WIJI PEOPLE! Episode n° 1, with Giulia Piccioni

WIJI PEOPLE! Puntata n° 1, con Giulia Piccioni

Dear Urban Surfers, welcome to WIJI PEOPLE !
WIJI 's new column dedicated to the voices and stories of those who are shaping a sustainable future through a passion for wave sports and an unwavering commitment to protecting our planet.

WIJI PEOPLE was born from the belief that behind every wave ridden, behind every eco-sustainable choice, there is a story to tell. Here, we not only celebrate the feats of athletes and champions, but we also shed light on those extraordinary people who, in their daily lives, contribute to promoting an environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Today we are in the company of Giulia Piccioni, Italian champion in 2022 and 2023 of Kitesurf Freestyle and champion at the 2023 edition of the EUROCUP Freestyle Kite .
Let's dive straight into the first episode of WIJI PEOPLE and Giulia's stories, interviewed today by our WIJI Ambassador, Ilaria!

Giulia Piccioni, photo @photokitesurf

⁓ Ilaria: Let's start from the beginning Giulia, how did this passion of yours begin? Tell us a little about how it all started.
⁓ Giulia: it all started with a trip to Australia at the end of my studies, where I started practicing wave surfing. I felt such freedom and balance that I understood that my nature was to be in the water. A peace of mind, a drive that made everything else relative; the problems were reduced and I felt happier. Surfing went on for a couple of years until a friend and I put ourselves to the test with kite riding during a trip to Fuerteventura.
I immediately understood that a special relationship would be created with Kitesurfing, but as you know, this sport has many different disciplines. One day on Lake Como I saw some kids doing bar passes in the air and there was a spark, like an epiphany, they were very good. I started training on Freestyle until I managed to land my first Handle Pass in Brazil!
Giulia Piccioni, intent on a "Sbend pass"

⁓ Ilaria: you Giulia have also represented Italy for several years, triumphing in 2023 at the EUROCUP of Kitesurf Freetsyle. Tell us what it feels like to represent your country in the discipline you love.
⁓ Giulia: what can I say, it was an immense joy. It's a big commitment as well as an honor, you invest so much training, energy and emotions in it. I remember everything, from the wind to waiting for the judges' whistle to determine your participation or elimination.

⁓ Ilaria: furthermore, Giulia, you were returning from a significant injury, from which you recovered tremendously, triumphing in both 2022 and 2023. What emotions did you feel and how did you experience this period of your life.

⁓ Giulia:
I understood that every problem must be solved, with its particular and specific timescales. At first you think that the recovery will last forever, but little by little, through first the operation and then the rehabilitation, I regained my confidence. I would never have given up kiting and I still always try to improve myself. I am doing many camps with experts, the last one in Sri Lanka during which I improved a lot and I will soon do another one in Sicily, at Stagnone, with the world champion Gianmaria Colloluto.

Giulia Piccioni at the end of the third and final stage of the 2002 freestyle championship

⁓ Ilaria: after so many years and achievements in Freestyle Kitesurfing, is there a particular memory that you carry with you? Those moments that made you say "this is the good part".

⁓ Giulia: definitely friends, the community, aperitifs after kiting, beers in front of a sunset. Then obviously... the first passage in the air is never forgotten.
I met many people and discovered many new places, fascinating cultures that made this journey of mine unforgettable.

⁓ Ilaria: traveling a bit with your imagination, now that you have been practicing this sport for so many years, if you were to meet Giulia from the past again, the same one you were when you were a kid, what advice would you give her?
⁓ Giulia: you know, when I started Freestyle Kitesurfing was still little known as a discipline, there weren't many specific courses. Instead today there are many camps, with very good professionals, ready to give advice and instructions to those approaching kite for the first time.
Many think that Freestyle is out of their reach but in reality it is a sport for everyone! There are many boys and girls who achieve excellent results even without having professional muscles. It's much more technique, tenacity and training. With the support of an expert you go much faster and therefore I really recommend young people to participate in these camps which are also a lot of fun.
Giulia Piccioni in a "Back to wrapped"

⁓ Ilaria: Giulia you told us that your career on the board started from wave surfing, do you want to tell us a little about your relationship with this sport?

⁓ Giulia: in my opinion, wave surfing and kiting go hand in hand because they are both sports that see you standing on the board. You will hardly meet a kiter who has never tried surfing and vice versa, one leads to another.
When I can't kite I go surfing with my friends, it's a beautiful sport that always stimulates you to challenge your goals and higher waves.

⁓ Ilaria: We thank Giulia once again who kindly opened the doors of her home and also her world to us!
We'll see you again on the next episode of WIJI PEOPLE and always remember that...

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