Windsurfing Bad Grandpa (il Nonno Cattivo)

As a windsurfer I am fascinated more by older than younger riders. Why? Well windsurfing gets harder when you get older because it’s so much harder to find enough time to do it. I used to windsurf a lot when I was in my twenties. Now at 46, with 4 kids it’s very hard to run away from it all. 

Fabio Tampieri is super fascinating because he is able to windsurf about 150 days per year. His Facebook profile ( is almost all about windsurfing. How does he do it?

Well,.. I’ve asked him:

How did windsurfing start for you?

I was 20 years old and a friend made me try it. From there the love for this sport began immediately. Obviously several years passed before I could afford my own equipment,… so at first I bought some windsurfing equipment together with one of my friends. It was not an easy progress, but for the short time I was in the water on windy days 50% with my friend.

Later over the years I was able to buy my personal equipment and I started going to different spots. I did a bit of everything. I tried slalom and wave also because years ago freestyle had not yet landed in the world of windsurfing.
Today I live on my beautiful Lake Como and I have a chance to windsurf all the time 😉

Are you a pro rider?

I have never been a Pro windsurfer, also because I always had limited time and for my time I dedicated I want to be in the water. In competitions it is the opposite. You stay a lot out of the water and therefore do little windsurfing …. … ha ha ha

Do you have sponsors?

As for my “sponsors”,… they are not really real sponsors. They are friendships that have been born thanks to the fact that in recent years I have spent many hours in the water. That gives me the opportunity to get close to producers and some of them give me the opportunity to use and try top materials. 

One of them is FLIKKA Boards ( Thanks to Luka the owner, we were able to create a board that can cover an incredible range of use from 10 knots to 40 knots, with a small set of sails from 4.0 to 5.2 and foil. This means avoiding having a lot of unnecessary equipment in the car and having even more fun in the water.

Do you have a “regular” job?

I do have a “regular” job, of course. If not, I wouldn’t be able to afford traveling and windsurfing trips. I am a very good salesman so consequently also a good promoter for windsurfing. I travel a lot for my work and I always have my equipment with me in the car so that I can find at any time a little water and a little wind to be able to go out to windsurf.

What’s with the nickname: il Nonno Cattivo (Bad Grandpa)? Something to do with your grandkids?

Noooooo I’m the Bad Grandpa because I practice a discipline that only kids practice now THE FREESTYLE, (at least I try). From there my nickname started – I go out in the water with some kids who could be my grandchildren.

My family is made up of me and that saint of my wife Danila who indulges the passion for this incredible sport by following me on incredible adventurous and WINDY trips, ha ha ha (it’s very difficult to be a surfer’s wife), THANKS MY LOVE.

On FB I see you are windsurfing “all the time” - tell us the recipe 😉

20 years ago, thanks to the skills at my work, I decided to change my life and move directly to my home spot on Lake Como ( An incredible place. So from my 50 days per year windsurfing I “upgraded” to 150 days per year. This gave me the opportunity to progress exponentially in this sport. Remember Windsurfers when you see a friend good at maneuvers is not just a talent but also because he has the ability to windsurf 10 times more than you, ha ha ha.

Do you also train on land,.. specifically for windsurfing, like running, gymnastics, etc.?

Thanks to the fact that I live on the lake I dedicate 80% of my time to windsurfing. Also now thanks to the foil I can go out even with just 10 knots, but every now and then thanks to the incredible mountains that surround my lake I take the ELECTRIC bicycle, ha ha ha, and I climb to the top of peaks with breathtaking landscapes.

Any other “wild” Hobbies and Interests?

When you try windsurfing everything else is NOTHING  😉

What are your windsurfing plans for the future?

Using more and better performing materials to enjoy more and more the hours that I spend in the water. Aa I already said, I have to thank Luka Jures of Flikka Boards ( who builds incredibly light, resistant and super performing boards and thanks to the Rig Severne ( that make sails, booms and masts incredibly light, think my complete freestyle equipment is close to 11 kg all toghether. 5.3 kg board and the rig equipped with a 5,2 Freestyle I arrive at around 5,650 kg, with such a light material someone like me that weighs 90 kg can plan with 14/15 knots, and thanks to the incredible Foil Redwing Severne ( with the same equipment changing only the flight fin with 10 knots.

Describe your major highlights and achievements in the sport in the past.

As I told you the fact that I am not a featherweight I had to look for builders who explore ​​light materials. So for me the only alternative in the boards are the custom construction both for lightness and for resistance to endure my 90 kg for a whole season of over 150 days out on the water.

What does your daily windsurfing routine look like?

Windsurf, work, Windsurf, work, Windsurf, Windsurf, work, great food and good wine, ha ha ha

Do you have some favorite pro windsurfers that you look up to? Why?

The professional  raiders are all good and I admire them a lot, but I admire much more all the amateur windsurfers who love this sport and have to “share it” with work, family, time, money. It’s not easy.

How do you like the foil and how does that compare to windsurfing on a regular windsurfing board?

As I told you Flikka has built for me a custom freestyle with deep tuttle binding.

All I need is a few technical devices, and so I have only one board to do my usual discipline from freestyle to freeride to wave. And when there is little wind all I do is replace the fin with foil and that’s it. I don’t have to change anything to my board, not even the position of the straps, I just pull back the mast foot and FLYYYY. 

Certainly I don’t glide on the water but in the air and the feeling is nice. So ultimately I only have one foil in the car and nothing more, no other boards with more volume, no long masts and booms and huge sails. So for me foil is an extra WIN.

What about Wind Wing?

Sorry but the wingsurfing is another sport, just like kitesurfing.

I would have to bring double equipment in the car. Windsurfing and wing brings me back to where I have to have a truck to bring everything with me. Then there’s the indecision of what to do every time. The wing will not be a fallback for little wind, it is becoming a discipline that has nothing to do with windsurfing and must be practiced with little and a lot of wind. Windsurfing is not an easy sport to practice. I apologize but the way I see it is kite and wing were born to cover an audience of people who want to learn quickly. Windsurfing takes dedication and time 😉

Do you also teach windsurfing?

Ha, ha, ha, I don’t even have time for Danila, my wife. 

Any last words for people that love the wind and wind sports?

Guys and girls, to learn and progress you don’t always need to change equipment. But you need to have good equipment. Since usually we have less hours on the water than what we’d like, you have to concentrate on what you want to learn. You have to become like a blacksmith, striking that iron on the same place again and again – trying and trying only that maneuver, jibe, jump or freestyle move that you want to learn and perfect. This is the secret to progress and not get discouraged by changing in wing and kite…ha, ha, ha.

Good sailing to all!

By Matjaž Hrovat

Hi, I’m Matjaž. I love windsurfing. I also love to design and make fun things. I wanted to do more windsurfing but I ran out of time for whole day trips to the sea. Every time it’s windy I get butterflies in my belly. I just had to figure out something. If I only have an hour an a half… how can I do some windsurfing? So the Urban Breez was born...

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