Name: Anthony Franchi
Years Kiteboarding: 14
Anthony has been kiteboarding in the Tampa Bay area for the past 14 years. At the time, there were not many kiteboarding instructors in the area. Despite being “athletic”, it took a lot longer to fully learn how to kiteboard. Remembering those times is inspiration towards helping others learn with more ease and finesse.
Anthony ran the kiteboarding club at Eckerd College from 2009 to 2013. There, he competed in local competitions and taught other interested students how to kiteboard. In 2013, Anthony worked as the manager of local watersports store, Watersports West. This was his first true exposure to the kiteboarding industry. The main focus at Watersports West was sales. It was during this time that he realized his true passion was teaching. In 2016, still manager at Watersports West, he started his own kiteboarding school.
Around this time there was an uptick in kiteboarding accidents as a result of poor instruction. Other areas around Florida began seeing closures to kiteboarding beaches as a result of accidents in their areas. Anthony traveled down to Miami in 2016 to get his International Kiteboarding Organization (IKO) certification. He was the first and only school to be officially IKO certified.
To this day, Anthony is a major part of the company. The company, Kiteboarding St. Petersburg, is genuinely all about the most professional instruction. It focuses on getting the individual kiteboarding as safely and efficiently as possible. The unique part about his school is that it focuses on lessons first and foremost. His connections to other shops and the industry can help students find gear at the best and most reasonable prices. But, the focus remains on providing the highest quality lessons in the nation.
Anthony’s passion is still teaching kiteboarding. If there isn’t enough wind to teach, he still manages to create instructional content. This content is free and available to support other kiteboarding student’s pursuit of learning. One of the absolute and most rewarding experiences is to share water time kiteboarding with “graduated” students. If not teaching or kiteboarding with old students, his favorite thing is kiteboarding in remote places around the world with his wife.