Europa Holidays

Windsurfing on Lake Garda, Italy - wind and weather

Lake Garda - Windsurf paradise

European windsurfers have been flocking to North Lake Garda for thirty years now. Many of the Germans and Austrians who can reach the lake in 4 hours by car from Munich prefer the very northern tip, Torbole but we prefer Malcesine as the winds here are less gusty and more certain. The North end of the lake doesn't get a morning wind (its sheltered by the mountains) although it can get the strongest of the afternoon wind (often too strong and with large, short-pitch waves).

Here at Malcesine you have both a less crowdeed water (you can often see thousands of windsurfers on the water at Torbole) and much more family-oreinted environment with a the town of Malcesine and the surrounding hamlets.

Our wide range of boards and sails (literally hundreds of combinations) means always being able to find the best for the conditions, whether you are blasting alone or learning on a training course.

Lake Garda wind and conditions

Renowned for its two thermal winds, l'Ora and il Peler, Lake Garda offers conditions to suit every level of windsurfer. Unlike most other thermal locations, where the wind turns up on only a few summer afternoons, these winds blow throughout the year. The morning wind, ‘Peler’, arrives from the North and starts at first light, blowing anything from Beaufort 4-6. This wind dies away at around 10am as the air temperature rises and is ideal for intermediate and expert windsurfers who are competent water-starters.

After about 11am, the southerly breeze, ‘Ora’, starts up and by midday is ideal for beginners. The ‘Ora’ continues to build in strength into the afternoon reaching its peak of 3-4 Beaufort by about 2pm. This afternoon wind, with relatively flat water, provides perfect conditions to learn and practise such manoeuvres as carve gybing, water-starting, 360s and other freestyle tricks and moves as well as good old fashioned flat water blasting.

Europa Holidays 7am windsurfer specials

'Europa' clients who want to go windsurfing in the 7am strong northerly wind can book for this the night before but because of the importance of safety cover for early morning sailing it is a service offered exclusively to our Europa Holiday clients and not to casual renters. For all other windsurfing, our normal hours are 09.00am to 6.00pm. Email us for more details

alarm clock

Safety on Lake Garda

We have a safety boat on the water at all times with qualified boat drivers. This is particularly important for those sailing in morning winds who can be up to 2 miles away from the sailing centre and in the afternoon for those whose technique and water-starting skills are not fully developed. Safety cover is provided free to all clients including those bringing their own equipment. We would ask our clients to abide by our decisions and to refrain from sailing when the red flag is flying. In all cases, our objective is for our clients to have maximum fun, safely.

excel safety boats

Temperatures and clothing

Summer air temperatures in this part of Italy vary between 24°c and 32°c with the breeze to keep it cool. Shorts, a rash vest and buoyancy aid are all that is required for windsurfing with the water temperature between 19°c and 24°c. In the early mornings a shortie is useful until the sun is fully up, especially if you expect to spend some of your time in the water.

Air temperatures in spring and autumn vary between 16°c and 25°c with the wind often more pronounced in this period.
A ‘combi’  wetsuit is required in the mornings with a shortie being adequate for the rest of the day.

gul wetsuits and equipment

Own equipment

For those bringing their own equipment, sails between 5.0m and 8.0-9.0m are best with boards between 96 – 140 litres according to weight and ability of rider. Please note that the water is fresh, clean and thin so add 10 litres to the volume of the board you would normally use on salt water.

If you want to purchase equipment before you come out here, or while you are out here, Gul clothing products are available through the online shop Tutto Per La Vela

Tuttoperlavela online website for sailing and windsurfing equipment