New kid on the block
Luca Ceruti (19) is the new kid on the block. He took the Big Air scene by storm this year when selected to compete in the 2022 Red Bull Mega Loop Challenge. He then made the semi-finals at the Big Air Kite League competition in Cape Town.
"I don't remember a more meteoric rise in Big Air." said Adrian Kerr, Kitesurf 365.
Nothing to lose and on the rise. Luca in Tarifa. Photo: Leo Hochgrassl
Living in Langebaan, 120km north of Cape Town, Luca has exceptional kiting conditions on his doorstep.
He was introduced to kitesurfing by his Dad, a professional windsurfer, and given a training kite when he was nine. "I used to fly it every day on a field next to my house during my study breaks."
Sending it at the GKA Big Air World Championship in Tarifa. Photo: Samuu Cardenas
Just after Covid-19 hit, Luca went to study at the World Class Kitesurfing Academy in Mexico. "Every morning, you wake up at 5 am, have breakfast, school, and then kite. It's not easy! Mexico wasn't great conditions for Big Air, so I trained Freestyle. I had never unhooked before coming to the program. Then I landed my first railey to blind and eventually got a backroll. In our fourth quarter, we went to Egypt, where some days it was 45knots - that's when I started focussing on Big Air.
Before getting into Academy, Luca trained with legendary Langebaan rider Simon (Bruin). "Whatever Simon was doing, I was trying to copy. We always had training sessions together - he was my big brother."
Luca competed in canoeing at a national level before he started kiting. "From a young age, I was into canoeing. Before school, my Dad and I would set off in the dark, using a head torch, to train. I competed for five years, which taught me discipline and determination. When I stopped competing, this was the moment I discovered kiting. It grabbed me from the start. You can do so much with it, and I got absolutely hooked at 11-12 years old."
Luca has lived and breathed Kiteboarding ever since, and he's set to shake up the ranks of Big Air. "The next generation is coming. They're training really hard, and they have nothing to lose."
"Kitesurfing is a sport that has given my lowest and highest highs."
On 28 July 2020, Luca went for his first kite after three months of COVID Lockdowns. He was lining up a jump off a small kicker when the wave closed on his left leg, breaking his tibia and fibular. "The pressure of the wave, the upward pull from my kite, resulted in an open wound break. Lucky I was close enough to body drag to shore."
One day later, he was operated on after being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. "The first thing I was doing in the ambulance was working out how long I needed for recovery and when next I could be on the water again."
"I was determined to come back, stronger and better." Luca's recovery took longer than expected.
Back on the water in January 2021, "I took my recovery seriously and was diligent about doing my rehab. My body was healing, but my mental wellness took some knocks."
"I knew getting back into the water would be good for me. as soon as I could, I managed to get into a shorty. I took myself out on my crutches to the beach. I flopped into the waves and hung out with my mates while they surfed. My happy place."
"I think my saving grace was that I joined WCKA at the end of January 2021. I flew to Mexico and began a new chapter, all the time working on my rehab, academics and kiting."
Check out the Big Air Collection here
Follow Luca live at the 2022 Red Bull King of the Air here