The web serie “Mitu Monteiro – The man behind the Legend” has just been released and gave us the chance to discover, the human side of Mitu, the man that unconsciously changed the world of kitesurfing.
The second episode is focused on the true friendship between Mitu and Matchu Lopes, currently placed 1st at the Kite Surf Ranking.
For the first time this year, Mitu and Matchu competed in the same heat for first place at the competition in Ponta Preta.
It was the 2008 when a little Matchu declared “I would like to substitute Mitu when he will stop competing”
It looks like the dream came true.
But are we in front of a true friendship? Is it possible to be friends with your rivals?
We interviewed Matchu to know more about the relationship between him and his mentor, the legend of kitesurfing, Mitu Monteiro.
E: Hi Matchu, thanks for your time. I found an old video of you when you declared that you want to substitute Mitu. The last competition showed that you got it.
Matchu: Since kid I dreamt to be like him. Mitu is the guy that I looked up, not only as an athlete but as a person. He has the ability to share good energy to everyone is around him.
E: In that old video you said that Mitu opened the doors for the you and all the other riders, do you still think it?
M: Absolutely yes. He did a huge step for us, the ones coming after him. He was always after us, teaching us what he knew: looking at our board, at our lines, he told us what to do and what not to, how to move our hands.
E: It looked that Mitu shared his knowledge with you all..
M: Exactly, he was very gentle to us. And we are so grateful for what he did for us and for the support he gave us. I think that the energy that Mitu shares it’s pretty unique and the image that he transmits to the young new generation is awesome.
E: Matchu, I know that you are very close to Mitu’s family and especially to his mum.
M: Who told you that? Yes, Ana is Mitu’s mum and I am used to call her mum. I grew up in their house.
E: One of Mitu’s goal is to inspire the new generation and he looks that, in your case, he got it.
M: Because of this guy I wouldn’t be who I am today, absolutely not.
E: At the competition in Ponta Preta you made a 100% Cape Verdean podium. Mitu said us that it was wonderful.
M: Absolutely not. It was amazing. On the podium that day there new the three of us: Mitu, Airton and me. And Mitu was accompanied by his three kids. If we look at this I clearly say that his older son Michael is an insane waterman as he’s not only a surfer or a kiter but he’s a great waterman and he is coming after us. I hope to compete soon against Michael and I am sure he will kick our ass.
Don’t miss the third episode of the web serie “Mitu Monteiro – The Man behind the Legend”
The web serie “Mitu Monteiro – The man behind the Legend” has just been released and for the first time we had the chance to know the human side of Mitu, the man that unconsciously changed the world of kitesurfing.
We had a chat with him to know more about his career.
But if you haven’t watched yet, don’t miss the web serie.
E: Hi Mitu, in the first episode of the web serie you say “That day my life has changed”
How did you realized it?
M: I had just been proclaimed Kitesurf World Champion 2008 in Morocco and had no idea what was going to happen next. I took a plane back to Sal Island, my homeland.
And when I arrived, the local journalists were waiting for me at the airport.
Then I heard “Mitu Mitu Mitu” as I got closer to the exit. The arrival room was full of friends, families, and strangers who had come to support me.
I can still feel the emotion if I close my eyes.
E: A wonderful career that has just been cap off with a very important prize. On the last 3rd of June you received the “Lifetime Achievement Award”
M: Yes, I couldn’t imagine that my career would have been full of successes and I couldn’t be happier with what I’ve achieved.
I went to Tarifa with my wife Nicole to attend the Qatar Airways GKA Awards ceremony and it was simply amazing. This prize is super important to me.
E: It looks like it was a very emotional moment, does it?
M: Absolutely. When Jorgen (GKA CEO, ndr.) called my name and I walked up to the stage I couldn’t say anything other than “THANK YOU”. I burst into tears. The 300+ persons present then rose to their feet into a standing ovation screaming “Mitu Mitu Mitu”
This sent me back 15 years to that small airport where everyone yelled my name. Believe me when I tell that at least half of the public broke down crying as me.
E: Mitu, you inspired a generation of kiters. How do you feel?
M: I feel grateful. What truly makes me happy is knowing that my life, my work, and my greatest passion have all contributed to doing good in the kitesurfing world. I would like to use this moment to thank each and every person that supported for me, as well as every person that helped me along my career.
E: Let’s switch to the second episode of the web serie. It tells a true friendship story with one of your main rival: Matchu Lopes.
M: I know Matchu since he was a kid. For me he’s like a little brother and during the competition in Ponta Preta we had a final together. It was the first time for us and I can’t describe the feeling.
You know..when I decided to compete I didn’t expect to get into the final. And trust me if I say that it was full of very good and young riders.
It looks funny but very challenging.
