Attracted by some photos, and several posts found in the web, about the windsurf spot of Sottomarina (Chioggia), near Venice, we asked Cristina, a friend from Franciacorta (Brescia), to write a review of that spot for Waterwind.
Windsurfing, spot reviews: Sottomarina, Chioggia (Veneto, Italy)
With the help of more experienced friends, Cristina wrote and sent us this wonderful report, full of detailed tips for those who want to try this legendary wave spot. We offer the full text, which also contains some ideas about other spots in the surroundings (Porto Corsini, Conche).
"When you talk about Wave in Italy, you can not avoid to highlight Sottomarina! Who has never heard of it, at least once, in the world of windsurfers? In this report, I try to give a brief description with the invaluable help of a couple of friends who regularly go there, such as Emanuele Dall'Ara (local from Adria) e Mircowave (from Desenzano del Garda).
To get there (see map at end of article), take the A4 highway, exit at East Padua, or Padua Interport, and follow the direction of "Piove di Sacco". Continue towards Chioggia: S.S. Romea 309, direction Ravenna (45 Km from Padua and 45 km from Venice). Be careful that Romea National road is full of speed control devices.
It's a wave spot with sandy bottom, and where the Bora (North East wind) blows side-shore at 15/20 knots with the high pressure, and at 25/40 knots and rough seas with waves up to 3/4 meters, during low pressure. The best conditions here are with the Bora, and the spot, although not difficult, is not suitable for beginners, but is perfect for those who want to start going out in the waves. With the Sirocco (SE wind), there is a lot of current, and waves are really big and bad: therefore it is not recommended to those not used to go out in harsh conditions. The best conditions to jump are with the wind from N/NW, and sea from Sirocco (SE). The East wind arrives right on shore, instead.
You go out at the dock at the end of Sottomarina litoral. The point, where almost everybody goes out more easily, is near Sottomarina dock (paid parking "Gigetto", you carry your equipment for 50 mt on the beach, and you're in the water); here the shorebreak is minimal and helps beginners who want to try the first waves.
A Large municipal parking or bath facilities permit to park and rig comfortably your sails.
The local riders and the more experienced prefer to get into water at "Splash " bath facility (paid parking, WC and showers included and direct access to the beach from April to September); but here the shorebreak is worse, and in case of low wind becomes difficult to climb over the set of waves arriving at about 5/7 seconds from each other. Just to the south of the beach, you have smooth waves of 2-3 meters when the wind reaches 30-40 knots with North direction: they allow you to surf with pure adrenaline, trying some Bottom or perferct Speed Loop.
With these conditions, it often happens to see in the water PRO and well known riders as Mattia Pedrani, Simone Rough, Fabio Calò and many local experts, able to leave you speechless.
Local riders tell us that Sottomarina also works with the SE wind, although less intense.
Equipment used habitually: wave board 68/85 lt and sails from 3.3 to 5.3 meters.
To predict the wind here is not at all easy, and suitable conditions are quite rare. To figure out if there is wind in real time, watch Italian TV (RAI) Televideo at page 706: if it scores at least 12 knots from NE in Trieste, the wind will almost certainly blow also at Sottomarina. Anemometers: www.weatherider.com.
Other Weather websites: Aladin, Lamma northern Adriatic. The best times for the Bora are autumn and spring (November to March) when the depressions are positioned on the center of Italy, but also in summer the passage of cold fronts can give a few hours of pure fun.
The Bora is a cold wind from the northeast, frequent along the coasts of Upper and Middle Adriatic. It is a wind coming down from the Dinaric Alps and has the same features of the Foehn in the Alps. In contrast to that, the air masses which origin Bora are often very cold. The Bora reaches maximum speed along the east coast of the Northern Adriatic in the cold months, and is particularly strong in the Gulf of Trieste (known spot Barcola and Muggia), in the Valley of Vipacco in Slovenia, and in the Kvarner Bay in Croatia. (here, known spots: Premantura and Medulin). In Italy the Bora blows in, a littlle bit less strong, also in other places of Friuli, and along the Adriatic coast. When it enters with an intensity of 20-30 knots and the right direction NE (left tack going off-shore), the spot begins to work creating waves really tough and high.
In case of wind direction East, the spot is almost impractical given that the wind pushes at the beach. In that case, better to go 100 km Southwards to the spot of Porto Corsini, where the wind works better. Other spot, nearby in the lagoon, at "Conche", a freestyle spot that works with all the winds.
We wait for you in this charming spot to the next Bora shot! Yeaaa!!!! ".
Type of spot: Beach
Bottom type: sand
Wind features: Constant, Flat water; Consistency (frequency waves): Frequent (60 days / year)
Prevailing wind directions: Northeast, East, Southeast
It begins working with: 10-20 knots
Holds up to: 20-40 knots
Cryzia, Emanuele Dall’Ara e Mircowave
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Videos filmed in the spot