Francesco Cappuzzo can do it all, he can rotate through perfect Shifties in windsurfing or take the waves with his strapless kite board, surf board or SUP. The 20 year-old waterman from Sicily in Italy feels comfortable on all kind of boards and is able to win podium places in different disciplines. In 2016 he got awarded with the Italian Wave Champion title and last week he won the first stop of the this year’s Italian Wave championship, too. In 2012 Francesco participated in his first PWA event in Tenerife, which was a wave event, and in 2013 he took part in a PWA Freestyle event for the first time. Now, 4 years later, he achieved his best PWA result to date finishing the freestyle event in Sylt in 7th and the PWA freestyle tour on a very good 12th place overall.
We caught up with the friendly Italian, who is well known for his powerful style on the water.
Interview with Francesco Cappuzzo
Continentseven: When and where were you born?
Francesco Cappuzzo: I was born in Palermo on 27th April 1997.
Continentseven: Where do you live?
Francesco Cappuzzo: Now I’m living and working in Puzziteddu, a spot near Mazara del Vallo (TP), where I have a school (ASD REEF) and a new resort on the beach called “Windresort”.
Continentseven: You are a real waterman, who can handle all kind of water sports and you are winning podium places in all disciplines. Which sport did you start first?
Francesco Cappuzzo: At first, I started with the windsurfing when I was 3 years-old. Since when I was born my father was my idol and the perfect example to follow. So whatever he was doing, I did the same and was always following him. He introduced me to all the water sports since a very young age and I never stopped!
Continentseven: How long have you been windsurfing, surfing, kitesurfing?
Francesco Cappuzzo: I have been windsurfing for 17 years (ahahahah), but doing it seriously for 14 yeasr. Kiteboarding I started a bit later because it is more dangerous for kids and until I was 13 I was only playing with a small kite on the beach.
Francesco Cappuzzo with his kids sail
First kite attempts
Continentseven:What are your favorite spots at home and abroad?
Francesco Cappuzzo: I think that Puzziteddu is one of the best wave/freestyle spots in Italy and maybe also in Europe. I love to surf also the wave of One Eye in Mauritius! That place is magic!
Continentseven: Kiteboarding, Surfing, SUP or Windsurfing? What’s your favorite one and why?
Francesco Cappuzzo: Actually I don’t have one that I really like more than the other or one that I don’t like, because for me the most important thing is to be in the water and have fun! But if I have to choose….maybe for the moment windsurfing is the one that I’m training more, but this winter I really want to improve also my kitesurfing skills.
Continentseven: How is it possible to reach such a high skill level in so many sports? There are just a few people, who have a really high level in many water sports like Kai Lenny, Robby Naish or Josh Angulo. Is it hard to increase your level as you are living in a place without many locals, who are on a high level?
Francesco Cappuzzo: The passion for the nature and for the sport are the two most important things, which keep me going. Then also my family is pushing and some friends but also the place where I live is perfect. I can do everything at Puzziteddu. When I wake up I can go surfing a bit or if there is light wind I go right away kitesurfing, then windsurfing, then maybe kitesurfing again and finally a nice sunset with surf and/or S.U.P! And everything in front of my house in Puzziteddu!
Continentseven: What is your favourite windsurfing move?
Francesco Cappuzzo: In freestyle I like (as you already know from Sylt haha) the SHIFTY. In the waves I like Double Forwards and Takas most.
Continentseven: Which windsurfing moves do you practice at the moment?
Francesco Cappuzzo: In freestyle I’m training my Air switch moves like Air Funnell combos and the Air Skopu. In wave I’m training big Back loop variations and in the waveriding I’m trying to connect multiple sections of waves with different tricks .
Continentseven: Windsurfing is a sport with history and 50 years old. Do you think windsurfing still attracts young people or is surfing, bodyboarding, foiling or kitesurfing more popular for kids nowadays?
Francesco Cappuzzo: I think, if we try to do more events/stages/tours/demotours/shows, all the people will fall in love with windsurfing like us. I think that this is what we are missing especially in Italy where kitesurfing is growing a lot faster than windsurfing. So let’s go work for some good projects!
Francesco competing at the DAM-X event in Brouwersdam
Continentseven: Do you have any idols in windsurfing?
Francesco Cappuzzo: My father in my heart. But my idol is always the King Robby Naish!
Continentseven: What do you like besides windsurfing?
Francesco Cappuzzo: Besides windsurfing I like to practice all the other sports that I can do. For me the most important thing is to never stop!
Continentseven: We heard you are going to participate in the strapless kitesurfing tour in 2018.Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now? Will you still compete in windsurfing?
Francesco Cappuzzo: Yes probably I will try to follow also the GKA, the kitesurf wave world tour, but this doesn’t mean that I will leave some other disciplines for the moment. Yes, maybe in 5 years I have to choose maybe only 2 disciplines??? Because for the moment I’m doing 2 disciplines full on and from next year on maybe 3! This will be quite a busy year! Let’s see how it will go and I will let you know! But for sure I will continue windsurfing!