Wesley Brito 13 by Tiago Azzi

The Wes Side

From humble beginnings to World Champion: “The Wes Side” is the inspiring journey of the island kid and 2023 GWA Wave World Champion, Wesley Brito.

Discover his incredible life story, from a modest Kite and Wing Foiling instructor in Cabo Verde to becoming a Wing Foiling World Champion.

Witness his determination, resilience, and passion for the sport in a journey that reminds us of all: dreams do soar on the wings of perseverance.

A true story directed and produced by Tiago Azzi.

Tiago Azzi

Tiago Azzi (Videography, producer and Wesley´s friend):

I got to know Wesley a few years ago in Brazil, right when he signed his first contract with Duotone and was about to participate in his first Wing Foiling competition. I saw him ripping it up and was eager to capture some stills with him as his style was simply amazing! We got some great shots, and that's how we met. That was back in 2021. A few months later, Duotone contacted me to produce a “Welcome to Team Duotone Video” with Wesley, which turned out to be a cool project.

In 2023, Wesley became the World Champion. Knowing how he grew up and the dedication he put into training all by himself to reach this pinnacle, I felt compelled to create a presentation for Duotone about his journey. They really liked the idea and approved it. I was thrilled and knew this project was going to be something special. I had a storyline in mind, yet I was aware that staying with Wesley in Cabo Verde would reveal even more. It was a great thing that Duotone gave me a lot of creative freedom, allowing me to follow what felt right. I wanted to spend more time in Cabo Verde than just shooting what was needed in 4 or 5 days and then leaving again. My plan was to extend my stay to learn more about Wesley, his life, and his background. This approach allowed me to meet all his friends and surrounding and gain a deeper understanding of his life and past - just by observing, listening, and learning. Ultimately, I stayed almost three weeks, choosing to shoot only on the best days, which made a significant difference in the quality of our work. This project was very special to me. The storyline itself was captivating, and it was a pleasure to take the time to share Wesley's story with the world in a deeper and more intimate way than usual.

 After we had produced all, we needed, I moved on to the post-production phase. I had several meetings with my producer, with whom I've been working for some years. In these meetings, I briefed him on the essential details about Wesley and allowed him to review the footage independently to gain a better understanding of the project. This was a closely involved process, particularly because it's a significant challenge nowadays to maintain the viewer engagement. We were uncertain about the final length of the film, but with so many crucial points we wanted to include, it was important to ensure nothing was left out. We also needed a fitting title, so we experimented with his name. The title “Wes Side Story,” drawing inspiration from the West Side and incorporating a gangster-like vibe, suits him and his personality well.


Matchu Lopez (Duotone Kiteboarding athlete and longtime friend of Wesley):

When I first met Wesley, he was just another kid working as an instructor at the Surf Center, trying to earn a living from tourism. This was eight years ago; Wesley was 15 years old and living entirely on his own. He had no parents or family around to support him. While earning money from watersports, he also discovered his passion at the same time. Initially, it was mainly Skimboarding he did that all day in the beginning. Then, Wing Foiling came along, and soon it became his new obsession, and he even started teaching this fantastic new sport. In the beginning he always used the gear from the center, which he frequently broke, and his access to it was only limited as it was mainly for customers. Nonetheless, he was always on the water, ambitiously learning new tricks and eager to improve. At that time, our relationship grew incredibly close as he constantly sought my advice. I lent him my Duotone foil, which I had for Kite Foiling and Surf Foiling, telling him he could use it while I was away traveling for events and shoots. He used it in combination with a custom board he kept on repairing by himself. The foil was a bit too small for him, and at first, he fell a lot. But he persisted in trying. Wesley was always the kind of guy who proved his skills on his own. Without money, without family, without studies, and without a proper diet. He ate cheap food just to stave off hunger, regardless of its nutritional value. I always told him he must change this and he luckily did as soon he had enough money.

When I returned to the island, I was speechless at how much he had progressed with the help of my foil. In the end, I left the foil with him because I could see how much he enjoyed it.

I always tried to be there to support and advise him. To me, he's like my brother, we we are still very close, and I strive to be straightforward with him.


In 2021, my teammate Jerome Cloetens came to visit me on the island. And he recognized the same talent in Wesley that I had seen before. Jerome trained together with Wesley and was more than impressed with his skills. He left a wing and a board for him and reached out to Duotone after his stay on Cabo Verde, suggesting they sponsor Wesley because his talent was outstanding. This marked the beginning of Wesley's career.

When Wesley became the GWA Wave World Champion in 2023, I was in Morocco as well, competing at the same event with Kiteboarding. It was very stressful, as the wind direction there differs from Cabo Verde. I watched all the Wing Foiling heats, and it was a dream come true for Cabo Verde to see him win. His victory was the proof to his hard work and a reward to his sponsors. You must know, in Cabo Verde, the government doesn't provide much support, so winning the World Title was entirely the result of his own efforts – overcoming injuries, travel complications, and visa issues. The visa situation alone is a nightmare that's hard for others to understand – it's very challenging for all of us. And Wesley made it – I am very very proud of him!

Jerome Cloetens (Teammate and friend of Wesely)

Matchu Lopez invited me to his islands in 2021, back when winging was just starting to take off. I originally went there for kiting but brought my first foil along to shoot some content for Wing Foiling as well and to have fun on the days not suitable for kiting.

A few days into the trip, I met Wesley, and we ended up towing each other into waves with the foil almost every day. It was there that I attempted my very first backflips and decided to let this local kid try my gear. In just a few hours, he was showing me the best wave action I had ever seen, all without any wing gear of his own. I was incredibly surprised and made him a bet: if he could learn to backflip before I left, he could keep my gear. Astonishingly, he managed some sketchy backflips in no time, but it was impressive enough.

Matchu and I decided to pool our gear and leave him with something to start with. I then promised that once I got home, I would do whatever I could to get Duotone to sponsor him.

Getting gear to this tiny island was incredibly difficult and getting him off the island to compete was even more challenging. For me, as an athlete who has always been supported and somewhat spoiled by being a rider from Tarifa, the wind sports capital of Europe—where every brand goes to scout for talent—it was incredibly hard and frustrating to see someone with more potential than I had, but without any opportunities. Watching the video of him gave me goosebumps.

I still vividly remember my first conversations with Duotone's management, telling them he would be a world champion one day if we gave him what he needed. I'm so proud that Duotone trusted my advice back then, and seeing this dream come to fruition is incredibly rewarding.

Congratulations to Wesley, Tiago, and every local in Cabo Verde who has supported Wesley in making his dream a reality.


Wesley Brito 13 by Tiago Azzi

»Embarking on this video profile together with Tiago has been a journey back through the highs of my Wing Foiling career in Cape Verde. Grateful for every gust of wind and wave, this project is a heartfelt thank you to the sport that's shaped me and everyone involved.«

— Wesley Brito