Ciao Franz! Le't start this blog adventure with you!
You are a professional Windsurf and Paddle-Surf athlet and Head-Coach of the Portuguese Federation of Paddle Surf. From where does your passion for sea sports come from?
Hi Stefano! Well, it’s a long love story with the ocean. It all started as a kid when my parents introduced me to the sea, to the wind and to windsurfing. I was probably 6 or 7 years old when I started to go windsurfing on my father’s board, leaning on his belly while the wind was pushing us. From that moment on, I was hooked!
You are an explorer. In one article on the Nikon website, you define yourself as an “adventurer of the 21st century”. What are the main characteristics that define an adventurer?
I don’t know if I can call my self adventurer but for sure I like to be out and I like to feel alive. I like adventure in the sense that I am curious to know more and I like discomfort: I think that these are the key characteristics of an adventurer. I doesn’t matter if what you explore is just around the corner from where you live, adventure is everywhere: you just have to look for it with the right mindset.
In 2015 you made a journey around the world on a STARBOARD Paddle Surf with Bart de Zwart. Where did the idea of this amazing journey come from?
It started from Bart’s ideas. He’s been doing living on the water for so many years, doing crazy crossings and adventures on his SUP boards but never took the time to stop and enjoy the cultures you meet when you travel to such remote places. And that’s when I jumped in proposing to go to meet all those people that still live 100% connected to the their seas and rivers and lakes, with our inflatable SUP boards and a tent. To see how we are all the same and how we can learn from each other.
2015 - The journey around the world on a PaddleSurf - Fran Orsi & Bart de Zwart
Please, if you don’t mind, can you share with us a special moment of your adventures around the World?
There were so many. But a truly dramatic but special one was when we witnessed the terrible earthquake that hit Nepal when we were there. The days after the earthquake we experienced the solidarity and the sense of community in every village we stopped. Everyone was so empathic and cared so much about the others and about us - even in those terrible moments. A lesson to be learned.
Is there a place that deeply touched your heart and where you would like to go again?
The place that really touched my heart has been for sure Nepal. On the other hand, the place where I would go again and again is Japan. I just love it!
What did you learn from all this experiences around the world?
What I learned is that we are all the same. The human beings and the societies even if they display big differences from outside, intimately are all the same. We are all brothers and we should care about ourselves as brothers do.
Athlete, adventurer and PHOTOGRAPHER. I love photography and, overall, I love to catch nice shots of dolphins and whales. It’s not easy because you have to “think like a dolphin” and understand in advance what could happen in a few seconds. So, I’m curious… What’s your personal definition of photography and why is it important for you?
Photography doesn’t need a definition I guess. Everybody has his own understanding of photography. For me, it’s a tool to document life and to find myself surrounded by life. For me to take picture is to live at the fullest.
How a professional photographer can be always authentic and able to catch the attention of the public even if we live overwhelmed by photographs on social media, especially Instagram?
I guess it’s important to not be dragged out of balance by social media. We, as Mediterraneans, are not good with social medias. We are better in true social relations, human to human, face to face. We are not so good with show-off as Anglo-Saxons are. But I think this is the point: to be authentic, to be who you are and do what you do best.
If I’m not wrong, your last adventure was in Cape Verde. Are you planning a new adventure right now?
The last trip before Covid-19 was Cabo Verde yes. Now even stepping out of the door would feel like a big adventure… I am not planning anything now, for now we can only dream! I think I will be content with a weekend of trekking with my tent and my SUP, alone in the nature.
The latest adventure of Franz - Windsurfing in Cape Verde
Thinking about youngsters… Would you like to share with us some tips and suggestions for those who have an adventurer spirit like you?
Pretty simply. Adventure is everywhere. So get out and walk until you don’t know any road, or any street and see how it feels. It’s nice to get to know new corners of the world. Just get out and explore your forests, your mountains, your coastline.
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