2023 FPT Awards - Dudu Levi cleans up!

AWARDS

February 24, 2024 by Maarten Molenaar

The official 2023 FPT Awards results are in! After an exciting public vote and countless deliberations on the judging panels, it’s finally time to announce the winners. The FPT Awards are a celebration of what freestyle windsurfing had on offer in 2023, making all the winners for this year great ambassadors for our sport. You will learn who the most improved rider, stylemaster and the rookie of the year was, as well as seeing some crazy moves in the Best Combo, Best Move and Best New Move categories. Finally, we also award the best rider parts and best produced clips, as they are the very soul of what makes freestyle windsurfers thrive. Before we get there though, take a look at a quick recap of the 2023 Freestyle Pro Tour season below.

Best Video Rider Part of 2023

All freestyle windsurfers have one thing in common, we love watching freestyle edits. Gaining inspiration, learning and getting even more motivated to push is at the core of this exercise, and it’s the video rider parts that are published throughout the year that make all of this possible. Essentially it’s the bread and butter of every freestyler. In this category the FPT rewards the best video part based on the overall riding, style and technical difficulty of the moves shown. The production value of the clip is not essential, and is awarded in another category. Let’s take a look at some of the nominations:

What a mix of great clips. A special shoutout has to go to the joint rider video part of Maaike Huvermann (Severne/Maui Ultra Fins) and Lisa Kloster (MB-Boards/Sailloft). Both pushing each other to the max in Fuerte this year, it’s great to see the energy they pour into their freestyle sailing.

But, there can be only one winner, and with a plethora of amazing flat water moves, the 2023 FPT Award for best Video Part goes to Dudu Levi (FutureFly/Gunsails) for his rider part from Dakhla, Morocco!

2023 Stylemaster

One of the essential elements of each rider part, as could undoubtedly be seen above, is style. Of course this is subjective, with some people preferring more flow, while others look out for big and powerful movements. Each of the nominations for this category had their own strengths, but it all boiled down to two impressive german riders. It was between Leon Struppeck (Sailloft/Tabou) and Foivos Tsoupras (Duotone/Maui Ultra Fins), both outstanding sailors and regular contenders on the German Freestyle Battles. Check out these two amazing edits done by Bulgenslag of both of them in varying coldness levels:

In the end it is Foivos Tsoupras who tips the scale with the judges and becomes the 2023 FPT Awards Stylemaster! Congratulations!

Best 2023 Combo Move

Apart from style, the beauty of freestyle often lies in the combinations that riders manage to put together. For the best combo move of 2023 the FPT received countless submissions, including an epic Triple Eslider from our freshly announced 2023 Stylemaster. Other mouthwatering combo’s include a Triple Air Funnel by Sam Esteve (JP/NeilPryde), a Foilstyle Double Culo by Jakob Muller (Sailloft) and a Spock Double Culo by Meiky Wieczorek (Starboard/Severne). Take a look at some of the nominations:

One of the combo’s stands out though, and it is Dudu Levi who takes his second award for 2023 with his perfect Triple Culo!

Best 2023 Move

Sometimes a single powerful move is all one needs to impress. The 2023 Best Move Award aims to reward the single best move done this year. This category was also partially up to a public vote, with thousands of you casting your vote in each matchup! Let’s take a look at some of the moves submitted for this years Best Move competition.

With a true photo finish, the final was between Jacopo Testa (WeOne/Point-7) and Dudu Levi. The Public vote was split 50/50 down the middle, and it came to the judges panel to decide the winner. With an insane Spock into One-Handed Kabikuchi 360, it is 2022 EFPT Champion Jacopo Testa who wins the 2023 Best Move Award!

Best New Move

So what’s next? What will be THE move of 2024? One will never know, but it’s clear that progression within freestyle never stops. The award for the Best New Move highlights the crazy developments that were witnessed within the sport in 2023. Just check out some of the crazy manoeuvres that were submitted:

When it comes to freestyle progression, there is only one name that can come out on top: Balz Muller (Severne). The Swiss waterman was on a mission last summer with his “Sendlist”, which included tricks like the Table Top Backloop as well as a Shifty into Forward Loop. Landing the latter yields him the 2023 FPT Award for Best New Move! Congratulations Balz and keep pushing!

Most Improved Rider

While not everyone is at the stage of coming up with and landing new moves yet, there are a lot of riders that have shown tremendous improvement in 2023. The Most Improved Rider Award puts a spotlight on a rider that has progressed significantly throughout the season. Before announcing the winner, a special mention has to go to Leander Halm (Starboard/Severne) and Bijou Shahmirian (Starboard/Severne). Both young riders have been making impressive progress throughout the year as you can see from their progression video’s below:

What an exciting new generation coming up in the sport! Another relatively young and upcoming rider on tour this year who was active in all three disciplines was Bodhi Kempen (Severne). He secured an epic 5th place in the rankings and has shown to be a future title contender thanks to all the improvements he made in both his moves as well as competitive approach. For this very reason, the 2023 Most Improved Rider Award goes to the Brouwersdam local Bodhi Kempen! Congratulations!

Rookie of the Year 2023

Speaking of doing well in competition, the Rookie of the Year award distinguishes the rider that impressed the most on his rookie year on the Freestyle Pro Tour. Entering the scene with a bang in Bonaire and continuing to show promise in Austria, it is Nigel Hart (FutureFly/Severne) who becomes the 2023 Rookie of the Year! Congratulations Nigel! Check out a quick clip from Kuma Movie below, who captured Nigel preparing for the 2024 season already.

Best Produced Freestyle Edit 2023

The final award for 2023 is for the Best Produced Freestyle Edit. Bringing great riding, music, imagery and editing together results in clips that many freestylers can watch over and over again. The Freestyle Pro Tour values this form of media tremendously as these clips are at the heart of many windsurfers’ stoke. This award aims to push these productions and incentivise more being made as it shows the beauty of our sport in the most exciting way. Take a look at some of the nominations for 2023:

Making it a hattrick of awards, it is once again Dudu Levi who wins! With his clip “Read My Mind” produced in Cape Town, he takes the 2023 Best Produced Freestyle Edit Award home. Congratulations Dudu, your hard work on producing excellent freestyle content this year has been exhilarating to watch!

See you in 2024!

That’s it for the 2023 FPT Awards! Feel inspired? You can start making your clips for the next edition of the awards already. The Freestyle Pro Tour is excited to see all of the submissions towards the end of the year. But first, let’s get competing!