Every year Matchu Lopes receives a letter. It travels all the way from Belgium to his home on the windswept island of Cape Verde off the west coast of Africa. Inside the envelope is a heartfelt reminder from a fateful day in Mauritius when the kitesurfing champion’s path crossed with that of a young Belgian family in the outer waters of Mauritius’ famed One Eye. A fishing charter gone wrong in double overhead surf, a mother and father with two small kids were thrown into a closed-out channel. Matchu, along with the Duotone photo team, helped save the family from certain death. From his surfboard, Matchu grabbed a hold of the family’s young son, dove with him under the monster sets and returned the youngster to the safety of the Duotone support boat.
On the water and in the magazines, Matchu is known for his trademark backside kitesurfing that brings both incredible levels of precision and intensity to riding waves of consequence. However, Philipp Becker, Duotone’s Marketing Manager, highlights Matchu’s special place on the team, not only as a world champion and top team rider, but as an all-around waterman that has carefully considered what he wants to achieve and will work hard toward his goals, no matter what injuries, unlucky heats and other setbacks come his way. Matchu is an understated legend, both humble and good-natured with a laidback personality that has capably traversed the gap between his small town of Santa Maria and kiteboarding’s world stage… To read the rest of Matchu’s profile, subscribe to Tkb Magazine.