Riccardo Marca is a 19 year-old freestyle windsurfer from Riccione in Italy. Riccione is located on the Adriatic coast and more known for its nightlife and summer tourism but not for its strong winds. 8 years ago Riccardo started windsurfing during a family holiday in Egypt and fell in love with the sport and lifestyle. 2014 he took part in his first EFPT event, in 2015 he got awarded “EFPT Rookie of the year” and participated in a PWA event for the first time. At the moment he dedicates his whole life to windsurfing and focuses on his training to make it on the PWA freestyle podium one day. It was definitely time to catch up with Riccardo for an interview to find out more about the young Italian.
After the freestyle events on the Canaries this summer, Riccardo went back to Lanzarote at the end of August because he liked the spot so much: “I was in Lanzarote for the first time for the EFPT event and I realized how good Lanzarote is for training. And I got to know Russel Groves, who is an amazing person and who has a big passion for windsurfing. He helped me with my training and the video. I never had someone helping me and giving me tips on what I’m doing in the water and having Russel as coach helped me and motivated me a lot.”
Video by Aliseosolutions
Interview with Riccardo Marca
Continentseven: You are from Riccione, which is not known for windsurfing. How does it come you started windsurfing?
Riccardo Marca: I started windsurfing 8 years ago in Egypt during a family holiday. After the holidays I didn’t want to stop windsurfing, so I signed up for a windsurfing summer camp in Italy. But Riccione is actually a really good place for beginners. The wind is most of the time light and there are no big swells during the summer time. Like all teenagers I was studying and my parents were working, so it was not so easy to drive to different spots with better wind. The only possibility to go windsurfing during the year was when it was windy in Riccione, and this really happens only a few times per year. I went a few times to Lake Garda with my dad before moving to Sardinia, and I couldn’t believe how windy it was. That’s where I learned how to get planing and how to jibe.
Continentseven: And how did you come into freestyle windsurfing?
Riccardo Marca: Even though Riccione is not one of the best windsurfing spots in Italy, but many freestylers are living there. One of the best spot is called “Vallugola”, which is a thermic spot working during the summer with south-east wind direction. The first time I got there I met some of the good local freestylers, like Francesco Tedeschi, Andrea Della Rosa and many others. It was just amazing to see what they were doing in the water and I was really impressed by all the tricks. I learned the Air Jibe at Sant’Antioco during Christmas holidays. I went there with some friends of mine and we had 10 days plenty of wind and when I came back home the only thing I was thinking about was to go windsurfing. I was already addicted to.
Continentseven: A few weeks ago you made it on the podium (3rd) at the Italian championships. Is it possible to make it on the podium in the World Cup one day?
Riccardo Marca: This is the first podium for me and I’m already happy with it. Sometimes I’m just thinking too much ahead and I kind of forget what I already achieved. For sure my goal is to make it to the world cup podium one day and I think I have the potential to get there. Windsurfing is a really hard sport and competing is even harder and you need a certain time to get the experience and to get the first results. I didn’t start competing so long ago, but I’m already happy with some of my results and I’m looking forward to the next events.
Continentseven: Are you only windsurfing at the moment?
Riccardo Marca: At the moment I’m just windsurfing. I didn’t exclude the possibility to start studying again but at the moment I don’t really have a home base and so much time left. My goal is to become a proper professional windsurfer and I’m giving all to reach my goal. I’m working hard in and out of the water. There are many things to do.
Continentseven: How does a perfect day of Riccardo Marca look like?
Riccardo Marca: I usually wake up not so late. The first thing I do is checking my emails and my medias. It’s basic to start the day with a good breakfast, so the second thing I do is having a proper breakfast. If it’s windy I go windsurfing straight after. I always take a lunch break, I’m taking care to always have good meals and try to not miss them, specially on a sport day.
After lunch I usually go windsurfing again. In the evening I do some stretching exercises and work on my laptop. On a no wind day I normally do one workout session and one stretching session with the help of my personal trainer Enea Monaco (ENErgiA). Sometimes it’s hard to coordinate my trainings with travelling and windsurfing but I’m always trying to do my best.
Continentseven: You are very young (19), but you seem to be quite organized and you work a lot on your coverage. You even made it into a big German lifestyle magazine this year.
Riccardo Marca: Yes, I’m trying to get as much coverage as possible. This year was definitely successful for me. I made it on two magazine front covers, in the German magazine “Surf” and in the Italian magazine “4windsurf”. I also got some nice features in other magazine like the German “Fit for Fun” for a travel story about Lake Garda.
Continentseven: You started to compete in the PWA and the EFPT tour. How much does this help to find sponsors?
Riccardo Marca: I think it is essential to compete in the world and european tour to find sponsors. There are many things you have to do to find and keep a good sponsor, and this is for sure one of them. And it also helps me and motivates to improve and get better in the water. It’s also a really good opportunity to get to know new people in the scene.
Continentseven: Which moves are you training at the moment?
Riccardo Marca: At the moment I’m working on my both-side moves, as culos and konos. I’m also practising some new power-moves like double culos or double burners. One of the hardest thing is to land the moves properly as the wind, water and weather conditions are never the same.
Continentseven: Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now? Still competing in the freestyle world tour or maybe working for Fanatic and North Sails?
Riccardo Marca: My dream is to get more into this two companies, I really like the team and the people behind and I would love to help with the R&D.
© Continentseven 2015