On Lake Garda there are only two places run by local clubs where you can go out independently. The first place is Navene (near Malcesine) on the east coast just below the border with Trentino; the other is Campione on the Lombardy coast of Garda. If you want to go out here and use their services, you will have to join one of the local clubs.
In Trentino particular restrictions are applied to Kitesurfing:
- From 15th October until 28th February you can kitesurf there from dawn until dusk.
- For other periods, you can only kitesurf there after 6pm and going out with a "lift".
- Kitesurfing is completely banned in Trentino during any regattas being held there.
Over the rest of the Lake, there are various kite schools who use rubber boats to give kitesurfers a lift out or to teach from and can even be employed take you to areas of best wind.
Malcesine has a strong wind called Pelèr which 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.
In the north wind you can leave from Campagnola Beach and Assenza, and in the south wind, from Navene.
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 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.
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 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.
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 kitesufer 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.
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:
In Malcesine. You must have a certificate of ability (IKO, FKI, VDWS).
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.
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.
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.