On a not-so-beautiful but windy day, passing Corso Italia, in Sturla or Voltri you will have to glimpse colored sails that float on the water almost like an optical illusion. They are kitesurfers.
Those who practice this sport are not reckless young people but mature men and even some women who all have this “passion” in common that fully involves them. We have been studying their world for days and the only certainty is that kitesurfing is not a sport for young people.
“Looking for the wind and buying a breeze” are one of the first concepts for those who want to learn this sport and it is the contribution that the kiter monitors will give you, at least at the beginning of the classes. We have to wait for the wind, leave and in a few hours reach the right destination: Genoa, in fact, is considered a place suitable only for expert kiters. But here, however, there are small groups of men and women, who observe the weather conditions to understand if the sea can be made.
Now, let’s be clear for those unfamiliar with this sport, the Olympics, among other things, which some consider the little brother of paragliding but which is practiced in a sea or lake environment. Gliding on the water or even being lifted by it, pulled by a sail at a height of tens of meters or even held in the hand: in short, kitesurfing with the wing foil variant, the latter technical feature used in the American Cup. sailing to go fast though with few knots of wind.
The indentikit of the Genoese kitesurfer? More than 40, but also more than 50. Self-employed, or employees-directors, but also teachers, retired children, with the ability to go where the wind blows even in a few hours and “last but not least ”Last but not least. , to be able to spend at least a couple of thousand euros on the equipment. Some notion comes to us from one of the instructors in Genoa: Stefano Corsini. A criminal lawyer by profession, but in his spare time he is passionate about flying over the body of water, not only in Liguria.
“There are a dozen kitesurfing instructors in Genoa, or a little less, but there are no real associations that can follow you. There are amateur groups, in Sturla, Genoa or Voltri but basically each of us is independent.” If you want to qualify as an instructor “there are courses with Iko certified monitors” and usually “you go to Albenga, Andorra, Arma di Taggia or outside the region”.
Costs to get started? “About four hundred euros, for a minimum of six hours of class, including the material they make available to the monitors – he is assured – but you must be 14 years old and it is a sport that takes you where the wind is” Corsini, whose targets have already been reached: Brazil, Venezuela, Egypt, Kenya, Zanzibar, the Caribbean and the United States, just to name a few.
There are those who started with an instructor and who, on the other hand, were self-taught, such as Alessandro Cacciacarne, an engineer by profession who, after 15 years of windsurfing during a holiday in Fuerte Ventura, discovered the star: in 2005.
“I used to wait for the strong wind to go windsurfing,” Cacciacarne recalls. paragliding. kites depend on these paragliders. The star launches in the direction of the wind and I consider it an extreme sport. I taught one of my three daughters but she doesn’t have the same passion as mine that is that spark “I can say that it’s not a sport for young people, they have other stimuli.” After being attracted to Kite, the professional also tried Wingsurfing, a cross between kite and windsurfing where the board is literally out of the water as if it were flying.
Another engineer, from Genoa, another story: Fabrizio Stefanelli, 55, from La Spezia, with a lot of sponsorship for kitesurfing, is often in front of Corso Italia or Sturla where experts have fun and put on a show. . “I started in 2000 after discovering this reality in Tarifa, Spain” there is a beach, Los Lances, which is perfect. He works as an engineer in a large company and prefers to kite at 0 km, if the wind allows.
“Once, as a university student, enrolled in Pisa, between one exam and another the same day I went out in a star. A moment of remarkable relaxation being above the sea and having the wind as a propeller that gives you the idea of the steering wheel “.
But he also recalls that the costs are unfortunately still high: “The material costs a lot. I am a promoter and despite having sponsorships that significantly reduce costs, I spent five thousand euros on the equipment.”
There is also a former football coach bewitched by the star. “I was in France in 2011 and I saw kitesurfing. When I got home I decided to give it a try.” his daughter, just over twenty years old. . “Even if he only does it in the summer. In the winter he doesn’t like to put on wetsuits and go to the water.” He, a former amateur football coach, tries to go on holiday where there is wind, together with his family: in France, in the Camargue area or in Sardinia. But as soon as you can, you can find yourself on the stretch of water in front of Corso Italia to be carried away by the wind.
There are also those who get bored of the usual sports practices and sign up for a course and start walking around Liguria to learn: “More than ten years ago I approached this sport casually together with my friend Stefano” , explains Michele Landro, Genoese accountant. “It doesn’t take much physical effort to practice, even if you have to see how you want to do it. You have to be, of course, a person who likes to play sports: it’s an individual discipline but there is sharing. along with other kiters, my daughter and my partner also love this sport and sometimes we play it together. ” Their next summer vacation should take them to Egypt to combine relaxation and wind.
Holiday time, therefore of destinations to choose to kite with the family as in the case of the two Genoese kiters: “It’s not always so feasible” say the other interviewees at heart: the windy beaches to kite do not understand the tanning. to be taken in relaxation for the daughters and women who do not practice this sport. In the same way that the desire of the kiters to throw themselves into the sea does not coincide with the prudence of those who walk away from the beach with a yellow or red flag. The kiters, from Genoa, on the other hand, are there, with their equipment ready, anticipating the pleasure even though they are sometimes pointed and insulted by the unconscious when going out to sea during the tides: “But these weather conditions – brightness. L “Genoese instructor Stefano Corsini – ‘attracts’ the most experienced kite enthusiasts. It’s not reckless but passion.”
We could close by making a parallel: how in the United States there are surfers waiting in the water for the perfect and giant wave, as in an iconic movie like “Point Break”, in Genoa the kiters, even if they are no longer as young as the surfers in the movies, they watch the predictions of running in the sea in front of Corso Italia, Sturla or maybe in France or Tuscany.