Kitesurfen am Gardasee
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Kitesurfen am Gardasee

Kiteboarding on Lake Garda—everything you need to know about Europe’s surfing paradise

Kiteboarding on Lake Garda is a truly exciting prospect: On the one hand, it offers ideal wind conditions with huge mountains forming an impressive backdrop. On the other hand, strict regulations and the small number of kite spots limit the number of kiteboarders on the lake. Even so, it is possible to enjoy the unique thrill of this sport on Lake Garda—you just need to bear a few things in mind. 

Planet Allsports offers kiteboarding for all levels in an all-inclusive package, so you can put all your energy into enjoying your fantastic experience of kiteboarding on Lake Garda.

 

Kiteboarding or kitesurfing at a glance

Kiteboarding—a sport also known as kitesurfing—involves standing on a board while being pulled along by a stunt kite. The wind and waves are used to reach high speeds and to pull off impressive jumps by flying through the air above the water.

Kiteboarding should always be learned under the professional tuition of a qualified kitesurfing instructor. This extreme sport involves the elements of wind and water. It can be dangerous if you don’t react correctly to the situation at hand. Our Lake Garda Surf School teaches you all the key basics over a few days.

In order to kiteboard, you need either a directional or twin tip board, a harness and control bar, as well as safety lines and a kite. Two to three kites are often taken to each kiteboarding session, so the right equipment can be used to suit the different wind conditions.

Kiteboarding or windsurfing? Deciding which is the better sport for you is purely a matter of personal taste. Both kiteboarding and windsurfing have their advantages and disadvantages. Windsurfing is easier to learn but you can perform cool jumps and tricks quicker in kiteboarding. You can try out both sports at our Kitesurfing School.

Lake Garda is ideal for kiteboarding, even though there are strict regulations and only a few places where kitesurfers are permitted to access the lake. Fantastic wind conditions provide the ideal conditions for both beginners and pros. The alpine panorama, crystal-clear lake, and the Italian way of life all make Lake Garda one of the most popular spots for surfers.


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What is kiteboarding?

Kiteboarding, or kitesurfing, evolved from kitesailing, which dates back to 1826. It involves standing on a board and being pulled along the water by a harness and control bar, as well as safety lines from a stunt kite. When kiteboarding, it is possible to pull off spectacular jumps and freestyle tricks.

The equipment differs in terms of design and size, so it can be adapted to suit the surfer’s weight and skill level, as well as the local wind conditions.

 

How to learn kiteboarding

Kiteboarding is not the kind of skill you can teach yourself. Doing so would not just put yourself in danger, but it would also harm the entire kiteboarding community. Kiteboarding is an extreme sport in which you are confronted with two natural forces – wind and water. If you’re not familiar with the basics, the proper technique, and the tricks of the sport, you are increasing your risk of an accident.

This is also why kiteboarding is sometimes considered to be a dangerous sport. But if you receive professional instruction from a certified kitesurfing teacher and are taught how to react to dangerous situations, kiteboarding is a relatively safe extreme sport and is even suitable for kids.

Our Lake Garda Surf School in Limone sul Garda at Capo Reamol is one of the few shuttle spots available for kiteboarding on the lake. Beginners can enjoy the perfect conditions to learn kiteboarding in a safe and fast way. Our team uses a clever training system to make it easier for you to pick up the sport.

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Example itinerary for a kiteboarding course for beginners at the Planet Allsports Surf School on Lake Garda

Day 1:

  • Theory session covering the safety system, controlling the kite, the window of wind, etc.
  • Practicing controlling the kite and guiding the kite from the boat

Day 2:

  • Learning more about how to control the kite
  • Approaching different zones and windows of wind
  • Body drag exercises

Day 3:

  • Start in the water
  • First session

Day 4:

  • Traveling safely and stably in both directions
  • Safely returning the kite to the 12 o'clock position

Day 5:

  • Body position
  • Steering technique
  • Practice, practice, practice...

