Marco Cristofanelli was raised in Rome, Italy, and came to The Riviera Maya in 2000 to te ach diving at the Akumal Beach Resort. He had spent the previous 5 years in Egypt teaching on live-aboards traveling around the Red Sea. He was ready for a new environment and wanted to learn Spanish and English. After working for the all-inclusive for a couple of years he decided to move into the town of Akumal and take a job at the Akumal Dive Center. It was at this point that he also discovered the beauty of cave diving. He decided to become a Full Cave Diver, and ended up working as a dive instructor,and full cave diver for 4 years. Marco is a bit of an adrenaline junkie and started kiteboarding about 5 years ago. He knew it was time to make a career change when he would be in the dive boat taking a group out to dive, and all he could think about was how many knots per hour the wind was blowing. So he knew he had to leave diving and plunge into the world o f kiteboarding completely.
Heather Froeming, originally from California, first came to Akumal after finishing college in 1998. At the time 307 was a dirt road, and the area was still pretty rustic. But she found herself in Akumal and fell in love with the beaches and lifestyle. She first took a job with Centro Ecologico Akumal (CEA), a local non-profit which focuses on beach conservation, and turtle protection. She worked with CEA to start a local recycling program, and spent many hours riding around in the back of a truck picking up recyclables in and around the area. Heather worked for CEA for a year and a half, and then continued to travel between here and the States for the next 5 years. In 2003 Heather decided to make the move permanent and she arrived in Akumal to ma nage The Vista Del Mar Hotel and Akumal Dive Adventures, and it was at this time that she met Marco.
Marco and Heather met in Akumal, which is more of a village then a town so it was inevitable that they would eventually meet. They worked together at their respective dive shops for a year while setting up all the legalities of Marco’s new company Extreme Control. In 2006, they were offered a great location on the beach of Tulum to open a kiteboarding school. They moved to Tulum and opened their first location at La Vita E Bell a where within the first week of opening they were hit with hurricane Wilma. An opening challenge for the fledgling business. After the 3 day hurricane, they returned to the beach to dig their shop out of several feet of sand. After a slow start people started coming to ask about these crazy people flying these huge kites on the beach. What was this sport and how can we learn?? It was amazing how many people wanted to learn and the Extreme Control Kiteboarding School was born.
Marco and Heather continue to expand and improve their kiteboarding business. After 4 years, They still have their main location at El Paraiso Beach Club. There, in addition to kiteboarding, you can find Stand Up Paddleboarding, kayak, surfboard and boogie board rentals. They also have a cool little surf shop in the town of Tulum where you can find a selection kite gear, Extreme Control clothes, board shorts, sunglasses, beac h dresses, and natural beauty products. They remain open during the peak season from December to May and by appointment through the summer and fall.
Marco and Heather are always looking for new projects and new places to kiteboard so you never know where you might see them. Just look for Extreme Control and there they will be.
2005 First School Tulum 2009 in the Gorge, Oregon 2009 in Honduras