From a very young age, Airton Cozzolino Lopes was thrust into the world of waves. He was born in Sal, a small island that sits in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and is constantly battered by the Trade Winds.
The first surfers arrived on the island when Airton was six. As soon as he witnessed their prowess out on the ocean, he knew that surfing was his life’s calling. The surfers would occasionally leave their old equipment behind, allowing Airton to get out on the open waves himself. Little did the surfers know that they had opened up a whole new world for Airton.
In 2004, Airton's life was turned upside down. He met his adoptive father Libero, who not only introduced him to the world of kitesurfing, but also enabled Airton to move to Europe, allowing the young kitesurfer to exponentially expand his horizons.
Today, the father and son duo manage two kitesurfing and surfing schools together. Winter is spent in Cape Verde, and in summer they head for Chia in Sardinia – for Airton, it's pretty much his second home.
Airton has yet to decide his next move, explaining that he has already achieved so much. 2011 was a standout year, packed with professional and sporting successes, including the Wave Riding World Championship title, and by 2014 he was organising his own competition, Red Bull Unfastened.
The wins haven't stopped coming, adding victories in the GWA Wave & Strapless Freestyle Tour and Tarifa Strapless Kitesurfing Pro to his long list of accomplishments in 2016. Nevertheless, with his quest for perfection, Airton knows he still has a lot to give to kitesurfing.Read more