You’ve seen people fly kites that make it look simple, but you don’t know if you’re young enough to learn something like this.
You’ve also been told that it takes a lot of strength.
Let’s clarify. You’ve landed in the right place.
Keep reading to find out more about kiteboarding.
When compared to other water sports, kitesurfing is the easiest to learn.
In any case, remember that you will not be able to completely improvise and learn on your own.
So, to ensure the best quality and safety service, find the nearest IKO certified kitesurf school and schedule a lesson with a professional kitesurf instructor.
Always keep in mind that safety comes first.
Are there any prerequisites?
Only willpower and water confidence are required.
We must dispel the myth that kitesurfing requires strength and power. The kite you probably saw flying is not being held by the kiter with his arms, but is instead attached to the harness.
Don’t be afraid to go for it, whether you’re a young boy or girl or a skinny person.
Kitesurfing is suitable for people of all ages.
When we’re out on the water, we have to control and coordinate three things at once: the kite, the board, and our body position.
The best part about learning to kitesurf is that it is exciting and addictive at every stage of the process.
Trust your instructor and don’t rush.
Step by step, your instructor will prepare you to be able to do it.
Even if it looks hard at the beginning, believe me if I say that during each lesson it will come automatically to easily do what you learned during the lesson before.
Learning time can range from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on the individual’s skills.
The location where you go kiting is commonly called “spot”.
The first and most important thing is getting confident with it so you need to do an accurate evaluation of wind direction, entry and exit spaces and surrounding obstacles.
Once done, you will learn the basics of piloting the kite, using the control bar, practicing safety measures, launching/landing the kite and learning the international signals.
Piloting the kite is a wonderful experience, however, it requires you to push and pull the control bar while directing the kite left and right.
Once you have reliable kite control and good feeling, you are ready to go into the water for the next step.
Underrated by many, this is an important step because it allows us to move in the water without the board, both because there are obstacles to overcome and because we lost the board and want to recover it.
Let the fun begin.
You are now ready to stand up on the board and start riding.
Prepare to crash: it’s part of the game.
If you want to become an independent kiteboarder you must learn to ride upwind.
Kiteschools used to offer lessons in two or three-hour blocks of 6- to 12-hour.
This is done to ensure that you have enough time to complete all of the steps before reaching the waterstart.
Keep in mind that everyone learns differently, and it may take more or less time to learn kitesurfing depending on your sport experience, balance as well as spot conditions.
In any case, practise is the key.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider looking to land a new manoeuvre, if you want to improve you need to keep training in order to automatize the movement.
Firstly, consider where you want to begin kitesurfing.
Have you planned a trip to a kite destination? or do you have a location close to your home?
In any case, it is critical to approach in a location with favourable wind and sea conditions.
Bad weather will be an additional challenge, so try to avoid areas where the wind is inconsistent, strongly gusty, and the waves are large.
At the same time, be careful of lagoons that only work with thermal wind as it could be too light.
However, the difference is made by the school and the importance they place on you.
Keep in mind that kitesurfing can be extremely dangerous if not done with proper instruction and supervision.
Each student is different, so each course must be tailored to your specific needs.
IKO certified kite schools
IKO is an International Kiteboarding Organisation that has been training instructors and setting teaching standards on a global scale since 2001.
Do not wait anymore and look for your kite center.
Kitesurfing is not only a sport but a lifestyle.
Join this amazing worldwide community.
If you are visiting Sal Island, please visit the Mitu and Djo Kiteschool website to book your lesson.
The feeling you get when kitesurfing is hard to put into words.
It feels like a cross between flying, sailing, and surfing, which will provide an adrenaline rush, making the entire experience much more exhilarating. Kitesurfing is the closest thing to flying;
Without a doubt, kitesurfing is full of challenge, fear, doubt, and uncertainty, but the overall experience is full of excitement, fun, and sheer joy.
As you start, with the board on your feet, and the kitesurfing kite control in your hands, you will suddenly feel attentive and present.
If you are new to kitesurfing, you should go with an experienced instructor who will give you confidence and have you feeling calm and in control in no time.
Begin by pulling lightly on the kitesurfing kite control bar, and your kite will stretch for the water. You will soon feel the incredible pull of the kite as you are lifted out.
This movement will astound you, as you will be shocked and delighted to discover that you can control the kite.
As your skills improve, you can take your board slightly towards the wind depending on the direction you want to go. You will feel free and able to connect with the nature all around you.
Even if it “feels like I’m flying” at first, you should remain attentive and relaxed, and you should not lose control of the kitesurfing kite control. You will learn new things as your courses continue, which will boost your confidence and make you happy on the inside.
Your hard work will pay off when you will learn to make a standard jump and get a feel of flying in the air.
With experience, you will start going higher in the air, which will give you a newfound feeling of lightness and flying.
