LIFTOFF is an adventure reality series following Jokke Sommer, one of the world’s best wingsuit pilots, and Niccolo Porcella, a world-class kite surfer and big wave surfer, as they attempt to switch sports.
Niccolo Porcella aims to teach and mentorworld class wingsuit pro Jokke Sommer to ride big waves in Hawaii (Jaws); Jokke, teaches Nico how to fly in return!
They must navigate a path of friendship, love, and danger, as they attempt to achieve their dreams. In order to accomplish this historic and perilous feat. Both athletes will be assisted by legendary mentors in each other’s sports.
We got in touch with Niccolo, who is now in Maui enjoying the XXL swells with surf and RG 3.0 to tell us a little bit more about this amazing project!
Wainman Hawaii: We know it was a very busy year for you because of this project: tell us how are you doing and how do you feel just before the LIFTOFF launch?
Niccolo Porcella: Yea it has been a great year, traveling the world, filming the TV show and more busy as I was getting married to love of my life. I have been non stop filming and doing promotional tours for the sickest kites in the industry (RG 3.0), paddling big waves and WS flying. I'm just pretty f exited that's for sure;)! I'm very grateful and stoked about the Liftoff launch and everything that comes with it.
WH: How did the idea for the series came about?
NP: I met Jokke at a movie premiere in Paris for "Pushing The Limits” that we were both featured in back in 2012. We became friends and liked each other's company right away and we both were pumped up on each others sport. The idea came up to switch it up and teach each other, so we got fired up beyond words.
WH: How it was to teach Jokke big waves surfing? Do you think he will continue to surf big waves after the series? Maybe you also showed him how to kite?
NP: It was so fun to teach Jokke to surf, he's so eager to learn and he charges hard. For sure he will continue surfing, he is coming back to Maui sometime this winter and I will definitely get him kiting.
WH: What was the feeling after your first full wingsuit jump off a cliff? Where was it? How did it feel?
NP: It was in Norway and yea pretty much one of the best feelings in life similar to a epic kiting session - just you and a couple of friends in perfect barreling conditions;).... The rush is indescribable!
WH: You visited many epic locations from Hawaii, Dubai, France, Italy, Switzerland, to Norway. Did you manage to go kiting some place completely new to you? Which place was the biggest positive surprise for you?
NP: I kited in Hawaii,Spain and Germany this summer in between flying. Had a lot of epic sessions. Tarifa was probably the sickest. It was a blast to cruise with the other new Wainman athletes. The boys rip, people are the coolest and food is awesome. I also got to try one of the best (if not the best prototype) board we are working on.
WH: How many jumps did you do during the full tour. Was there any dangerous moments?
NP: I probably did over a hundred jumps throughout the tour. I would have to say there were lots of dangerous moments from scaling up the cliffs to jumping off. But it's all about being smart, focused and trusting your instincts. Jokke is a great teacher because he's one of the best and has the right attitude. You learn to fly your body - it's pretty insane.
WH: You are back in Maui now, preparing for a new photoshoot with Wainman Hawaii RG 3.0 kites: do you have a favorite RG 3.0?
NP: Mr.Green on short lines is still my favorite in the line up - it is a perfect combo for the wind and surf conditions here in Maui and my go to kite in the winter.
WH: What are your plans for the winter? Jaws have been firing lately…
NP: There has already been one giant swell from Jaws this winter and i got a XXL wave - super stoked and ready to charge the next one too. I have a feeling it's going to be a big winter, can't wait to take the kite out there and get that barrel.!!!