About me

my mission: never give up

THE KID FROM THE OCEAN

I am from Sal Island, Cabo Verde.

I was born on a summer night in Santa Maria, in a small room without electricity. My mother raised me alone. She was young, with very little income, and even if I were a baby I was used to stay at home alone while she was working.

The trouble began when I learned walking. As soon as my mum went to work, I left the cradle with my bottle of milk, and prowl around the house.

One time I put a stick in the electrical outlet and it literally threw me few meters away. After the shock I fell asleep shaking with fever until when my mother came back  from work, hours later.

Grewing up I only caused more worries to my mother.  I run away from school as soon as she left me there. I am not proud of this but.. this is how my passion for the ocean began. I spent most of my days on the beach watching the fishermen boats, fascinated by the way their sails powered them forward. And after a while, I started trying to make my own model boats with wood and garbage bags, and putting them in the water.

This  is how I learned the basics of wind direction. 

I remember times that fishermen took me home to my mother after rescuing me.

At that time I was already able to swim long distances .. The pure innocence of a kid.
I can remember my mother crying about it. I knew it was my fault but it was impossible for me to stay away from the sea.

And then I discovered the waves.

My first bodyboard was a sack filled with old water bottles packed inside for flotating.

Together with my friends, I learned to ride the waves . We were really young, but we all tried to surf with a huge board that we found close to the garbage, learning to drag our foot in the water for a fin and to turn it in the waves. I began to use a plastic sack as a sail, sit on top of the board to try to windsurf, but I could only go downwind.

And then EVERYTHING CHANGED.

A guy came to me and sayed “Mitu come on, I’m gonna show you how to windsurf.”

So he cut the sail and the mast, and made the sail smaller for me. It wasn’t easy, but in one day I learned how to go, come back, and stay upwind. I spent all day long on the water just playing with my little sail and I learned really fast.

Mitu black white

I was 11 at the time.

I kept windsurfing with my sailboat models, turning them around and sending them back.  

Then I got another board and I started using the harness and footstraps to learn  jumping.

When I told my mama that I loved surfing, she saied “Surfing ? What’s the wave gonna give you? If you go fishing we can eat dinner.”

For several years I tried hard to keep studying, but at the age of 16 I decided to leave school and dedicate myself to my real passion.

I went spear fishing so I could bring some food home, and I started working as a windsurf instructor.

I HAD A DREAM. I HAD A GOAL.

My entire existence was dedicated to the sea. And the huge passion I had helped me to stay away from the wrong paths in life. The sea has always been my salvation.

AND THEN I SAW A KITE IN THE AIR…

A friend of mine came to Sal with a Kite and a theory book and he asked me to do the practice part while he read the instructions.

It was fun.

To be honest I found it so easy.
Compared to windsurfing, where every step takes weeks and weeks of practice, kitesurfing was way too easy to learn. And that was the reason I gave up after a couple of weeks. It looked boring.

But then, I remember seeing a tourist doing board off and I understood that it wasn’t just all about jumping. So I borrowed the kite again from the guy I was working with, and after three months I had enough money to buy my first kite. My first board came from a fisherman who found it floating into the sea and he sold it to me for €150.

At that time, I was the only Cape Verdean who knew how to kitesurf, but a few tourists were already coming to Sal to train. I remember when Marc Shinn landed here and saw me riding strapless. He was so surprised. There was no internet in those days.

Actually, I started like everyone else, on a twin tip board – I didn’t know yet that I could have been kitesurfing with my simple wave board. I learned to land most of the old style tricks pretty quickly. 

When I started riding strapless it wasn’t because it was in vogue at the time, it was just that I didn’t have any other board  to use.

So I took my  surfboard and I started kiting with it. When I look back and see how far strapless came, I couldn’t be happier or more proud.

Here in Cape Verde we used to say “STRAPLESS IS RELIGION”.

Most of the guys here ride strapless, and I can safely say that the level of strapless riders here in Cape Verde is the best in the world.

I must say, I’m so filled with pride when I see young Cape Verdeans, who used to watch me practicing my tricks, now pushing the level higher, becoming champions themselves, and spreading their skills all over the world under our country’s flag.

