Kitesurfing world champion shows off incredible moves

It’s the airborne tricks on a surfboard that are the calling cards of champion kitesurfer Airton Cozzolino-Lopes.  Pictures: Andrew Ritchie.
It’s the airborne tricks on a surfboard that are the calling cards of champion kitesurfer Airton Cozzolino-Lopes.  Pictures: Andrew Ritchie.

CURRENT GKA Kitesurf World Tour World Champion Airton Cozzolino-Lopes busted some of his signature airborne moves at Pelican Point, Nedlands a day after competing in the Lighthouse to Leighton kitesurfing race on Sunday.

The 25-year-old from the north African island of Cape Verde marvels kiters and non-kiters by getting a surfboard without straps for his feet up to 5m in the air, and then doing multiple tricks before landing at speed on the water.

“I like doing strapless airs because I was a surfer before and for me do it with straps was quite boring,” Cozzolino-Lopes said.

He was 15th overall in the 19.4km race from Rottnest Island to North Fremantle, with a time of 28m 58s.

Cozzolino-Lopes has been kiting since aged nine, and has seen the water sport progress from a outlying fringe activity to Olympic kite-powered hydrofoil racing.

However, despite his the fancy foot, kite and board work, the simplicity of a strong wind and good waves keeps his interest in the sport.

“When I see really good conditions it still gets me excited, like waves to 2m and 20-knot winds in a cross-offshore direction,” Cozzolino-Lopes said.

And where had he found such conditions during his only second visit to Perth?

“I liked City Beach when I was here last year, and had fun on the waves on the beach break,” he said.