I have taken two kiteboarding tours to Aitutaki with Glenn Bright of Assault Boardriding Centre in Tauranga, New Zealand. It was a really good experience both times and I highly recommend it.
The tour is not just for Kiwis. Rarotonga, the main island, is on direct flight routes from Auckland, Sydney and LA so the tour can be joined there. (We had 3 Aussies on our tour.)
I had a really great time both on and off the water. Our group had every ability level and we all progressed significantly. Glenn gave excellent free group clinics and demonstrations eg: low/high wind techniques, controlled transitions/pops. He and his team were always generous--giving tips, encouragement and answering our endless questions, whatever our level. (They also could be hired to give one-on-one instruction.) We had 8 of 10 days with good winds and that certainly helped too.
Off the water, arrangements were all pretty laid back, and I never worried about things being sorted.
-We had van pick-up and drop-off at our accommodation, boat transport to the kiting spot, lunches on the island, stops at the ATM and market as needed.
- Popoara’s accommodation was excellent and came with vouchers which usually covered the cost of a tasty main meal at their restaurant.
-There were several extra events which I attended: a memorable dj-led Saturday night dance, yummy buffet meal, cultural night with dancing and island drums, quiet lagoon cruise/informal tiki tour of the island on off-days.
In sum, Glenn and his team created a really comfortable, supportive, fun learning environment. I went by myself on the tour, so I was glad that its tone was so friendly and warm. We laughed a lot and we kited a lot. If you kite, or want to learn to kite, his tour is truly value for money and a great way to experience the Cook Islands.