If you Kite in Italy and you’re able to read, it’s almost certain that you would stumble upon an article by David Ingiosi.
David is probably the most active journalist on the Italian Kite scene and has interviewed the majority of the most known athletes in the sport. After serving as an officer and a sailing instructor in the navy, he’s now a journalist and video reporter involved with all water sports and sailing classes in different magazines. In 2018, he was the speaker for the TTR World Championship in Gizzeria, and currently, he still works as a Kitesurf instructor at “Stagnone” in Marsala, Sicily, where he spends most of the year.
Even though we travel around the same spots and probably passed each other several times (like last year in Gizzeria), we never actually met in person. But when I called him on the phone, I had the feeling that I was having a chat with someone I have known for a long time. It often happens between people who share the same passion.
In terms of his job, David is used to interviewing people, so this time, I decided to swap and be the one to interview him. I knew that he could have been the right guest for the “Living The Dream“ section of the blog, dedicated to those who managed to live out their passions, and when I heard his answers to my questions, I immediately felt that I had made the right choice in contacting him. I’ve been kinda moved by his answer to the question about the compromises in living one’s own passions; I thought:
“Than it’s true, it happens to everyone …”
We talked about traveling, water sports, and the professions of journalist and instructor. I hope that reading his answers is going to be inspiring for you as it’s been for me when I transcribed them.
Enjoy the reading!
Interview with David Ingiosi
Hi David, please introduce yourself to the readers!
To the readers of “Leave! the Dream “I can only introduce myself as a traveler, a dreamer and a curious person.
My travels, for many years now, have been linked to my passions: the sea and the water sports. Entering the sea and experiencing it through sports like Kitesurfing, Windsurfing and Sailing is my privileged dimension. All these passions I then tried to express in the form of writing.
In short, I am a person who travels with his feet, whit his head, and his pen! Hahaha!
In years of kiting, even frequenting the same spots and the same people, we never met in person… How do you think it is possible?
You know, those who travel, those who sport, and above all those who share the same passions, sooner or later meet. Not only physically, because you end up frequenting the same destinations, but also in “virtual” places, in a no less suggestive way.
But above all, those who share the same passions meet on a mental level, because they are moved by the same ambitions and suggestions, and want to discover the same things.
Sooner or later, you will end up meeting, and even if you don’t know it, we already met.
“Lawyers don’t surf” – Point Break
Just like me, you Graduated with a Law degree and then devoted yourself to something completely different…
If they ask me, I often reply quoting Point Break: “Lawyers don’t surf”.
What do you think? Is there really an incompatibility?
Haha! (Laughs out loud) For me too, Point Break is a cult movie, in which we all recognize ourselves. Isn’t it?!
I like that quote a lot because it breaks a cliché (the sketch ends with Bodhi answering “This one does!” Grillo’s note). One can most certainly be a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer… or do another job with a certain image of seriousness, and still follow his/her passions.
Funny enough, the very first kite course I had was from a lawyer, who in summer was taking some time off to work as an instructor. I really liked the idea that a person can take off the lawyer’s suit, get in the sea and become unrecognizable. It’s good to have that kind of choice.
I graduated in law, and I also practiced for a few years, but I never see what someone does for a living as a “watertight container”. You can easily live different realities at the same time; it’s actually a skill you have to take good care of!
Would you tell us about your beginnings as a journalist?
I started working as a journalist quite late, when I was almost 30 years old. But it was like I had nurtured the idea of doing this job many years before. Not because I liked writing, even though I had a certain attitude towards it, but as a means to live my passions.
At the beginning of the ’80s and for the first time, the media started talking about survival expeditions and extreme sports. I was fascinated by all of that, but rather than doing all these myself, I mostly wanted to tell the story of the people doing it around the world. Then of course, to do that, you somehow have to frequent the same environments…
To me, working as a journalist is a means to tell stories, it’s the aspect that I like the most.
“Johnatan”, an old Italian Adventure TV Show.
I started reading the news early in the morning for a radio station in Rome; it’s been my training field, with countless early risers. I used to write the news, and then, I was on the air as a speaker. I was also writing about football and art, working in a communication agency.
Then, especially to find work, you need to specialize. I had a nautical/marine background because I attended the naval college, and have been an official and sailing instructor for the Navy afterwards. So, since I was young, I frequented the sea in a professional manner, and all this came together in my writing.
And with the Kite, when did you start?
As with journalism, I started Kitesurfing quite late. Before, I Windsurfed for more than 10 years; it was my greatest passion immediately after sailing. It was fulfilling because it gave me all of the sensations that the Kite also gives: the wind, the riding, the elements… All my travels already revolved around this passion.
