Secret super stars


Windsurfing teachers and parents, center managers, shop owners, photographers, travellers - they all took the risk and broke free from "normal" lives or save careers. Every day they give everything to push the sport and spread the windsurfing fire.

This series acknowledges those hidden, unknown windsurfing stars who give their lives to the sport we're all addicted to.


Secret Super Start No. 3:

This time we go to Lake Garda in Italy, where we meet Filippo the Panda - a man who changed an engineering career for teaching windsurfing and making music. You might know him for his "Duotone Song"...


WHO IS Filippo?


I am Filippo “the Panda” Ravasio,

born and raised in Bergamo, Italy,

almost forty years ago.


The nickname Panda is related to the Kung Fu Panda

- of course it was invented by my windsurfing crew.



My Dad was in love with sailing. We went every weekend to Lake Iseo, a small lake close to Bergamo. I started sailing at the age of five and got into competition soon. I always loved strong and stormy wind... probably because this rarely happened at Lago d'Iseo! When I was 16, I bought an old windsurfing board and sail with the money I made on a summer job.

There are two memories that made me fall in love with windsurfing: When I was three ore four, I remember one day I asked my mom “Where's Dad?” and she answered “He went windsurfing”. He wasn't coming back until the evening...

The other one was when I was probably 11 and we were in Cannes: suddenly a storm kicked in, the empty parking filled up with cars and windsurfers got in the water and started jumping! I may have still pictures of that day! After this my stoke was uncontrollable, I started coming to Lake Garda with a friend of my dad, until I had my own drivers license...  Once I got it, I was finally free to go to the windiest places!


I love waveriding and regular surf too, but Lake Garda is a lake... Still, after years of sailing competition and windsurfing weekends, I always felt at home at Lake Garda. Torbole, in particular, gave me the chance to change my life and work as a windsurfing instructor without being far from family and friends, as my hometown is just a couple of hours driving. I lived in other places like Sardinia as well, where I was working as a skipper, and more recently on the Canary Islands (Lanzarote) and Dominican Republic (Cabarete).

I feel a special bond to all those places, since every place gave me wonderful and different experiences but I guess it's hard for an Italian to stay away from Italy! So that's why I'm stable at Torbole for 3 years now: the summer is quite busy and - I cannot hide that - sometimes feels too much. But then fall is amazing and windy and I'm enjoying the winter too! The fact this place is so touristy gave me the chance to play my music in front of an international audience and have way more chances play compered to my hometown. In the end... a local always knows how to move in this environment ;-)




The most important thing in my life now is my wife and my family and enjoying life together! I think love is really the answer to every question - we are living an amazing life! After I left my hometown and my job as engineer my life got better and better, just by doing only what I like! Quitting the engineering career was definitely a good and important choice for me: I was just looking out of the window if the wind was blowing, anyway.

My job is amazing because I can do some little windsurfing here and there. I always loved teaching: it is challenging to find the right way to explain things, since every person receives and processes the information in a different way - so you always need to adapt your lessons. The best reward is to see my students with a huge smile after they nail the maneuvre they wanted to learn! After more then 20 years running after the wind I'm still super stoked every time I go on the water. I am an old-school-rider, nothing beats a good wave ride and a huge forward loop!!!




Same as with sailing, I started playing music because my dad was a musician. There always has been a guitar in one of the corners of the house, it was natural for me to grab it one day. I have always loved listening to music, stealing vinyl from my dad's collection. I grew up watching The Blues Brothers again and again! As a teenager, I played drums and bass guitar as well, but now I focus on my guitar and singing... and harmonies! Similar to windsurfing, I love “old-school” things I love all that music which physicall implies playing an instrument. I love blues and rock'n'roll in particular, but I cannot think only at one genre, I just love good music!

The inspiration for my songs until now came from my experiences of life and in particular what brought me to change my life and come to live on Garda Lake.

You can find my music on my Facebook page “Filippo the Panda” and my album “The Game of Life” on all the online platforms (Spotify, Youtube, Itunes etc.) or pass by at the Duotone Pro Center Torbole to ask me for a copy of the CD!

> Spotify <

 > Youtube Channel <