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RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

In the wake of Luna Rossa: Nikolas Plytas - extreme wakeboarder

by Luna Rossa Media 27 Aug 2023 04:35 PDT
Nikolas Plytas, Greek water sports champion towed by the LEQ12 prototype in Cagliari © Adam Klingeteg

After the exciting 'Water on The Moon' project, carried out in the 'lunar' landscape of Milos, Prada Linea Rossa once again supports the water sports athlete Nikolas Plytas in another adrenaline-filled extreme wakeboarding adventure, this time in the waters of Cagliari on a custom wakeboard developed for him by Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli.

Nikolas, water sports champion with 2.5 million followers on TikTok, once again demonstrated his incredible technique as he was towed by the Luna Rossa prototype in the stretch of sea in front of the base of the Italian challenger to the 37th America's Cup. At his first involvement in a project of this kind, the athlete had to concentrate on high speed and grip during the boat's different manoeuvres, working to exploit the centrifugal force to achieve even more speed (the biggest challenge to face).

It was an hour and a half of pure adrenaline, and an experience that Nikolas himself described as 'powerful'. The athlete prepared this project meticulously to make sure everything was perfect: before the wakeboarding session towed by the prototype, in fact, he requested a test outing on the LEQ12 to understand how the boat worked - "an incredible feeling", he said - and to have a clear idea of how and where he would have to position himself with the board; then he performed a trial towing test with the chase boat to assess average speeds.

Finally towed by the prototype, Nikolas was confronted by different weather scenarios, which went from weak wind and flat sea to a strong breeze with waves, which added significant complexity to the challenge, especially during the 'turns', when the board came out of the wake and reached impressive speeds, sometimes even overtaking the prototype.

A lover of waves and snowy slopes that he has learned to master with passion and inimitable skill, Nikolas is aware of how essential technical clothing and equipment are in extreme sports, as they combine technology and design.

The gear used in Cagliari, in fact, is a custom-made Prada Linea Rossa wetsuit in neoprene with printed pattern and polyurethane taping, whereas the board has a timeless design - with striking monochrome, geometric details and the iconic Linea Rossa emblem - that recall dynamic movement, fusing the minimalist style of Prada Linea Rossa with high performance sports.

The board was also designed and built in-house by Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli to be fast and stable at high speeds. Umberto De Luca, Luna Rossa's designer and in charge of the project, explains: "It is a directional carbon board, resistant to abrasion and impact, with angled edges to be fast and, at the same time, guarantee greater grip during turns. After talking to Nikolas extensively to understand his needs, we made it slightly longer than normal to allow him a greater surface area and to land safely after big jumps."

"I've always liked to go fast behind the boats and push my limits," says Nikolas, "so after visiting the base last year and meeting Max Sirena and the team, it seemed like a project I absolutely had to do. Everything to do with the prototype intrigues me: the design, the foils, everything. Wakeboarding behind this boat is a dream come true. It wasn't easy: at certain speeds you can't think, you just do what you have to in an almost automatic way; I felt very strong sensations, really powerful. I want to thank the entire Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team for making this project possible and for the professionalism and skill with which they managed the operation, making sure that everything ran safely and precisely for me and the Luna Rossa crew."

"Nikolas is a true star, a pure talent who combines energy and experience," said Max Sirena, Skipper and Team Director of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli. "I am a big fan of his and proud that Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, by developing his boards, has contributed to the many successes he has achieved. Seeing him in action here in Cagliari alongside our prototype was exciting, because his 'acrobatics' go beyond pure technical exercise and reflect his strong symbiotic bond with the board and with the sea: the same bond that our team lives every day".

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