SAPOTOUR: TRAVELS AND KITESURF WITH A FRIENDS
Luca Saponieri speaks with us how the his passion is become a job
Go where the wind takes you, live with the sand under your feet and the smell of the sea on your skin, meet new friends and share with them the thrill of kitesurfing. It is the dream of many, and the work of a lucky few, even if luck usually has little to do with the commitment and dedication needed to turn a dream into a job.
Luca Saponiero is one of these people, as well as being a very dear friend he met on the beach many years ago. This is why we are really pleased to share this interview, where Luca tells us about his current projects and those for the future.
Hi Luca, would you like to tell something about yourself to those who don't know you?
Hello, my name is Pier Luca Saponiero but everyone calls me Luca, I live and I was born in Genoa and I am 51 years old. I had been practicing windsurfing since the age of 13 a bit in Sardinia and a little in Liguria, then when I became older my dad made me happy by giving me a white Volvo 240 Station: perfect for loading all the equipment! At 20 I discovered one of the most beautiful places for windsurfing, where? Tarifa in Spain. I've been there a few times (45) ... ... from then on first windsurfing and then kite from 1999 have become my passion and lifestyle.
How many years have you been kitesurfing and how long have you been teaching?
I have been kitesurfing since 1999. I worked a summer in Tarifa at a Kitesurf school and I decided on my return to Italy to take the only patent that existed at FKI ... and then start teaching
Andora excellent for freeriding but wavy when there is a storm
Tarifa (nightlife and kitesurfing) and Dakhla (landscapes and kitesurfing)
Conditions and preferred discipline?
The most beautiful conditions are the extreme ones, when many are on the ground watching. The bigger the sea the more fun you have, so pure wave straplees. But I also love freestyle, even if I don't have the age anymore to do it !!!
Tell us about your SAPOTOUR project?
Two vans with 16 seats available to our school for clients or friends to chase the wind. We organize transfers of one or more days a week or weekends based on weather forecasts. My passion for school, living outdoors trying to convey to others what kitesurfing has done is to create Sapotour.
I had to find a way to be able to do my business in a region that is not too lucky in the wind. The main purpose is to discover unknown spots, organizing above all windy weekends, thus moving only on forecasts.
The result is that every weekend I drive a group of kiters bringing them where the best conditions are. Beginners and advanced, boys and girls, singles, families, children. Two days of kite but above all fun, beach, aperitifs, pizzas. And sometimes not just one weekend but an entire vacation. The beauty is the friendships that are born, the atmosphere.
How did this idea come to you?
The idea came to me because the desire to glide is always so great, and therefore I had to find a way, in the event that I had no courses, to glide as much as possible, and therefore there will be no better way creating the Sapotour.
Who generally participates in your kitetrips?
All levels especially beginners, although in the future I would like to organize Sapotour only wave…. ... I wonder if I will succeed !!!
Did you turn so much to chase the wind ... tell us what are the places you've already visited, the best destination or which has remained in your heart the most and why?
I do 120 thousand km a year looking for wind we go especially in France as the quantity of spots that are there and the excellent conditions and the easy forecasts allow us to never make mistakes. Sometimes Tuscany, Sicily, Sardinia and Calabria …… .. so we lack several places !!! The best destination that satisfies everyone for orà is Morocco in Dakhla, flat in the lagoon and waves in the ocean.
Do you have a checklist of upcoming destinations?
The next destinations are Dakhla Morocco in early July ... Certainly a Tarifa after mid-September (it is mandatory) and then I would like Guadalupe, Colombia, Brazil, Kenya, South Africa, Madagascar, Venezuela and many other places
Top secret ............ I will amaze you. My idea is taking shape in these days thanks to a new collaboration with 2 large Kite shops in Northern Italy (Negrinautica of Milan and Jolly sport of Turin). My goal is to give their customers the chance to try the materials before buying them ......... so that everyone can buy what they like. A whole weekend with us, with all the materials available, to try and choose from the best brands on the market.
You managed to make your passion a job. When did you realize that this was the right path for you? How hard was it?
I like being around people and every day I want it to be different for what I understood that this could be the right job ... ... ... the hard thing was to make it understandable to my accountant dad ... but after so much I managed to do it thanks of the eldest son Claudio who also embarked on a similar path.
What is the aspect you like most about kitesurfing? And your job?
The aspect that I like most is to meet so many people every year that over time I become fond of them so many are clients and friends. The beauty of my job is to constantly live the beach life and smell the sea.
And what do you like least?
Unfortunately I see so many people taking kitesurf lightly not realizing the danger they can have and above all the evil that you can cause to others. Many people have been leaving for years and making mistakes as if they had learned for months.
You have been kitesurfing for many years now. How has this sport changed from the beginning to the present and in what direction do you think it is going?
The kite has changed for the better thanks to technology, wings and above all safer bars. Today there are many more disciplines to do so you can satisfy all age groups: you can do straplees, twint tip, Hydrofoil, Freestyle with or without boots and others that will come with time ... it's all a world of fun in the water to explore!
Ok Luca, you convinced us. Next weekend we come with you! Promised.
For information and to contact Luca: www.sapotour.com