Also, thanks to the first strapless tour, I had the chance to realize that every year there are new talents rising from all over the world, and this gives me more motivation to keep doing my job.

I’m still in the top 5 in the world, so I’m not gonna pass the torch just yet. I’m gonna work hard and do my best to help this amazing sport to grow even more.

…and then i started flying

Freestyle Strapless was not in my plans actually, I was passing a big wave in Ponta Sino and I find myself jumping.
On that jump I realized that the board were stuck on my feet thanks to the wind and something just got to my mind ….

LET’S HAVE MORE FUN. LET’S TRY SOME TRICKS.

I started adapting some of the windsurfing tricks and then I mixed it with some skate freestyle maneuvers too. From this combination , after few years of practice and, most of all, thanks to the innovation of material, a new discipline was coming.

I can still remember the first time I hit the water of Como lake with my surfboard: people was literally staring at me like I was completely mad !!! Then they saw me having fun , doing tricks in flat water and in few hours everybody was asking me how to do it. 

STRAPLESS FREESTYLE gave me the motivation to go on with kitesurfing. It was a completely new discipline to be invented and spread, and I proudly did it. 

It always makes me glad to receive compliments and recognitions. It hasn’t been simple for me to reach the place where I am now. Nobody could teach me, there was nobody to watch to take inspiration. All I learned come from my ambition, my passion and from a lots of beating !!!

Maybe that’s why now I’m so keen to spread my knowledge to the others, I love to pass my passion to people who share it.

During my wave camps and coaching I ‘m so proud when I see somebody who manages to do a trick for the first time or the happy faces after riding Ponta Preta waves. Sometime I just walk on the beach and I stop to give some tips to riders… or I spend my lunch time explaining to somebody who asked me how to do a backroll.

I love what I do, and I want the others love it too!

…since STRAPLESS has become MY RELIGION

 

 

 

 

Career highlights:

KPWT WAVE MASTER WORLD CHAMPION 2008

4x VICE WORLD CHAMP 2010,2011,2012.

story telling

AS my world has changed

 

I am filled with pride by seeing the young cape verdians that one day were watching me to learn all my tricks , now pushing the level always further becoming champions able to spread all over the world their skills, and the name of our country.

Also, thanks to the first strapless tour, I had the chance to realize that every year there are new talents come from all over the world, and this is just giving me always more motivation to keep on doing my job.

I’m still on the top 5 , so I’m not gonna pass the torch yet , and I’m gonna work hard and do my best to help this amazing sport grow even more.

 

If you weren’t riding on the GKA tour what would you be doing?
SURFING WITH MY KIDS

 

I have been competing in 4 different tours and I must admit that the vibes we have in the GKA is the best ever . All competitors are there to give their best in competition but most of all to share our passion. We talk about sessions, tricks , the future of the sport and we all work together as a team . Another thing I like of this tour is the fact to mix two disciplines, wave and strapless freestyle. I know is a penalty for somebody, but in the same time is a challange for everybody. I was astonished to see how much the riders have progressed from year to year.

 

My life changed immensly in the last years . I am not the same Mitu Monteiro of 10 years ago, now I’m a FATHER and a HUSBAND. I have so many responsabilities compared to before.

I can definitely say that become a father also changde my vision of riding.

No unnecessary risks, no nonsense just to give show, no more challenging myself till the limit. I’m much more settled.

For istance, rarely I partecipate to the big air now, to avoid possibly injury . Let’s say that I go compete ’cause I feel it is still my job, but I do it with responsability . Also during the trip or the trainings abroad, I fell like I have to do what I have to do the quickest possible in order to come back home to my family.

About my kids , well the hardest part is when I have to stay away from them for long time, sometimes 3 , 4 weeks.
I want to be involved in their education , and this means a daily work. I do love to share my passion with them , we spend so many hours in the water together, mostly with Michael the biggest one, that has already started compiting as a surfer.

Also Matthew and Malakai showed their interested for the Ocean.

 

THE gALLERY

MY LIFE BEHIND THE LENS

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