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30 July 2021

Airton Cozzolino: Anatomy Of A World Champion

Athlete Stories

Get inside the mind of SunGod Pro Kitesurfer and 4 x GKA World Champion Airton Cozzolino...

From the humble beginnings skim boarding broken boards along the Cape Verde coastline, to the dizzying (and literal) heights at the top of the GKA World Tour, SunGod Pro Kitesurfer Airton Cozzolino has become something of a legend in recent years. Being a 4 x World Champion just seems like par for the course for Airton, whose progressive approach is pioneering the way in strapless kitesurfing. To celebrate the launch of his Signature Series SunGods this month, Airton shares his recipe for success…

What’s got you most stoked for the summer ahead?

"To finally be able to travel more freely and get back to hard training. Soon competition is on and it is safe to say I am STOKED!"

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned this past year?

"Everything has been so unpredictable this past year. If I have learned anything from that, it is to enjoy every moment in this life!"

King of Strapless - what keeps you sending it bigger each time?

"Honestly, I think it’s the people who follow me who have kept me doing what I do. I like to inspire people, and show them that nothing is impossible… I am so grateful to all who follow me, I couldn’t do it without them!"

Who is the most inspirational person you know?

"Athlete-wise it’s got to be Kai Lenny, he’s a total machine and a true waterman. I’ve always aspired to be like him, he has a crazy work ethic and I’ve never seen anyone do aerials like he does! I also get inspiration from my family, because they always give me the right words of motivation I need to continue doing what I love."

You’ve got 4 GKA world titles, what’s the recipe to success there?

"For me it’s not always about winning world titles, it’s about progressing the sport and having the best time possible while I’m at it. It definitely feels good to win though, and the key for me is to have fun during competitions! If I’m too focused, I find things are always more likely to go wrong. When I am calm, relaxed and having fun everything always comes together."

And when there's no wind?

"Doing big air and strapless has a huge impact on your body, the landings are hard and you need have a good awareness of what your body is doing. On no wind days, I’ll normally be in the gym for an extra session so I can stay at the top of my game!"

Give us your best kitesurfing 'elevator pitch':

"Kitesurfing is a unique kind of sport, what’s better than connecting with nature out in the ocean? Give it a go but I warn you, if you try it you'll never go back - get out there and have a lesson and I’ll see you soon in action around the world!"

What do you love most about working with SunGod?

"The colors, the style, the lenses… SunGod is fun and unique and really represents what I’m about – I’m in love! Having my own Signature Series is so sick, the sea has played such an important part of my life and I'm stoked to be able to show this in my own design!"

Airton's buzz for kitesurfing is contagious, talking to him will always leave you feeling inspired to go and smash whatever goals or targets you've set yourself. See the master at work on the GKA World Tour in the coming months and check out a sneak peek below.

Airton's Signature Series Classics³ are selling fast, grab your pair of watersports sunglasses while you still can!