Harnessing the Wind
Harnessing the Wind

Kiteboarding, also known as kitesurfing, is one of Aruba’s most treasured watersports, with a casual fun-under-the-sun beach lifestyle surrounding the sport. Along with windsurfing, kite boarding Aruba’s coastline is world-renowned, thanks to the island’s near-constant trade winds and water conditions.

As with most equipment-reliant sports, having a support network to maintain that equipment is essential, especially when living on a small island with limited repair resources. Enter Robert Van Bruggen, owner and operator of 30 Knots Repair.

Robert first started catching wind in his sails in Friesland, an area in the north of Holland. He eventually transitioned to kitesurfing and even owned his own shop selling, renting, and repairing equipment. While kites need the wind to take flight, the conditions are not easy on the materials, necessitating the need for repairs. Finding someone with the skills to make those repairs was challenging, so Robert decided to take some sewing lessons from a local seamstress over the course of two years to gain enough knowledge to successfully apply those skills to kite repairs.

In the meantime, love was calling Robert to Aruba. A fateful kitesurfing date blossomed into romance when schoolteacher and kitesurfer, Noortje, visiting Holland from Aruba, sailed into his life. Both Aruba and Noortje were the perfect match for him, propelling a move to the One Happy Island about seven years ago.

Today, Robert and Noortje are married with two girls and another little one due in August. He has a complete workshop next to their home, where his services are in demand not just for repairing kites, but also the sails for windsurfing, sailboats, and catamarans.

Cheers to Robert and all those behind the scenes keeping the wind in our sails and adding to Aruba’s beach lifestyle.