Passion for Kitesurfing: some advice on choosing the right equipment and the best spots in Sicily, Sardinia and Northern Italy
During the kaleidoscopic Eighties, traditional kite-flying assumed more extreme, almost acrobatic, characteristics. The kite becomes an instrument to test not only manual abilities, but also, above all, balance and agility.
Kitesurf: from an extreme sport to a safe sport for everybody
Originally the kite was used in outdoor sports like skiing, skateboarding and rowing, and gave rise to new sporting disciplines like buggying and kitesailing. It is one short step from here to the the introduction of the real acrobatic sport, a discipline able to involve an entire generation of sporting youngsters who love water and wind: kitesurfing.
The principle of kitesurfing is very easy: the wakeboard is connected with a large kite which, thanks to the power of the wind, moves the board across the water. Years of design developments and technological improvements have turned the extreme sport of kitesurfing into a safe and exciting sport for everybody.
In order to practice this sport, you need a few essential items:
- Security equipment ( lifejacket, helmet).
- Technical equipment ( kite complete with control bars, back lines, wakeboard, harness, pump).
- Balance, tenacity and adrenalin.
Generally the choice of suitable equipment depends on the weight of the kitesurfer and on the wind speed in the starting location:
- Less than 75 kg: the surface of the kite must be between 10 and 11 square metres in size.
- More than 75 kg: the surface of the kite must be between 12 and 13 square metres in size.
- Very high wind: the length of the wakeboard must be 40 cm shorter than the height of the kitesurfer.
- Light wind: the length of the wakeboard must be 10 cm shorter than the height of the kitesurfer.
Sardinia, Sicily and the Lakes of Northern Italy: the best spots in terms of temperature and wind power
In the last few years, kitesurfing has become a great tourism attraction even in Italy. In some of the most beautiful seaside locations you can find facilities for kitesurfing and training schools, package holidays are also available to enjoy a good time on the wakeboard.
Sardinia: the Italian Caribbean for kitesurfers of every level
The white sand dunes which lead to a crystal-clear sea, and the constant wind for 9 to 10 months a year, make Sardinia one of the élite destinations for lovers of Kitesurfing.
For a few years the island has managed to create several well equipped facilities for kitesurfing and has given tourists and sporting enthusiasts the greatest comforts.
Among the Sardinian locations, kitesurfers must visit:
Porto Pollo is a big white sand cove, surrounded by the lush Mediterranean forest, near the mouth of Liscia and Gabbiani Island, between Palau and Santa Teresa di Gallura, on the north coast of the island.
Characterised by crystal-clear water and Caribbean colours, Porto Pollo is, like many places on the coastline, very wind and and attracts lovers of kitesurfing and sailing.
Here are some of the best kitesurfing schools in Sardinia, which offer modern equipment and breathtaking landscapes to sporting enthusiasts, and provides curious beginners with courses, suitable for every level, run by highly qualified instructors.
In Porto Pollo you can also try other water sports like surfing and windsurfing.
In the area close to the beach there are a lot of restaurants, hotels and campsites where you can enjoy a holiday in a spirit of fun and relaxation.
The best months for kitesurfing in Porto Pollo are May, June, September and October. The zone is famous for its constant winds which blow at between 9 and 12 knots all year round. In spring, the wind is known as Tramontana, in summer there are the Mistral and Ponente, and the Sirocco in autumn.
The ideal Sardinian spot for kitesurfing enthusiasts is Punta Trettu, located on the south-west of Sardinia, in the district of Sesto San Giovanni. The bay is particularly appreciated by kitesurfers for its shallow waters and calm water, which offer the possibility to enjoy the large sea basins in safety. Due to its geographical location the area enjoys constant winds which attract kitesurfing enthusiasts. Punta Trettu also offers high level schools and good equipment centres.
The best months for kitesurfing in Punta Trettu are September and October. The bay is visited by the Mistral and Ponente in summer, by the Sirocco in autumn and occasionally by the Libeccio (with a variable constant between 15 and 35 knots).
Isuledda (Seagulls Island)
Isuledda boasts a big variety of coasts. Pink granite is characteristic of the entire geographical area, but visitors to this island will find a captivating combination of colours and shades, making it one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Sardinia.
The location faces on to the La Maddalena Archipelago national park and is characterised by a light breeze and enjoys very good exposure to the north-west winds like the Tramontana, the Mistral and the Ponente, which are ideal for acrobatic kite-flying.
Although it is not one of the best known islands in Sardinia is popular with kitesurfing enthusiasts who count on the high level facilities and instructors.
The constant Mistral wind makes this place perfect for kitesurfing during the whole year, even in the middle of winter.
Sicily: a breathtaking landscape for the lovers of kitesurfing
The proximity to Africa positively influences Sicilian weather, offering to the entire south coast quite warm temperatures from March to November and perfect conditions to do kitesurfing.
The most popular Sicilian locations for lovers of acrobatic kite-flying are:
The Stagnone of Marsala
The Stagnone of Marsala, which is a few minutes from Trapani and less than a hour from Palermo, is the main point of reference point for kitesurfers in Sicily. Salt pans, mills, the little islands of the lagoon and amazing sunsets offer a breathtaking landscape that anyone can enjoy in total safety, thanks to calm and shallow waters (at an average of 30-40 cm depth).
In the last few years the geographical area of the lagoon has equiped itself with sporting facilities, b&bs, hotels and resorts to let lovers of kitesurfing, and everyone else, enjoy a memorable holiday.
The best months for kitesurfing in the Marsala Stagnone reserve are surely in the summer, thanks to the Tramontana which guarantees a constant wind at 15 knots.
The northern-Italian lakes: a dream for kitesurfing experts
Many lovers of kitesurfing have certainly enjoyed the feeling of the breeze on their skin while skating across the waters of a lake. The geographical structure and the typical weather offer ideal conditions to practice this water sport, because the lack of incoming sea currents makes the surface of the water particularly still and safe.
Looking towards Northern Italy, the most popular locations for kitesurfers are:
Santa Croce Lake
Located in the heart of the Belluno province, the Santa Croce lake boasts one of the most captivating kitesurfing centres in Italy, it enjoys a view of the foothills of the neaby mountains and is characterised by a mild climate with variable winds, sometimes gusty winds, between 15 and 20 knots.
The spot is one of the most difficult places for kitesurfing in Italy in terms of geographical structure and features. For this reason it is the perfect destination for kitesurfing experts, even if nearby there are several well-equipped schools available for courageous beginners.
The best months for kitesurfing on Santa Croce lake are between February and August. Spring and Summer are the perfect seasons for kitesurfing on Belluno’s lake, thanks to their mild temperatures and the constant winds.
A cultural hybrid, Garda Lake is the meeting place of several Veneto traditions and Tuscan mountain views, offering a fusion of tastes and colours. The entire area is rich in seaside spots and hotels, many of which offer the best in luxury and comfort.
Among the most elegant destinations for kitesurfing, the lake is exposed to two dominant winds for the most part of the year: the Peler and the Ora. The first, slightly gusty wind, arrives in the morning reaching up to 30 knots, while the second, lighter wind, arrives in the early afternoon at a constant rate of about 18 knots, creating the best conditions for kitesurfing.
The lake is available for kitesurfing enthusiasts all year round. The winter season has colder temperatures and more gusty winds; for this reason, it is recommended only for experts and kitesurfing professionals.
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