Interview with Gianmaria Coccoluto

The story of DPC Sicily

TODAY WE ARE TALKING TO SIX TIMES ITALIAN freestyle CHAMPION GIANMARIA COCCOLUTO who despite of starting at an older age (18) proved that dedication and hard work can still do the trick! he was ranked in the top 5 on the GKA Kite world tour and is pushing the limits of the sport. besides still fighting for his dream of becoming a world champion one day, he has taken on another project: the DUOTONE PRO CENTER SICILY.

Hi Gianmaria, thanks for taking the time for this interview. You recently opened the Duotone Pro Center in Lo Stagnone on Sicily island. You must be very excited! What made you decide to open a water sports school?

Yes, I can’t wait for the final opening! It has always been my dream to open a kite school, especially here on Sicily island because it is such an awesome place for watersports! Unfortunately, I haven’t had the resources to do so in the past, part of it was also because I was too young. Now things have changed… however, my biggest dream is still to be crowned the Freestyle World Champion.

How did you get started in kiteboarding and where was your home spot? 

I started kiteboarding in 2011 in Terracina which is a small city located at the ocean in the center of Italy. One of my best friends - Gabriele - introduced me to the sport. He was already a very good freestyler at the time and I went yachting with him. I felt this might be the right sport for me and if you look at me now, turned out it was.



What made you excel at kiteboarding so fast? Did you train with a professional coach?

When I started kiteboarding, I was already 18 years old but I was determined and trained hard from day one! A lot of people told me back then that I was too old to turn pro and compete with the ‘big guys’. Still I’ve never given up on my dream to one day become a Freestyle World Champion. I started in 2011 and 8 months later I won my first freestyle title against some of the best freestylers in Italy, proving everyone wrong who doubted me. From then on, I have won every single competition in the Italian championship series.

What’s your favorite trick?

There is not really one trick that I like best. I much rather prefer to discover new tricks which no one has ever done before and to pair them with my unique style. Usually, I start off my training routine working on competition tricks. Once I am done with that I move on to trying some new stuff.


Why did you choose Lo Stagnone for the location of the Duotone Pro Center?

Due to my job, I have travelled the world for many years now. However, I have never found a place quite like Lo Stagnone. We have got this huge lagoon with shallow water and constant wind blowing 300 days a year right in our backyard. The location is crazy good! Also, I have moved here permanently, so this is where my heart is.

Which role will you be playing with regards to the Pro Center?

For now, I don’t have a fixed role because I still want to compete on the world tour over the next years. That’s why I don’t have much time. Nonetheless, I have a great team here that is helping me out. At the moment I take care of keeping people updated via our social media channels and am planning to teach some kite camps this season. If anyone has some questions regarding some trickier freestyle moves, I am also happy to share my knowledge with them. Once I retire from the tour I will take on a more permanent role in the Center and will make sure to let you guys know. 😉

Tell us a little bit about the activities that you will be offering.

At Duotone Pro Center Sicily, we will offer almost everything: kite lessons for beginners up to advanced riders, freestyle kite lessons taught by me, windsurf lessons for beginners and advanced surfers as well as sup lessons. Besides our watersport offer, the center also includes a bar and restaurant – the Seven lounge and bar – with a comfortable chill out area out front. What’s better than enjoying an ice-cold drink after a sick session on the water and watching a beautiful sunset?! Come for a visit and spend an epic time with us!

You will also be offering kite tours and downwinders. Is there a lot to explore on Sicily?

There is an uncountable number of spots here. Depending on the wind direction we will take you on downwinders or even to secret spots. We know exactly which spots work in certain conditions and will take you to the best spot of the day.


What is there to do on days without wind?

On days with no wind there is still plenty we can do, for example visit the beautiful island of Favignana which is located right opposite of our school. The island is surrounded by clean and turquoise water which makes you think that you are in the Carribbean. On top of that you can sit down in one of the restaurants and taste the delicious food or chill on one of the amazing beaches. In addition to this island trip, there is also the possibility to go to San Vito Lo Capo which offers great climbing. There is so much to explore around here, I guarantee you, you won’t get bored!

Will the school be open all-year round? When (time of year) would you say are the best conditions at Lo Stagnone?

The school will only be closed from the middle of December until the end of February. We have got wind almost all year round but the best time to visit us is from the end of April until the middle of August. In June and July it is definitely better than Brazil, board shorts, harness and warm weather.


Which kite spot would you like to visit next?

One kite spot that has been on my list for a long time is Los Roquez in Venezuela. I have been dreaming of going there for a long time now and hope that the pandemic is coming to an end soon, so that we get to travel again.

You really like Instagram 😉, will you be doing any live streams when the school opens? 

Haha, yeah I like it for sharing sports related content. However, in this era of social media you also don’t have much of a choice. We will definitely do a livestream when we open!


Who is your favorite Kite surfer and who do you look up to for inspiration? 

I don’t really have a favorite surfer. I usually watch every single rider in the competition because I can learn something from everyone. It also serves as great inspiration, especially wakeboarding!


Will we be seeing any other team riders come and train at the Pro Center in Lo Stagnone? 

Soon one of my favorite riders and team mate – Noe Font – will come. Besides him Mikaili Sol, Valentin Rodriguez and Craig Cunningham are planning on swinging by.


Apart from Kitesurfing, what is a sport you're really interested in, Football, Formula 1, skating...?

Apart from kitesurfing, I also love to skate. I have done it since I was 8 years old. At the moment, I am very much into surfing.


And lastly as an Italian we must ask, does Pineapple belong onto Pizza or not?