Kitesurf

Where to kitesurf on Lake Garda

The spots, the clubs, the lift service and the tips from the locals

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Tommaso Toninelli

Climbing, trekking and mountain bike

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On a normal weather day on Lake Garda you will find the Pelér, the north wind of the morning that then gives place to the Ora around mid/late morning. The Ora is south wind which blows until the evening. The average of windy days in a year is very high and this is why Lake Garda is considered as one of the best European spots for kitesurfing.

Here below we name the beaches managed by the clubs and the spots for kitesurfing with north and south wind. You will also find out about the lift service, an alternative to avoid leaving from the beach and our tips about winds, weather and equipment to be able to go kitesurfing without problems.

The spots and the beaches of the local kite clubs

Navene (Tunnel)

Navene is around 5 km North from Malcesine. Here you will find the Kitesurfing Club Malcesine 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 at 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.

For more detailed information, check the Kite Club Malcesine web site or ask the managers of the area on the spot from March/April until the end of October, from 11am to 18pm.

Campione

Campione has a beach run by the Kite Campione Association where the wonderful wind conditions allow you to launch in the north and south winds. To use the launching area and it services, you need to join the local club.
Every club member may have only one kite inflated at any one time. It is obligatory to be helped during launching and only one kitesurfer may launch at a time. The upwind corridor must be used for launching and the downwind corridor for landing. Qualified staff are there to help you go kitesurfing every day from April to October.

For more detailed information, check the Kite Campione web site.

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Campagnola

Campagnola is a rocky beach located 3 km North of Malcesine. It is possible to take off from here only when the wind is blowing from the North. This beach is usually reserved for bathers and when the weather is good it gets 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.

Retelino (Big parking lot or Park)

It is located about a kilometer north of Malcesine. This is the best spot for the north wind and is very popular with windsurfers.
With the kite you can go out from the small bay south of the ferry pier.
According to laws you have to stay at least 200 meters away from the port area. Also here, you can go out only in the morning and be back on the beach by 9am during high season. The area to inflate the kite and for the take off is not big but the north wind blows at an average of 20/25 knots.

Assenza

Assenza is a beach located ca. 5 Km south of Malcesine, in front of the Trimelone island. Usually this location is used when the north wind is blowing: it is gusty and pretty strong wind in Campagnola; going southwards the wind loses a little bit of its intensity.

Kitesurf in Trentino

In the northern part of Lake Garda, that belongs to Trentino region, some particular restrictions are applied:

  • From mid-October to late February, navigation is allowed from sunrise to sunset
  • From March to mid-October, navigation is allowed only by “lift” until 10:00 and after 17:00
  • Forbidden during sailing regattas

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Lift service

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.

Some bits of advice

Take off

The wind can be turbulent and this area is surrounded by trees, main road and dirt mounds. Keep the kite low to the lake level to avoid dangerous stalls.
This is often underestimated and can be dangerous.

Return

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 swimming 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!

Gear

For an average rider of 75 Kg that rides a twin-tip board usually these kites are enough: 9 mq in the morning with the Pelèr 12 mq in the afternoon with the Ora. With a surfboard you can use a size less. We suggest anyway to have a full set of 3 kites (such as 9/12/15) if possible so you can be ready for the intensity of both winds.

Local weather forecast

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. Even here, in case of uncertain weather, inform yourself well before going out.

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