Airton's progressive attitude is turning the impossible into the possible...
Airton Cozzolino is undeniably one of the most recognized names in kitesurfing. As a 5x Kitesurfing World Champion with a vast array of disciplines to his name Airton is a true legend of the sport. Born in Cape Verde on the north western tip of Africa, Airton started skim boarding at a very young age. From here he progressed through disciplines to body boarding, then to surfing.
Airton was adopted by Italian businessman Libero Cozzolino in 2010, and the father and son duo went on to found kitesurfing schools across the world, launching Airton's career and success in the world of professional competition. After a breakout year in 2011, Airton has won 4 GKA World Titles so far. But Airton's influence in kitesurfing extends well beyond his competition results. He is revered as one of the most progressive strapless athletes in the world, renowned for his dedication to pushing the boundaries of kitesurfing.
Airton answers our quick-fire questions.
"Thanks to the ocean, and to that piece of board. It really changed my life." - Airton Cozzolino
Airton has travelled the world on his journey to the top of his sport, but he's never lost touch with where it all began: surfing waves on broken boards on the beaches of Sal, Cape Verde. In 2022, we ventured back to Cape Verde with Airton, to help him share a piece of his origin story through the SunGod film, Grounded.
Beyond the titles and trophies, Grounded reveals the compelling story of an athlete who is rooted in his warm community, loyal to his humble beginnings, and committed to giving back to the young people of Cape Verde.
From leading UCI World Tour Team the INEOS Grenadiers to 3 x GKA World Champion and kitesurfing legend, James Carew Team SunGod is packed with world-leading athletes. Explore the rest of Team SunGod here.