Watch Obama Beat Richard Branson in a Kitesurfing Challenge
Obama wasn't allowed to surf while POTUS, writes the billionaire.
Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama have spent some vacationing with Richard Branson since leaving the White House.
The Virgin Group founder put up a blog post with pictures and video of the ex-president kitesurfing off one of Branson's private islands in the British Virgin Islands. Branson writes that Obama, who's a native of Hawaii, told him he was prevented from surfing by his security detail during his time in office.
"Just before he became President, he had been surfing on a dangerous break in Hawaii," writes Branson. "When he came in from an exhilarating session, the new head of his security team turned to him and said: 'This will be the last time you surf for eight years.' For the next eight years he didn’t have the chance to surf, enjoy watersports or do many of the things he loved."
Branson says after spending a couple days learning to kitesurf, Obama bested the billionaire in a water sport challenge.
"Could Barack learn to kitesurf before I learned to foilboard? We agreed to have a final day battle to see who could stay up the longest," he writes. "Barack and I both fell many times, but we kept trying again and again and made progress over the days. We were neck and neck until the last run on the last day, when I got up on the foilboard and screamed along for over 50 metres, three feet above the water. I was feeling very pleased with myself, only to look over and see Barack go 100 metres on his kiteboard! I had to doff my cap to him and celebrate his victory."
Adding, "After all he has done for the world, I couldn’t begrudge him his well-deserved win."
He says inviting the Obamas to his island was "a huge honor."
Obama spent his first days after leaving Washington vacationing in Palm Springs, Calif.