GKA Tarifa – End of Day 4 – Strapless Sourcery

Published 5th July 2019 by Jim Gaunt


Cozzolino proves mesmeric on a day of overall difficulty


Words: Jim Gaunt / Photos: Ydwer van der Heide 

Good evening everyone on day four of a six day event window here at the GKA Kite World Cup Tarifa.  The men’s twin-tip Freestyle got underway after the completion of men’s Kite-Surf strapless freestyle round 2 earlier today. Airton Cozzolino blew us away once again! 

In the last four years Airton has amassed legions of fans who have seen him ride live, either in competition or, perhaps even better, when freeriding. He has such an incredible ability to amaze on his strapless freestyle board that he regularly has everyone on the beach standing still in amazement. In high winds his aerial ability is truly incredible and poses the question to big air event organisers that he really should be allowed to complete in any discipline on his surfboard. Last hear he managed 19 seconds of hangtime at Sotavento and can kite loop like a king.

GKA Kite World Cup Tarifa - Airton Cozzolino
This wasn't just a flash in the pan, Airton was just doing what Airton can do when the spark ignites within him.

In light winds, however, his natural flair takes a little more technical understanding to appreciate. Today, his aim was obvious: to show the world his vision for strapless freestyle, and what better stage to do it than on the livestream at a double discipline event, where 40 of the world’s best twin-tip Freestylers were waiting on the sidelines to start their competition directly after his heat.

“Sure, he ended up doing more tricks from the same trick family than we’d usually like to see, but his riding was insane today!” Remarked head judge Mallory de la Villemarque. “You could see that he was thinking, ‘Hey guys, I can do sick handle-passes too, powered and with my kite low, and I’ve got no straps.’”


Scroll through the livestream player below, Airton’s heat against Ralph Boelen starts at 02 hours, 6 minutes in (02.06.45 – to be precise!). Enjoy! 

Friday Livestream Replay

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The reigning champion’s heat (against Ralph Boelen) was just about as flawless as you could hope to expect in conditions that were hovering at just 14 knots. He collected almost three 9s for two backside 3s and a shifty frontside 3, plus another high 8 for a sublimely smooth front roll shuvit within his allotted six scoring tricks. To put this into perspective, the next highest heat score tally by Jan Marcos Riveras was over 8 points less.

That’s not to take anything away from anyone else, but there are certain sportsmen and women that are truly capable of inhuman performances. This wasn’t just a flash in the pan though, Airton was just doing what Airton can do when he’s on his game.

What we saw today was that Airton will never need a foil. His aerial flow is so unbelievably good that he’s able to ride away smoothly away in such light winds, giving the impression that the wind was ten knots stronger. With a superbly efficient surfboard and incredible technique to generate speed and pop, he’s a genius… with sticky feet!

GKA Kite World Cup Tarifa Adeuri Corniel
Adeuri Corniel was on fire in Freestyle heat 1 round 1, before conditions dropped back for the remaining three heats

Find the earlier strapless freestyle heat news in the liveticker on the Kite-Surf live event page .

Click here to see how the day panned out for the Freestylers. 



This is a huge double event with 84 registered riders across two disciplines: Kite-Surf and twin-tip Freestyle. Yesterday we saw the event get underway with the first action as the famous Poniente afternoon thermal effect kicked in. Although the conditions were relatively light, hovering around 16 knots, the women’s Kite-Surf strapless freestylers reached a single elimination result. The men then took to the water and rattled through heats to reach halfway through the round two stage. 

Click here for a round up of yesterday’s strapless freestyle action, in which Carla Herrera-Oria prevailed and the men kicked-off. 


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