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Last week-end, we have been at Garda Lake for three days of winsurfing with Waterwind team. We scored two good sessions with Ora Wind, and a great one with a Super Peler at Malcesine.


Windsurf session: Torbole, Riva del Garda, Malcesine (Garda Lake)


On Friday 24, we were at Pier (spot at Hotel Pier), the famous spot of Riva del Garda.




Pier was already very crowded, despite the midweek day. Many German and Austrian riders were already here on holiday. 

Pier, on Friday, gave us a good session, although not at the level of the spot fame. The wind began to blow at around 10 knots, shortly before 13,00, and lasted up to 17,00. The wind did not reach significant values (no more than twenty knots), and, especially, the best wind was concentrated in the area of "pigs" reef, for about 300 meters from the rock, sailing towards the center of the lake. Used to the beautiful days of Ora taken here last year, I prepared my Ezzy Tiger 5.5, to match with the Fanatic freewave TE 105 2012. After a first hour in the water, I had to resign myself to change with an Ezzy Chetaah 6.5, in order to maintain the planing for longer time, towards the center of the lake. I regret that at the last I left at home my Tabou Rocket LTD 115. Today, conditions were more suitable for a freeride session, as demonstrated by the many present in water with similar boards (or with slalom) and with sails between 7 and 8 meters.





Moreover, I did not liked very much the coupling between the Fanatic Freewave and Chetaah 6.5 (despite the Fanatic specifies it as possible), beacause the board, with freewave 28 cm standard fin, continually threatened to lose grip in the water, just as I try to keep an upwind route while planing. Perhaps, I would have, at least, had to mount a freeride 35 fin. I will try, to take away the doubt. However, with the 6.5, near the pigs reef, I always resulted overpowered, with greater fatigue and difficulties when maneuvering, while offshore it was better, until the wind became too poor. Well, what made the session not to the top, was the considerable variability of wind, in addition to the fact, at some point, to be concentrated onlyn near the reef.

On the ground, great heat. Still fresh water, that someone already dealt with shorty wetsuit, and a few even in bath suit and Lycra.

My friend Simone let us know Claudio Bertagna, Simmer distributor for Italy, showing, in the water, the high performances of Simmer S-Race 7.8, and of a Simmer Freemove 110 LT board.

Simone himself used a very powerful Simmer V-Max 7.2, combined with his 130 Tiga.




Davide had a lot of fun, with his Magic Ride Jp 118 2015, easy and early planing, match with a North Sail 5.7. He maneuvered a lot, starting to prove the power jibe; he remained in the water up to 17,00 or so, when it came out exhausted. Simone was already at the Pier Bar for some time to dry beers ....




After the session, we moved to the apartment that we rented at Arco di Trento, in the middle of the countryside. It was a winning choice, as we have not suffered from the heat. Then, dinner at La Grotta, again at Arco, which was worth while trying.






On Saturday, appointment was scheduled with the rest of the group at the Conca d'Oro spot. Before going there, we went to explore the Porfina spot, in Riva del Garda, which made us a very positive impression. Beautiful place at the beach, and ability to use small boards and sails to reach the Ponale (approach not possible, instead at, Conca).

Our friends Andrea, with his wife, Andrea (the doctor), Lucia and Furio, joined to the rest of the group.


Ora wind has risen around at 13,00. Foreshadowing a wind intensity similar to that of the day before (moreover, at Pier you always have a few more knots), I immediately prepared the 6.5 sail. Given the experience of the day before, I decided not to use the Freewave but to hire a freeride boar at the Shaka Surf Center. I had the chance to try a JP Magic Ride 2016 111, and JP All Ride 116 2016 (both in the FWS version). The boys at the center were very kind, giving advise to me, and letting me try out the two boards. Rental for 4 hours at a reasonable fee of 35 € (+ 5 Insurance).



The first part of the session was funny. Me, Davide and Simone, immediately, went to Ponale, where, as usual, the wind was very nice (and natural scenery wonderful). We have stayed in the area for about 1 hour and a half. I've been training a lot with Power Jibe by closing several ones (but the Magic Ride is an easier board), and continuing to experiment with personal ideas and solutions, or with ones read in guidebooks and magazines. 




At half of the afternoon, there was a drop in the wind, because of the increased atmospheric instability, expected in the mountains at north of the Lake, on Saturday. A break, and some chatting with friends at the beach.



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At 16.00, the wind rose again, and we enter the water for a second part of the session. I decided to try the All ride 116. I must say that the wide freeride not make me crazy (and in fact, I have a Tabou Rocket LTD 115 in standard and non-wide version). They are easy to maneuver, glide quickly, but they are not very fast. The Magic Ride I tried, perhaps for the weight, was a bit like a "diesel car". Jp All Ride made me feel much better: faster and more maneuverable. The wind of the second part of the afternoon, though, was much more gusty. Less enjoyable, to be honest. 

Then, at 17,30 the wind dropped down suddenly and definitely.  

Once returned to the apartment, we prepared for dinner. A strong thunderstorm in the southern part of the lake made a strong wind from the South to restart at the 19,00. Then, the expected thunderstorms at North of the Lake also started, who stopped hot climate in the mountains, and gave us the Peler (early morning termic wind) of the day after. Notwithstanding these thunderstorm, we are able to dine outdoors at La Cantinota, at Arco di Trento, which is a great place where to have your meal: grilled mixed meat for everyone, at a reasonable price, and good beer. Andrea, the doctor, has entertained us with anecdotes about his life, and with its beginnings as surfer.




