Written by: Ivano Bommartini • Sok
Thanks to perfect wind conditions throughout the year, Lake Garda is considered the Mecca for kite-surfers of North Italy. Malcesine is the best spot on the eastern side of the lake for kite-surfing. Here a strong wind called Pelér blows every morning onto its shores and, in the afternoon, a regular wind called Ora blows from the South until the sunset, much later than any other place on the lake because Malcesine lies on the eastern side.
There are three allocated spots where you can take off with a kite-surf depending on the wind: with north wind from Campagnola and Assenza beaches, and when the wind blows from the South you take off at Nany Aqua Center in Navene or as an alternative at the Acquafresca center or next to the sport camp Stickl, taking advantage of the lift service.
Campagnola is a rocky beach located 3 km North from Malcesine. It is possible to take off from here only when the wind is blowing from North. This beach is usually reserved for bathers and when the weather is ideal it is really crowded. The beach is big enough to assemble the gear of more than one kite and take off in the same time. There are many places to put the kite down in case of emergency.
Nany Aqua Center is located in Navene, around 5 km North from Malcesine. Here you will find the Kite-Surfing Club of Malcesine and the Town council have built a beach just for kiters. To use this area and its services it is necessary to become a member of the club. The place is big enough to assemble the gear of more than one kite in the same time, but only one can take off at any time. It is very important to follow the Club rules not to create dangerous situations when taking off. It is possible to land downwind in one of the two bays in that area, and just past those there is a long tunnel where the cliff falls sheer to the lake. In case of emergency there is a pay rescue service available.
Assenza is a beach located ca. 5 Km south of Malcesine, in front of the Trimeloni island. Usually this location is used when the north wind is blowing: it is gusty and pretty strong wind in Campagnola, and going southwards the wind loses a little bit of its intensity.
Kite-surfer beginners are the people who demand the lift service most often: this is the easiest way to spend more hours kiting in autonomy and under safe conditions. The service consists of being followed by a support boat or a competent person who will help you to to stay upwind and bring you back to shore at the end of your day.
Schools that offer this service are:
At the beach at Navene. You must have a certificate of ability (IKO, FKI, VDWS). For more information, check: www.easykite.it
In Castelletto di Brenzone. The special new shuttle boat is 10 mt long and 4 mt large with a 90 horsepower engine, it can transport until 25 kiters with equipment. The boat will be followed by a support boat. Info: www.beekite.eu
With the "join the ride" service they bring you to the best windy spot on the water and pick you up when the wind is finished. There is always one assistence-boot on the water.
Nearby the school in Val di Sogno. Service effected by regular support boats. Info: www.stickl.com
Near Acquacenter Acquafresca: service effected by Katapulta, a special boat created for the lift service which can bring out in the water 28 kiters at once, followed by a support boat. Info : www.xkite.it
Keep the kite low to the lake level to avoid dangerous stalls. The wind can be turbulent and this area is surrounded by trees, main road and dirt mounds.
The North wind can drop off quickly but the South wind usually gives plenty of notice like changing wind direction or dropping off in certain parts of the lake. A valid advice to avoid unnecessary swims is always to check with the locals before going out: if there are a lot of people going back in, it’s a big possibility that the wind is going to drop off and your session is over!
For an average rider of 75 Kg, usually these kites are enough: 9/10 mq in the morning with the Pelèr and 13/14 mq in the afternoon with the Ora. Kiters rule number 1. Bring all your gear all the time. Conditions are always changing.
Conditions can change fast on Lake Garda. It’s always a good idea to check weather reports to avoid long swims and/or getting over powered. Kite smart! Looking for clouds in the distance or other watercraft can be helpful. If you see the lake water on the horizon looking like a black line, the wind is coming. The darker the line is, the more wind you can expect.
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