Then something clicked in.
By myself, I’m a curious person, but the real push has been the greater versatility of Kitesurfing, which allows you to go out at sea with less wind than Windsurfing on a funboard. Waiting on the beach while others were having fun convinced me to try.
From the very first second I got on the board, Kiteboarding got me; it’s been an overwhelming passion that never left me.
When did you realize that you could have lived out of your passions?
My passions have always been a fundamental component, which I pursued at all costs. For me, it was unthinkable not to live out something I liked.
This turned into a profession when I started earning money and having my first collaboration as a journalist.
In Italy, it’s a fairly sought after profession, but finding people who pay you adequately is not easy. You have to find out by yourself how to do it, because nobody tells you.
With the first money, I bought an enduro motorcycle: a Yamaha XT. While riding it, I was telling myself “I managed to live out of what I like”, it’s been a great feeling.
Did you have to accept any compromises? Would you go back and do it all again?
The biggest compromise is the one with yourself: by choosing to live for something, you give up many other things. But for me, it’s been an easy compromise, because I deeply knew what I liked. I had no other choice than to pursue it.
Compromises with the others instead are more difficult by nature.
First of all, my parents, who probably expected a more “canonical” life for me, and the other people accompanying you, especially girlfriends. I had partners who suffered because of my passions. I’m not saying that they “came second”, but my time was absorbed by traveling in search for the wind, living on the beach and waiting for the right conditions, and this in the long term, becomes a burden.
With time, one would learn to choose partners who, even if they do not share your passion, would at least accept them… and buy the whole package! Haha!
How many projects do you carry out at the moment? And which ones do you dedicate your time to the most?
I collaborate with different technical publications and am the director of several magazines, so I write every day. Sailing takes more of my time than Kitesurfing and other sports because it has more practitioners, more trade magazines and wider communication.
But I never stop following the Kite scene, and I have a beautiful project coming out soon: a platform dedicated to all the water sports that will be followed by a magazine in Italian and English. I can’t wait for it to be online!
Sports and equipment, in the end, are nothing but tools, what really matters is WHO lives them.
Do you have a favorite story that you liked to document or an athlete that impressed you the most?
There are many stories that I like to talk about, and they are mostly human stories. Sports and equipment, in the end, are nothing but tools, what really matters is WHO lives them.
I really like the stories of the big protagonists of this sport, who also have enormous human potential. For example, Ruben Lenten who, thanks to his passion for the sport, managed to beat cancer. These are the stories I do this job for.
I also enjoy documenting the beginnings of athletes: they have purity, enthusiasm, but they’re also irreverent, bold and at the same time naive. They make you dream.
Thierry Schmitter in action.
But the story that emotionally involved me the most is the one of Thierry Schmitter, practitioner and promoter of the seat kite, a discipline that allows people with disabilities, even important ones, to experience sea and Kitesurfing.
Thierry had an accident while climbing a wall of ice in the mountains; he survived a fall of 70 meters. The fact that he is not able to walk anymore is secondary to him, because he is happy to be alive, and lives this sport at the fullest: he makes incredible jumps, and I couldn’t keep up with him.
He told me: “In the water, I am free”.
He’s really awesome, a role model, not only for those with physical problems but also for those who do not have them.
Despite your multiple projects, you still have time to work as an instructor. Do you still have a passion for teaching?
I’ve been an instructor for many years; I started teaching sailing at the Maddalena military base in Sardinia. I have also taught Windsurfing and am now an IKO Instructor for years.
Teaching is an attitude and a passion as well. I love teaching so much, I appreciate didactics, but since everyone learns differently, a teacher must be able to adapt to different physical and mental characteristics. I never forget how I lived to learn in first person.
For me, it’s absolute fun. I like the moment when people succeed and exult, it’s a joy that I like to renew every time.
I haven’t been to Stagnone yet.
What can you tell me to push me to visit the spot?
Stagnone has now achieved an incredible popularity on an international level that makes you want to go there.
We’re talking about a gigantic lagoon with a shallow bottom, solid statistics for wind, and flatwater with any condition. A perfect spot for those who want to learn or improve.
I moved to Sicily, especially because of this place: It’s welcoming, full of people from all over the world, and it’s a training field where people can learn and grow. The climate is mild for many months a year, food is great, and the Sicilians are very nice! But here, is not only about Sicily, because it has such an international feeling. It’s fantastic, sooner or later you have to come!
Tell us about your travels. Do you frequently travel for work? How many countries have you visited so far?
I started traveling since I was young to discover places, learn about new cultures and challenge myself. Afterwards, my travels also became professional, and now most of the year, I go around and take a lot of planes.