The next morning, we decided anyway to try, and go to Malcesine to take the Peler. The result was one of the best windsurfing session in my life until now ....!

We woke up at 5:30, and we did not pay much attention to anemometers. We had breakfast and we left for Malcesine (Parking Retelino - Bus parking, see review of the spot in the appropriate section waterwind). Driving South,  already, at Conca d'Oro we saw first encouraging signs, with some surfers gliding with 6 meters sails with a good Peler.

Heading south, the lake began to foam increasingly ...

We arrived at Malcesine at the 6.30. Official car park full, but we managed easily to park in the buses area, where the local police tolerate car parking up to about 9.30. Already, so many people in the water, and a beautiful strong wind. What a show!

The overcast and dark sky north of Torbole (= cold air at North oft Lake) let a powerful Peler start. A moment of reflection to decide which sail to use. Other riders are preparing so different sails! Someone are preparing 5 square meters sails, others 4 square meters (especially freestylers); slalom riders with enormous sails, as usual. Hard to decide on land the perfect sail. I try to measure the wind on the platform, but it is very disturbed, and sheltered (I measure no more than 15 knots).

But it is clear that in thge water it is powerful. I decide for the Ezzy panther 2 4.7 (I weight 70 kgs), to be matched with the Freewave Fanatic 105 (with standard fin). In retrospect, I can say that the perfect set for me would have been a 4.2 sail and Fanatic with a 21 cm fin (or my 86 Tabou 3s, with which I would have ridden, jumped and bettere played with waves, but with which I would have had more difficulties while maneuvering, because of my level...).




We entered into the water at 7,00.





The first 45 minutes I am perfect with hte 4.7. Then, the Peler rises really tough, and for me it would be right a 4.2, and will last strong until late in the morning (I will finisch at 10.55, being still overpowered). Last riders will be out of the water at about 11:30 am abundant.

In the water, I often meet with my friends Andrea, and Davide. 

The conditions in the water are fantastic !!! Malcesine is a beautiful spot, with conditions that do not make you regret the many sea spot, at least in the Mediterranean sea.






The wind has blown between 25 and 35 knots for nearly 5 hours. Some change in direction, from time to time, but nothing unbearable. Planing assured also in the lows. Sailing towards the opposite coast, the chance to jump continuously, crossing the beautiful waves of Malcesine, although not so much high today (1.5 meters), and perhaps a little more choppy than usual, but still very fun, to be a lake. On the way back towards Malcesine from the center of the lake, I always played surfing in a kind of backside waveriding. Feeling very good, going up and down by the waves, while gliding. In addition, it is an excellent exercise for those who, like me, are learning the art, 'cause you have easy waveriding conditions. 




Maneuvering, of course, resulted a bit complicated.... However, at the beginning of the session I closed a few good power jibes, also quite a fluid in the exit. I tried and tested lots of ideas, both as regards the feet position and change (including the exit in switch), both as regards the precise moment at which to open the sail (both trying to anticipate, ant to delay this moment). I also tried a tirck that I read in an article by Andrea Cucchi on 4windsurf Mag: to remove the front foot from the strap while sailing withe wind in the stern, sliding it slightly behind the same strap, rotated approximately 90 degrees. This is in order to keep your weight and body forward (result also achieved even with the back foot positioned forward, after having pulled out of the strap), not to make the board to sink too much with the stern, and to keep it faster, and then gliding, also at the exit from the maneuver. After all the attempts, I would say that surely this is a good technique with low or medium wind. With the wind so strong as at Malcesine on Sunday (or in overpowered conditions), it is perhaps better to keep the two feet more backward, and invert them immediately, to rotate your hips well, and settle your body in a more stable position when flipping your sail. Moreover, when there is little wind, even if you stay forward you do not run the risk of being pulled forward by the sail. But when the wind is cool, it is likely that soon or later the sail rips you away ... So, better in that case, to be a little backward.





At 9:30, after two hours we went out of water, to check the situation of the car, as local police had arrive at the parking. We decided to move the car into the parking lot for cars and campers (some places now were available), and then we had almost another hour and a half in the water. In this second part of the session, conditions were, if possible, even more beautiful, because there were no more than 15 riders in the water, with no more need to worry about the others, during the glide, and when maneuvering.

At 11.00 we went out definitely.





We would have had to return to Riva del Garda to take the Ora wind in the afternoon (blowing from South). But  both because we were very gratified by the morning session, and also because hardly the Ora wind comes in very well, after such a strong Peler, we changed programme (actually, then, some friends of ours told us that a little bit of Ora wind rose in the late afternoon).

We preferred to complete the day with a "meat snack" at the fantastic Speck Stube at Malcesine, and then with a couple of refrigerants baths at Lido Paina , again at Malcesine.

Day to be marked on our calendar..... We also returned home at mid-afternoon, without encountering too much traffic.

Now let's hope that the summer will finally stabilize, so that there may be lots of these wonderful and regular termic winds ....

Aloha. Fabio


Any comments at the end of the article are welcome!



Click here, to enjoy the whole slidegallery of the sessions.

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The video with the best of the sessions.





The complete video of the trip



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