Every time you start kitesurfing, you will think to yourself – it feels like I am flying.
Surfing on the water and moving over it at high speed, without any help, will give you a thrill and a punch.
After you come back for landing, after what it feels like floating in the air, you will feel like a bird with immense power. You can use the kitesurfing kite control to come over water and feel the power of the wave.
Kitesurf flying will empower your whole body, you will be filled with happy thoughts and you will feel the butterflies that you get when you fall in love.
The thrill that you will get by Kitesurfing will be different from all the sports that you have done to date.
Kitesurfing brings together several characteristics that are typically opposing, the action and the reflection, the enthusiasm, and the serenity, and this is what makes the sport so exceptional.
Your session does not always have to be powerful, as it will hugely depend on the weather and the winds.
Sometimes, you can just enjoy a calm kitesurf flying session, where you can enjoy the beauty of the beautiful environment around you.
The advantage of this sport is that as you perform all the stunts on the water, the chances of injury decrease exponentially.
After each of your sessions, you will feel powerful. You will be proud of having survived nature’s most dominant elements.
As the way you kitesurf will hugely depend on the winds and the weather conditions, you will find that your technique changes constantly, which ensures that things never get boring.
The sport provides a never-ending learning curve, which gives different mental sensations, all at once, like, fear, nervousness, excitement, adrenaline rush, etc.
You will learn various techniques and skills while kite surfing.
Wave riding is one such skill, which will bring you closer to nature, but in reality, it is something that is extremely challenging and takes a lot of time to practice.
With time, you will also learn to not be afraid when the speed of your kite increases. Within several days, you will learn to manage kitesurfing kite control and you will get the confidence to take the kite wherever you want.
Describing how it feels to kitesurf is something that cannot be done in words. It is something that you need to do yourself to experience. However, when asked to share the experience, almost all the riders share that, ‘it feels like I am flying’. This is something that almost all of us wanted to do since we were children.
Mitu Monteiro, former wave-riding World Champion, crossed the Archipelago of Cape Verde with only his kite and a surfboard.
The project, sponsored by Red Bull, allowed him to cover 740 kilometres completely solo.
A lifetime challenge for him that made the Cape Verdean people proud of this young talented guy.
One year of planning, analysis, travelling, physical and mental training to be ready to face any adversity or uncomfortable situation.
Thanks to this great project, Mitu had the opportunity to discover all the Cape Verdean islands.
Spot evaluation is essential in kitesurfing, so he went to visit each island before starting the challenge.
Nothing was left to chance: wind direction, obstacles, currents, and any unexpected had to be studied and planned.
The original idea was to split the trip into two parts and take a flight after crossing the first group of islands. But it was not possible.
To make a new record, Mitu should have crossed the islands pulled only by his kite, riding a strapless board.
Boarding any boat or plane would have made him lose the opportunity to complete the mission.
As a support, only a boat led by a local captain was allowed to follow him and carry the video troupe.
He left at 5 in the morning from Palmeira harbour, in Sal. His wife Nicole, with their little son Michael, was there to encourage him until the last second before starting this epic adventure.
From now on, he would have been alone with himself. A strong and long work of mental and athletic preparation would have led him to overcome any possible crisis.
On the first way of this trip, the adrenaline overshadowed everything else such that, during the crossing, he passed close to a huge marlin without realizing it.
Mitu started the trip with a 12 meters kite due to very light wind conditions. The main concern was to arrive before sunset as the wind might have completely dropped.
Unexpectedly, in the channel between Santo Antao and Sao Vicente, the wind was too strong so he struggled to handle an overpowered kite.
Eight hours and 236 kilometres later, he finally reached the mainland, Mitu was exhausted and affected by leg cramps. He was barely able to walk.
Looking for a place to rest, he met a local fisherman who supposed he was coming from the nearest island. When Mitu told him he left Sal at sunrise, the man laughed thinking it was a joke and left.
The intention was not to make public the event, but this became impossible since the tv news started talking about it and followed him on each step of the trip.
And so, when he met the fisherman again, the man was surprised and incredulous after hearing about the epic challenge. He knew the power of the ocean and he wanted to congratulate Mitu for his courage. He wished him luck and prayed for him.
Mitu and the fishermen have a special connection. Both deeply know, love and challenge the sea, always respecting his supremacy.
Most of Cape Verdean have relatives and friends living on other islands.
This is how, the day after Mitu met an old friend, who lent him a bike to cross the island.
Also called the Windward Islands, they are the northern islands group of the archipelago.
In addition to the already visited Sal and Santo Antão, they are São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau and Boavista. Off to the coast of Santa Luzia, there are two small and uninhabited islets called Ilhéu Raso and Ilhéu Branco.
