Nicola Terenzi ITA-360 Age: 22
From: Gabicce Mare, Italy
Years windsurfing? 8
Favorite disipline? Freestyle but like some waves too
Local Spot? Vallugola (Gabicce mare)
Occupation? Student at Southampton Solent University studying Yacht and Powercraft Design
Sponsers? Nautica Urban (www.urban.it), ION
I first saw Nicola at the Student Windsurf Festival Aussie Kiss where he dominated the competition and blew the crowd away with awesome display of power freestyle. I caught up with him fresh back from a trip to Barbados.
How was Barbados?
Yeah really nice. It wasnt really so much a windsurf trip, just with my family. Not really a good trip for freestyle, but for surfing wave riding a really good trip. Really warm, no need for wetsuits. Its not a perfect windsurf spot you have to be prepared to do other things too when the conditions arent great. But yeah really nice trip!
How did you get into windsuring?
I started surfing first. When I was 13 I tried windsurfing, but only in the summer for a few years. Then later I got my own board and would go as often as I could and started sailing through the winter too. Normally just me and a friend from home.
Tell us a bit about where you live and your local spots?
Where I live is 2 minutes from the beach but its not the best for windsurfing, it was ok for when I was learning, not many people windsurf there. There is another spot about 10 minutes away which is better, but you have to wait for the storms. It can be about 30Knots, its always side shore. The water is quite choppy with some messy waves so it is ok for some freestyle and there are some ramps which I like. There are a few young people my age there but most of the guys are older.
When did you start doing freestyle?
As soon as I learnt to windsurf. Before learning to plane, I would try freestyle like spinning the sail and things like that, then as soon as I was planning I started trying to Vulcan.
What move have you most recently cracked?
Kono, I landed a few times, it still needs more practice. Burner is pretty good now. I really want to learn Skopu.
Tell us about your competition experience?
I usually try to do the Italian championship. There are 3 or 4 comps each year. When I started going to these I got sponsors. Aussie Kiss was the first and the only one Ive done in the UK but I want to do more. The problem for me is time to go to all the competitions and getting there. I dont have a car so I have to rely on other people and then also because I go home to Italy to see my family in the holidays, I cant go to lots of the UK competitions anyway.
What do you think of windsurfing in the UK generally? How does it compare to back home in Italy?
Since Ive been here its been really windy so I feel like Ive been doing more windsurfing than at home. I didnt realise it was like this. Is it always this windy?
The problem is as I said I dont have a car so I have to wait for other people. My housemates are kitesurfers so I go with them as often as I can. I Have to fit it around Uni work too, so I normally get out around 1 or 2 times each week. It just depends on Uni work and the wind and if there is anyone to go with. I think here there are more young people than back home, which is good. And more people trying freestyle, where I am from most windsurfers just go back and forth on big sails all day.
At Aussie Kiss we saw you doing huge freestyle moves, Burners, Konos etc.. to a lot of people watching these moves look impossible to learn. What would you say is the best way to go about trying to learn them?
Yeah, freestyle is nice but its hard to learn. I would say just try try try, Watch movies of it being done and speak to anyone who can do the tricks and get their advice. You might try 100 times and still not get it because youre missing one important thing. If you ask someone who can do it they might know what the problem is. So talk to people and just keep practicing would be my advice.
You also wave sail?
I went to Australia after high school for 4 months and got more into wave riding there. I entered a competition in Margret river. Because Ive surfed a lot since a young age I think that was a big help.
Which do you prefer, waves or freestyle?
Really I would say my preferred discipline is freestyle-wave. This is the best thing. I would really like to see wave and freestyle mixed together more. Id like to see more emphasis on boards that are suitable for both freestyle and waves. I like the jumping moves with more height in freestyle, It needs more wind but it is much better to watch.
What wave moves have you cracked?
Forwards, Backloops. Ive been trying Goiters but I never land back down the wave. Would really like to learn them properly.
Tell us about some of your windsurfing Highlights?
My first Backloop in Australia at Geraldton was definitely a highlight. In fact just the whole trip out there was cool, wave riding in Gnaraloo and sleeping in a tent for 4 months it was so good. It was really my first time in waves.
One memory I have of that trip in particular was getting separated from my kit in the Magret river. I had to swim to the beach. I could see my kit getting washed around out in the waves, It was getting dark and my kit was a long way out and I had no way to get to it so I thought it was lost. I went to bed really pissed off. The next morning I woke up early at about 6, went down to the beach and there was my kit washed up. No damage at all. I couldnt believe it.
Tell us about some of the other places you have travelled to and why travelling is important to you?
Jericoacoara, Brazil. I went there twice, first when I was really young, 18, with my friend for 2 weeks. In 2 weeks I learnt clew first spocks and shuv-its. It was just perfect constant wind every day and just nice small waves around. There are so many good windsurfers around. The second time was even better, I went on my own but knew people there, Its a really good place to go and party also. In two weeks I landed for the first time double spocks, burners and shakas. I was super happy with shakas as it was the main move I wanted to learn. Also Cape Verde was a really nice place, with some crazy wave riding! I used to go Sardinia each year, when there are storms its seriously windy. You have to travel around a bit to get the best conditions but there are lots of good spots for freestyle and jumping. Travelling to places with really good conditions and lots of really good sailors is the best way to improve your windsurfing I think. I guess thats why I like it so much and why I think everybody should do it.
And the Lowlights?
For me learning to flaka took a really long time. I kept trying to learn it at home over and over. Ive injured myself so many times doing it. Quite badly one time in Lake Garda, but in the end it was all worth it.
What are your plans for the future?
I for sure want to go Hawaii, but I have wanted to go for a long time so maybe I will wait till I graduate. South Africa, I would love to go there and this summer I am thinking about going to Pozo. I want to try and go earlier in the summer though as it is so windy in the middle, almost too windy. Id be keen to get involved more in student competitions and other UK competitions. I didnt really know anything about them when I first arrived because there is nothing like it in Italy. Id also like to get involved in more national competitions. The problem for me is I would like to do the whole series but with Uni and then going back home for the summer, its really hard for me to be fully involved. When I graduate, maybe, but then I will probably go live somewhere else abroad and do more out there. I might look to go somewhere with more waves also.
Interview by Will Jones
Photos by Matilde Fabbri