Ryan Levinson's Story

"It's getting hard to walk, but with a kite, I can fly". North Ambassador, Ryan Levinson is a true seeker. His passion for the ocean and commitment to the sport is unprecedented, which is why we jumped at the opportunity of having Ryan join the North team. We caught up with Ryan to share more about his background and the incredible life he lives at sea.

In 2014 Ryan and his wife Nicole began an open-ended full-time sailing expedition seeking, and finding, steady wind, smooth water, and perfect empty waves. They have now sailed over 20,000 miles through the Pacific Ocean, exploring uncharted waters, discovering pristine wild places filled with vibrant life, untouched sand beaches, thriving coral reefs, and consistent tropical wind.

This is where they kite…

Ryan kiting alongside his boat in Moorea, Tahiti. 

Ryan does this despite his body being ravaged by a genetic disease called Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD) that causes muscles throughout his body to continuously weaken. Ryan can no longer hold his arms over shoulder high, stand on his toes, or do a single sit-up or push-up. He lives with the passion of someone who loves what they do but is rapidly losing the ability to do it. Ryan says, “I have to constantly innovate new ways to do the things I love but that’s part of the adventure. It’s getting hard to walk but with a kite I can fly!”

Before sailing away from his hometown of San Diego, California Ryan enjoyed success in a variety of ocean and wind sports including a national championship victory in sailing, competing as a member of the US Sailing Team, captaining a luxury super yacht, and leading the Emergency Medical/Rescue team for the Big Wave World Tour. Ryan’s passion for helping people deepen their love of the ocean through sports led him to become a PASA and IKO certified kiteboarding instructor in addition to SCUBA diving, windsurfing, sailing, surfing, and expedition kayaking. He started a kiteboarding school that grew to be the largest in California at the time with locations in San Francisco, San Diego, and Mexico before he sold it and began a series that led to the voyage he’s currently on.

Ryan navigating mid-ocean while sailing to the Marquesas Islands

 Ryan leading the Emergency Medical/Rescue team for the Big Wave World Tour

Ryan’s unbridled passion for adventure, coupled with his love of kiteboarding, his innovative spirit, and dedication to helping others makes him a perfect fit for North.

As Ryan puts it, “North Kiteboarding is a family of the most committed mad genius frothing kiters I’ve ever met. The attention to detail and performance is truly next level. I trust North completely when I strap in and connect to the wild winds and waters I find out here over the horizon and beyond my dreams.”