Paracademy was founded in 1999 by Neil Godbold and was one of the UK's first kitesurfing centres for not only participant training but also instructor training. Neil and his team bought many into kite sports, and gave many a career world wide. One particular highlight included training a team of service personnel to snow kite to the South Pole! Neil was also one of the original instructor trainers and traveled the world training instructors who now run many of the centres Robin and Sukie have visited and worked at over the years.
Current owner Robin came onto the scene in 2000 and learnt to kitesurf with the help of his dad Mike (holding him down to the left) and the Paracademy team in Portland. He went on to become BKSA Junior Champion in 2004 before moving into the professional category.
In his early years, as much as Robin enjoyed the local vulture bank residents (kiters) throwing stones at him for being the only one small enough to ride, he wanted to encourage other kids into the sport. With the help of Neil and his team at Paracademy they ran Junior Kitesurf Days to get children into kitesurfing for a low cost. This is where Sukie made her first appearance! Little did we know however until Robins mum, Carole, showed us a photo in a magazine clipping.
Paracademy / Weymouth & Portland Kitesurfing Club Trip to Lagos in Portugal.
Neil Godbold: Paracademy Founder
South Pole Expedition Team trained by Neil Godbold
KITE, TEACH, KTA, REPEAT
Late 2000s saw the departure of Neil, where he travelled to the sun and warmth of Asia and set up the infamous Kite Tour Asia. Paracademy staff member Spencer took over the helm and manned Paracademy, keeping the spirit alive introducing hundreds of new students to the sport and bringing some great new instructors into the team also.
Coming out of school Robin was taken under Spencers wing and trained to become an instructor, where he worked at Paracademy through to 2013, spending his winters travelling the world teaching at various locations like Freestyle Academy in Boracay, Philippines (Owner Ken Nacor was taught by Neil and spent a summer with the crew at Paracademy in Portland!). Over the years we had so many great sessions with so many awesome people!
What happened to Neil? Not lost on the KTA (though we are sure many were...), Neil and Robins paths were to cross again. Whilst in the Philippines working Robin would often compete in the Philippines leg of the Kite Tour Asia, until one year he met Sukie again who was working as the MC on the tour, and the rest, well, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out! The following winter both Robin and Sukie returned to Asia to work for Neil. Sukie hosted and filmed a TV show, as well as resuming her role as MC at the events. Robin became part of the legendary KTA judging team.
Web Chief Derek, Neils partner Ray, Spencer at Paracademy
Robin and Alex, kiting in Portland Harbour
Robin, Dylan, Neil, Ros, Sukie at the Boracay leg of the KTA.
514 X PARACADEMY
In 2013 Robin and Sukie went on to open up their own centre at Sukie's home spot of Westward Ho! North Devon. This is where 514Elemental was born. They have run the BKSA school here since then and have an active kids club 'Kite Kids' which has produced an incredible 3 Junior Kitesurf Champions. Over the years we still managed to jump in the water and saw Sukie become 2017 BKSA Freestyle and 2018 Wave Champion, all whilst having a blast in North Devon.
Early 2021 we could not have been more stoked to receive a phone call from Spencer asking us to take on the legacy of Paracademy.
We are looking forward to teaching so many of you to enjoy not only the sport of kitesurfing but the lifestyle it has to offer.
3 x Under 18s Champions. Jas, Junior Girls Champ, Toby, Youth Champ and Alex, Junior Boys Champ
Aura - Ladies Coaching Camp with BKSA national Freestyle coaches Sukie and Robin.
2017 BKSA Pro Ladies Freestyle Champion - Sukie
Kiting: 21 years
Teaching: 13years. IKO Level 2 Senior Instructor, BKSA Senior Instructor, BKSA Foiling Instructor, BKSA National Coach in Freestyle, Wave & Foiling diciplines.
Favorite Competition results / Acheivements: 3rd Pro Mens - King of the Exe 2018, Masters Champion – 2018 British Kitesurfing Championships. 1st Pro Men – KTA Boracay 2010. British Kitesurfing Championships, Junior Champion 2004. Redbull Ragnarok. Redbull Coast to Coast.
Over my 13 years teaching and coaching Kitesurfing, I have taught in a variety of countries and locations. I have provided Kitesurfing tuition to all levels and ages, from teaching beginners and children to coaching World class Freestyle riders and the TeamGB Kite Youth Squad. Through the years I have worked for the BKSA and KTA as a judge / head judge. Along with being an equipment tester for IKSURF magazine.
Kiting: 20 years
Teaching: 13 years. IKO Level 2 Instructor, BKSA Senior Instructor, BKSA National Coach Freestyle & Wave diciplines.
Competitions: BKSA 2017 Pro Ladies Freestyle Champion. BKSA 2018 Pro Ladies Wave Champion. 2015 New Zealand Freestyle Champion. 8th Redbull Ragnarok Womens Snowboard 2019, Redbull coast2Coast, British Wave Champion 2018, 2014.New Zealand Freestyle Champion 2015. 5th KTA Round 1, Indonesia 2013. British Landboard Champion 2010, 2009, 2005
I have been coaching for 13 years and in that time have had the privilege of coaching a huge array of disciplines and levels. 5 of my students have gone on to be awarded National titles, and I am just as stoked for those learning thier first jumps to those perfecting elaborate handle passes. I am a hard working and motivated coach with a firm interest in coaching young riders and freestyle. A competitor for many years, as well as a judge, coach and journalist; I have been involved in kitesports in many roles over the past decade.