From Day 5, you can start learning some more advanced techniques.

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What do you need to kiteboard?
Conditions, equipment, license, and insurance


Physical requirements

Firstly, you must meet the physical requirements. Children must weigh at least 66 pounds (30 kg) and be over 4 foot 6 inches (140 cm) tall. Equipment is available for everyone above this height.


Kiteboarding equipment

Directional board or twin tip board
We recommend a twin tip board, as it can be moved in both directions and, unlike with a directional board, you don’t need to change your footwork to change direction.

Harness with control bar and safety lines
There are 2-liners, 4-liners, and 5-liners—they are around 65 to 98 feet (20-30 meters) long and connect you to your kite.

Kite
The kites come in a range of designs and sizes. There are two main types of kite: soft kites and tube kites. We recommend taking a set of 2-3 kites out to cover the different wind conditions for the day.

Clothing
A wetsuit is ideal for the cooler months. In the summer, you can kiteboard in swimwear. A cap protects you from getting sunstroke, while high-factor sunscreen should be worn to prevent sunburn.

Kite shuttle to get started on the water
There are only two spots on Lake Garda where you can start on land. Otherwise, you need a kite shuttle, which takes you out into the lake so you can get started and enjoy the space you need to practice.

License & insurance
Many areas of Lake Garda that permit kiteboarding require kitesurfers to hold a kite license and have proof of liability insurance, which includes kiteboarding. If you book a kite course through a surf school, you don’t need these, as they are covered by the surf school itself.

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Kiteboarding or windsurfing?

It is an entirely personal decision whether you prefer kiteboarding or windsurfing – but maybe you'll even end up loving both! Windsurfing may be slightly easier to pick up, but you can learn both in a few days if you have a good teacher.


Kiteboarding or windsurfing?

It is an entirely personal decision whether you prefer kiteboarding or windsurfing – but maybe you'll even end up loving both! Windsurfing may be slightly easier to pick up, but you can learn both in a few days if you have a good teacher.

Differences between kiteboarding and windsurfing

Kiteboarding

  • Person attached to the board and kite
  • First sessions with the kite from the boat
  • First "real" session after 1-2 days of instruction
  • Jumps can be learned after 5 days
  • Mild physical exertion

Windsurfing

  • Person not attached to the board and sail
  • First sessions on the board and water
  • First "real" session after a few hours
  • Jumps possible, but need advanced skills
  • Moderate physical exertion

 

The best spot for kiteboarding on Lake Garda

The wind conditions and stunning panoramic backdrop of mountains are sure to set the hearts of surfers racing, but unfortunately kiteboarding on Lake Garda is severely restricted and is totally forbidden in some regions and seasons and at some times of day. In addition, on Lake Garda you need to kiteboard with a surf school or as a member of a club, as there are no public or free surf spots available.

But the location, or “Lago” as it is lovingly referred to here, is one of the best for surfing in Europe and is an experience not to be missed.

Kiteboarding with our Surf School has a lot of advantages. For one, you are protected against being charged heavy fines. You also have access to safety boats, which will pull you away should you get too close to one of the “forbidden areas”—this can happen quite quickly in certain wind conditions and can end up being very expensive for you.

Our Surf School in Limone is home to one of four shuttle spots for kiteboarding (Limone, Brenzone, Casteletto, and Cassone). There are another two spots (Campione and Navene), which allow you to start on land, but the rules are very strict.

The benefit of the kite shuttle is that you can start in the middle of the water. You can also be picked up by the boat at any time and taken to a different part of the lake where the wind conditions may be preferred. The trained personnel keep an eye on you at all times to help keep you safe. 

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When can you kiteboard on Lake Garda?

In theory, you can surf on Lake Garda at any time of year, but the kite schools are generally only open between April and October. These are also the months with the best conditions for kiteboarding. In winter, there are one or two spots that you can use for kiteboarding if you have club membership, but you need to inform the respective station.

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