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“Great lessons” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Air Padre

Air Padre
5709A Padre Boulevard, South Padre Island, TX 78597
+1 956-299-9463
Website
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Type: Water sports, Classes/Workshops
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Air Padre Kiteboarding is the booking agent for South Padre Island Water Sport offering: lessons, rentals and equipment on South Padre Island, Texas. Kiteboarding, flyboarding, surfing, stand up paddleboarding, and kayaking are all available for your family's adventure! The only lesson facility on the island with full boat support and waterproof radio helmets for expedited learning. Reserve your spot today for your next thrilling water sport rental or lesson while on vacation in South Padre.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Colorado
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Great lessons”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2012

I took two private lessons, both boat assisted- great wind, great gear, and excellent instruction. I was up riding by the end of my first lesson thanks to my instructor Bill Gehring. He is in his 70's and ripping it up! He was very patient, and gave great feedback through the radio helmet. I will go back again for sure. I highly recommend these guys. It was difficulty trying to choose where to take lessons, but I'm glad I went through these guys.

Visited May 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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55 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
greenville sc
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Great School and Instructors”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2012

After trying to kite ride some years back, I recently gave myself the time to try it again. Only this time I looked for a place that would be more conducive for easier learning than the surf of the Atlantic Ocean. I decided on Air Padre at South Padre Island. My choice turned out to be a good one because I progressed a lot further this time with no injuries, other than a little bruised ego. The shallow waters and consistent winds of Laguna Madre Bay helped to make a significant difference in my progress.

The folks at Air Padre have the training well organized. From check - in to equipment selection everything goes smoothly. I participated in the camp, but their individual lessons operate in the same way. You cannot ask for more patient instructors, who are interested in maintaining a safe, effective, fun, and successful experience for their students.

All the instructors, Bill, Paul, Petra and Joel are either IKO or PASA certified. I flew the Best Kahoona 7.5, 9.5 and 12 meter during lessons in winds ranging from high teens to upper 20's. Each one of them performed really well and I was comfortable with each kite. Air Padre is also familiar with other brands like Waiman and Naish, and their store is stocked with gear in case you're in a buying mood. Air Padre's on the water use of boat support makes it easy to load all the gear and bring different kites along. Also, their use of radio helmets speeds up the learning process, because it's very difficult to hear someone when the wind is up. Conquer your kite and board insecurity at Air Padre.

Now a few other comments to make your time on the island enjoyable. We would suggest taking advantage of the South Padre shuttle from the airport to the island and back again. Once there, you can rent a car from the Avis counter at the Isla Grand for daily use, or just use the Wave on the island to get around. The IGA grocery store and CVS will be able to take care of food and such. After your day on the water, relax and enjoy some yoga with Aziza at Laguna Madre Yoga. The gym across the street from Air Padre is also a good place to stretch your muscles. For seafood we suggest the shrimp, or fish tacos at Dirty Al's. Dance with a live band at Louie's and take a sunset or nighttime cruise aboard the catamaran, Southern Wave. For a beach bar, Clayton's is a great place to relax, watch volleyball, or be entertained by the skydivers as they land on the beach right in front of the bar! If you're looking for bargains, explore Whiskers and Things a nice resell shop whose profits support the local animal shelter. Check out Paragraphs, a local book shop that feels like a library when you enter. And finally, Gabriella's Italian grill, simply cannot be beat for a change of pace and wonderful food, but fair warning, expect lines on the weekends.

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirkland, Washington
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Excellent Kite School”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2012

I've taken several lesson with Bill Gehring and have found both the Air Padre Kite school program and Bill, as an instructor to be excellent. First the program setup: The first lesson is taught on the beach in an area completely separate from where the majority of the kiters are located; the following lessons are taught from the boat, again, away from the main kiteboarding beach. I felt safe knowing I wasn't going to collide with anyone, Bill could maintain communication and instruction with the radio helmet, and I had the boat nearby for rest or rescue. On that first wild ride you are free to go where ever the kite takes you.

In regards to Bill: He is incredibly consciences. He does his best to ensure you get the most out of each lesson - scheduling with wind speed in mind, bringing a range of kites, setting the speed on the lesson to your individual needs. I had several no wind days between my first and second lesson. The day before I went out for the second lesson, Bill stopped by the condo to give me a refresher course. I'm both scared of the water and the kite so I really appreciated Bill's efforts to ensure I was ready for lesson 2. I've found Bill to be patient and knowledgable. Despite my fears, Bill was able to get me riding short distances on my second lesson. Thanks to several lessons with Bill, I'm competent riding both directions, upwind, and learning transitions. I highly recommend both Air Padre and Bill as an instructor.

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AirPadre, Front Office Manager at Air Padre, responded to this review, May 12, 2012
Tamara, we will inform Bill of your great testimonial regarding your lessons with him Both he and Air Padre are excited to hear the positive review!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arvada, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“The Best Shop on the island for gear and repairs”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2012

This is going to be a simple and short review, 5 years of patronage at this shop, Air Padre has a bigger selection in kites, boards and accessories than any other shop on the island, Jeff and the Staff recommendations are knowlegable, honest and never pressured, And if you wreck your kite- Like split it in half (as I have done more than once....) Monty and the backshop repair guys are fast and put things back together stronger than OEM, From taking your first lesson to buying your first kite to throwing your first S bend, This is the only shop and support you'll need

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AirPadre, Owner at Air Padre, responded to this review, May 12, 2012
Many thanks for the compliments! And we are honored to provide loyal customers as yourself with continued service.
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Lynnwood, WA
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Exceeded expectations”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2012

I've been wakeboaring for years but at age 50 wanted to simplify my life. Kiteboarding had an instant appeal, but I didn't want to go through that initial learning curve in the "brisk" (translated: numbing) Puget Sound waters around Seattle. The sun and warm water of SPI were ideal conditions and Air Padre provided top notch instruction. I was up on my board by the end of 2nd day, making some longer runs by the end of the 3rd. Their use of a support boat, radio and helmets with receivers allows you to hear instruction and make corrections real time. You don't have to wipe out, and then analyze what you were doing wrong. Very helpful tools. Having two students per instructor allows one person to rest and also be able to watch, while the other one is in the water. All the staff was very professional. David was our one instructor throughout the camp, and showed a great deal of patience and restraint as he coached us through the difficulties of first learning to fly a four line kite. His clear instruction helped immensly in understanding how everything worked and I attribute my success to the help I received from him. I was confident enough to purchase gear (which they worked with me on the price) and took one last lesson with Paul who first helped me get all my new equipment set up. He too was a very patient and clear communicator and had me easily transitioning back and forth by the end of the lesson. I plan on returning again next year. Thank you all for the great experience!!

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AirPadre, Public Relations Manager at Air Padre, responded to this review, May 12, 2012
Steve, we are pleased to know that the camp structure served you well! Looking forward to seeing you back on the island next year to continue your kiteboarding experience. - Paul
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