From the 6th to the 20th of July 2014, I spent my summer holidays in Salento (Puglia, South Italy), where I had some great windsurfing sessions in the spot of Frassanito, near Otranto, both with South East, and North winds. Here it is the report of these sessions...
Windsurf holiday: Frassanito (Puglia)
In each of my sessions, I went out from the beach where there is the Frassanito Surf point (their clubhouse is really at the entrance of the International Camping).
In my first session there (8th of july), I found about 20 knots of South East wind (Sirocco). This wind reaches the spot from a side-on direction; so the ride is safe.
To taste the spot, I first tried to use my 125 liters board, with my 5.5 Simmer spark.
Good sensations, expecially from my sail, which I, really, never managed to appreciate, probably beacause it needs nice wind of more than 20 knots, just like I met here. So I, finally, managed to have stable planing with this sail, which proved also to give a light feeling. I won't sell it!
Around me, at the spot, I met lots of other riders, both local people (members of the club), and people on holidays, that, as I did, ask for support, advice, and services to Frassanito Surf Point (school, rental, storage).
After "tasting" the spot, it came the great moment: I had to try, for the first time, my 87 liters Tabou 3S (a FSW board), recently bought second hand.
It was love at first sight! After the initial shorebreak, I began to sail cautiously to feel and try the board behaving. I soon realized that you can quite easily ride this board upwind while not planing, if you don't want to ride fast at once. And that gave me confidence
Then, I decided to try it really.... I pushed on my forward leg, beared a little, and, windy as it was, got early planing!
So, I immediatly got my forward foot in the strap, and then also the back one, and it was fantastic to feel such an easy to handle board under my feet. It is also more stable in the waves, if you are not overpowered.
Also waterstarting was not such a problem, even if I soon realized that with such a little board it is important to begin to sail as soon as possible, even before you are completely on the board with your body. Infact, sailing means a more stable board, while if you stop or you are too much slow, the board may easily turn up side down or sink, if you don't have your feet in the right position. Surely, I need to get more confidence with this board, an so I have to use it lots of times, before I will ride on it in a good way.
In the afternoon, I changed sail and passed to a more convenient 4.7, since the wind had increased to more than 25 knots from South East.
I rode until I was too much tired. After that, I began to watch and admire the more expert surfers on the spot (took pictures and movies of them published in this article): Davide, Maurizio, Roberto, and Mimmo (president of Frassanito Surfer Club), and others.
The week after, from tuesday (15th of july) to saturday (19th of july), we had five consecutive days of strong North winds in Frassanito. Really a nice wind machine!
Every day, 20 knots in the morning and 25 in the afternoon. I went out on the 16th and the 18th (and went sight-seeing during other days).
Tramontane (North wind) hits the spot also side/side-on shore, and so it is safe as well. You have sandy beach everywhere, even if you have to be careful to some rocks on the seabed, not emerging from water, but you see them, because sea water is crystalline.
In the mornings, during these sessions, the wind was gusty and not so stable, and so I had some difficulties, because I didn't manage to go upwind efficiently, and so I didn't succed in recovering water I lost during my not perfect and fast waterstarts. I forgot to tell you that with my 87 the percentage of success of maneuvers is of 0%..... So I waterstart often....
That's why I often found myself near the Windsurf Club Alimini, about 100 meters leeward from my exit point. In the afternoon, I did not have such problems because the wind was stronger.
The session of Wednesday was also funny because there were some good waves (2 meters high 100-200 meters offshore, and more than one meter ashore), which I tried to surf nearly for my first time.
On the spot, I met Matthieu, a french guy, also on holiday, with whom I chatted a lot, exchanging our impressions about our rides. Who knows, perhaps we will meet again in Hyeres, in South France, one of my favourite spots!
Now that I have come back home, I already look forward to be back there as soon as possible, even if there are plenty of nice windsurfing spots to know in the world....
Take my advice: go and try Frassanito!
To watch pictures of my sessions, click here.
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Here below, the video of my session with Sirocco and of 16th of july with Tramontane (set it to 720 Hp to watch it in HD).