I visited virtually all of Europe, especially the countries overlooking the sea: France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, the Scandinavian countries … and Holland, where I lived for 3 years.
Then, looking for wind (laughs) and exotic places, I ended up visiting Brazil, Egypt, Morocco, Cape Verde, Mauritius… and I lived in Kenya for a year, where I directed a Kite School.
So, traveling never ends. But I also travel without moving, because while writing about the sea and the world, even being at home in front of my computer, I travel with my head, make plans and so on… Whether I end up realizing them or not, it doesn’t matter; it’s a vision that you have of yourself in the world, which never abandoned me.
Do you have a favorite destination?
Brazil, for me, remains the ideal destination for consistency, quality and reliability of the wind. Trade winds persist for many months, and when you’re heading there, you’re very relaxed because you know you will have wind every day. It’s a feeling that is difficult to have for other countries. (I can confirm! Grillo’s note).
Another incredible destination where I always go back to is Sardinia (I’ve just been there). In addition to the wind, there’s this quality of sea and nature that you won’t find elsewhere, even the most exotic destinations will never have the same kind of magic that it has. I feel very attached to it.
What are the Highlights and Downsides of traveling for you?
Highlights are curiosity, the desire to challenge yourself, to explore, to have a look around, and to experience different realities. This can turn into Downsides in the sense that there is a time for everything.
I also need some referral points and have my own comfort zone. I enjoy traveling, I enrich myself… but at a certain point, I come back, let everything settle and relive it over and over again.
While Traveling, there are discomfort and diversities that you cannot always be ready for. The comfort zone is not only physical, but also mental: the same forces that make me want to leave are the same that at some point, make me want to go back. For me, this double face is always there.
I can tell a savvy traveler by the baggage.
What’s Your Best Travel Tip or Travel hack?
My fundamental travel advice is to have a perfectly fitting baggage for the nature of the journey you are about to undertake.
It‘s the right approach to the trip, which begins with selecting the things you need to bring. You work with your imagination, through the baggage you outline what is waiting for you, try to understand what you might need and make up your mind. It’s a way to experience the journey before you even leave. But above all, if you prepare a perfect bag, you will limit the problems you will face on the road.
I can tell a savvy traveler by the baggage.
(About this topic, also read my tips about the fundamental travel accessories to take on the road! Note by Grillo)
Tell us a funny anecdote that happened while traveling!
While in Kenya, one day, I had a little misadventure: I went out on my Kite to go and help a client and, once the boy was rescued and safe on a fishing boat, I found myself alone in the sea with the wind dropping .
I had to reach the coast, but in that stretch, there wasn’t the white sand from which I started (laughs), but a series of bays with very sharp rocks. I managed to land in one of these bays, breaking the sail, only to discover that there was no way out.
It was getting dark, and the tide was rising. I wasn’t even able to walk on those rocks, so I ended up making myself some shoes with seaweed and twigs. I then walked from bay to bay, finding them all closed. Finding myself alone in the dark, with broken equipment and seaweed shoes, I started laughing alone.
I kept walking until I found a bay overlooking a garden of an Englishman, who got scared and didn’t want to open for any reason.
In the end, I managed to convince him; then, I had to walk another 5km to return to my school…
Which destinations do you still have on Your Bucket list and Where are You going next?
Definitely Maui. For me, it represents the origins, all the water sports that I love were born there or have been developed there. They have an attitude for experiencing the sea at 360 ° that I really appreciate and that I would like to live first hand. There you can find the waterman; it doesn’t matter the gear you use to go at sea, anything counts: surfing, supping, windsurfing, kitesurfing, and swimming as well…
And then South Africa, which is the other world capital for water sports, perhaps with even better conditions. I will probably go there next February for the King Of The Air!
Do you have any hint or motivation for those who want to start traveling and/or to live out of their passions?
First of all, I recommend that you find your own passions, but also, discover your own talents! Because you could have passion for something you’re not that talented at.
Once you understand what you like, not following it would be stupid, but as we said: one can be a lawyer and then a surfer in the spare time, nothing is impossible.
Those who love water sports travel in any case, to chase the best conditions. But it’s not strictly necessary for the journey to be physical, the desire to travel and live one’s passions resides first, in the head.
You don’t travel only with your feet, but your head, and with the heart.
Thanks David, it’s been a pleasure to meet you. I’m sure that sooner or later, we’ll meet again, this time in person.
You can read David Ingiosi’s articles on his website or on the magazines he writes for:
- www.davidingiosi.com - Facebook Account - Instagram Account Kitesoul Magazine - www.kitesoul.com - Facebook Account - Instagram Account
Il Giornale della Vela - www.giornaledellavela.com - Facebook Account - Instagram Account