Watersports since it opened. The outfit also teaches surfing and stand-up paddleboarding, and operates a massive store, a rental shop, 14 waterfront condominiums, and a bar and grill, and live music.
This June 4 – 10, REAL will host the 2016 Wind Voyager Triple-S Invitational, considered one of the most radical kiteboarding competitions in the world, including some of the best kiteboarders from 13 different countries.
REAL Watersports: 25706 Highway 12, Waves; realwatersports.com