Valmadrera is one of the most popular spots of Como Lake. It's a spot that works with winds from the north: the Tivano, early in the morning, or the so called Foehn, which, if conditions are right, can blow at any time of the day.
Windsurf, spot reviews: Valmadrera, the top for freestyle and slalom
Please Note (update of early August 2021): the Municipality of Valmadrera, on 07/28/2021, issued an ordinance with which, from May to September, a questionable Limited traffic zone has been established, and that makes Via Parè not accessible by car. In the Waterwind forum, there is a discussion about it (in italian - help yourself with Google Translate).
Tivano, more frequent, and corresponding to Garda's Peler, is a thermal wind that is established by pressure difference between the air above the lake, or the mountains more at North (colder) and that one above the plain to the south (warmer). In the summer, ideal conditions for Tivano are those related to the presence of the Azores anticyclone (i.e., good weather, but not too hot). When it gets too hot, and even the lake water becomes a warm broth, the pressure difference is canceled and you have no wind, or is weak. The Tivano usually lasts up to 9 - 9,30 in the morning (exceptionally, even later), and, therefore, you must reach the spot early (some even with the first light of dawn!). Anyway, it depends on how much you want to surf.
To avoid useless early wake-ups, Surfdose.com's friends have developed an app foriPhone/iPad, Android, Blackberry (bbOS6 e 7), which will wake you up if there is the right wind. The app can be downloaded at google play.
Most of the windsurfers who attend this spot prefers it because it gives more guarantees to find a nice wind, in every time of the year, although, with the Tivano, requires early wake-ups. Many also appreciate it because it is "family or job friendly", that is you are back home or to your job at 9-10, with little trouble.
The logistics on the shore is very spartan. A few places to park; you assemble your rig on the street side, or right on the road ... (with some heartache, when cars pass); you get into water descending the stone staircase placed from Windsurf Club Valmadrera(local surfers association), or the other staircase in front of Bellavista Hotel. Moreover, you can also enter into water from the shore near Restaurant Terrazzo, two hundreds meters to the south, where you have also same parking places with fee; you have a few bars for food and drinks along the access road.
For those who don't want to solve the parking problems above described, we inform that it is possibile to get into water from the opposite shore of the lake, in the Lecco city. Reference points, in this case, are Restaurant Mexicali, in front of which you can also park without much problmes, or Tamoil petrol pump (also for boats); in this last case, you park just aside the road, south of petrol pump.
If you park near Mexicali, you get into water from the long staircase, just in front of the restaurant. If you park near petrol pump, you have to use one of the two short staircases, south of the petrol station. We want to be sure that it is clear to you that in both cases getting into water is not comfortable, and it can be useful if you are two or more friends, to help each other. Otherwise, you can ask for help to local surfers, if you find them at the spot.
Once in the water, however, the spot balances the shore troubles: strong wind (or at least, quite good wind), small chop, guaranteed fun. The spot is popular with both beginners and experts, and both freestylers, freeriders or slalom riders. Updated webcams spot at the site of the WCV or in Waterwind webcams page.
A weather station very useful to consult (it's on the opposite side of the lake, with respect to the spot), is that one offered by meteolecco.it, that you can check here.
A last thing to say: my first time on the spot, Saturday, July 10, 2013, will remain a memorable day in my career as a windsurfer: foehn wind, 4.7/5 square meters of sail, warm and clear spectacular day! Two hours of session from 9-11. I know that I will get up more often early in the morning, winning my idiosyncrasy to leave my bed just after dawn ....!
To view a nice slideshow in high risolution, taken at the spot, click here.
Have Fun. Fabio