Mitu set the foil under the surfboard for this crossing.
Once arrived at the destination, Cape Verde’s number one carnival celebration was taking place in Mindelo and its streets were hit by Mandingas
As a tribute to ethnic groups from west African countries, Mandingas paint their bodies and dressed as warriors.
The morning after Mitu left to continue his journey that would have led him to São Nicolau, but first, he made a quick stop at Santa Luzia.
Here he joined the team of the Biosphere Project which is involved in the conservation and monitoring of sea turtles and marine animals.
Starting from Santa Luzia, Mitu passed close to Ilhéu Branco and Ilhéu Raso, continuing his journey to Sao Nicolau.
At the destination, he met his aunt who was happy to see him but she didn’t lose the chance to express her worries about this adventure. In her sleepless night, she was praying for him to make him accomplish his goal and came back home safe and sound.
The departure from Sao Nicolau was harder than expected, he left from a small harbour used by fishermen. The wind was very light so he decided to set the foil under his surfboard again. During the island crossing wind dropped, the kite fell into the water and any attempt to relaunch it was a failure.
Every rider’s nightmare came true: Mitu had to wait 45 minutes at the mercy of the sea.
An uneasy feeling started to overtake his mind, the fear of the sea and his hidden animals made him unstable.
Like in the worst horror movie, Mitu thought that a giant underwater creature was looking up at him
For the first time, he considered the idea of giving up and getting on the boat. This would have meant losing any chance to carry out the challenge.
After a brief moment of panic, he remembered what he learned during the mental training: breathing and patience made him find the focus again.
The wind increased and Mitu, happier than ever, managed to relaunch the kite and continue
The worst was over.
But after 20 minutes the wind dropped again and he decided to not wait and set up a 17 sq meters kite. During the gear change, the lines got tangled in the engine propeller and the support boat started to go adrift.
There was no other solution than diving and cutting the lines. He had to change the bar as well.
Mitu was too downwind now, so the easiest solution was to go out to Santa Monica beach. Anyways, he knew that the TV announced his arrival at another beach, and a lot of people were already there waiting for him. He had no intention to miss the appointment.
He was not alone anymore in this epic adventure.
The cape Verdean people were with him and Mitu did not want to disappoint them.
Even if tired, he extended the way and sailed upwind to get back on the course.
Mitu saw Tina in the crowd, his second mum. As his aunt, she was extremely worried about this challenge and she told him that his trip was too risky, too dangerous.
Boa Vista is the closest island to Sal so Djo, a close friend of Mitu, joined him to go together to Maio.
The adverse conditions forced Djo to give up and come back to Sal by boat. Mitu had no other choice: the adventure had to keep going on.
The combination of light wind, hot temperature and strong current make this crossing with the foil very hard.
He got sunstroke and, as soon as he reached Maio island, his body shut down such that he threw it up.
The second down arrived. Now more than ever Mitu was close to giving up.
After a bad moment, he began to see things clearly: he trained mentally and psychologically, and yoga and meditation helped him to take back.
Curious children, surprised by this flying kite, got close to him to try it and Mitu couldn’t say no. Tiredness and frustration suddenly disappeared to make room for a moment of fun and joy.
Mitu could see the light at the end of the tunnel, he was closer to accomplishing his dream. This one was a short and easy trip.
Once reached the destination, the wind was not enough to leave so he could enjoy a couple of days of break.
Some months before this Adventure, a ferry sank off Fogo Island and the accident caused many deaths so the local captains were afraid to sail around that wavy area.
Mitu almost made it. One last effort was needed. Only a big swell separated him from the mainland.
Fogo reaches the highest altitude of all the islands in Cape Verde, rising to 2,829 meters above sea level at the summit of its active volcano.
Mitu could not miss the opportunity to go trekking and feel the energy of this huge mountain.
It was the most beautiful trip of this Epic Adventure as it was the last one. The success was closer than ever.
The arrival was unforgettable: it looked like a National Day!
He had re-experienced the feeling lived when he came back to Cape Verde as a World Champion: both young and old, everybody was cheering up and acclaimed him.
Do you remember when I said that Mitu and the fishermen have a special bond? It looks like they appear to him to transmit invaluable teachings.
Upon his arrival in Brava, a fisherman gave him a fish as a present to thank him for reaching there.
That fish was a big present for Mitu. He knows the efforts required to come back to the mainland, after a night of fishing tossed to and fro by e waves, with the precious spoils that can feed a whole family.
A great journey made by ups and downs that he could overcome only thanks to the right mindset.
Mitu has never had big sponsors from Cape Verde but he firmly believes that he received the biggest support from the Cape Verdean people.
This epic adventure was no longer a challenge to himself, day by day, it became a commitment to make his people proud and to thank everyone that supported him.