martedì, agosto 05, 2014

Back to Italy

So, I'm back to Italy for summer holiday. As I did two years ago I went back by boat via Barcelona, as I "have" to travel with my wife and two little kids/devils and all their stuff. So I packed my car with my kite gear too, my 10m Rebel and the Takii 6'0" as I definitely don't want to use a twintip anymore - there are different reasons behind this, but I will post them later on. So the trip from my home town to Barcelona takes round about 6 to 7 hours, which includes the mandatory stops for resting and let the boys stretch their legs (and stop messing the car around).

The ferry takes less than one day to cross the Mediterranean sea and the trip it's quite relaxing as you can sleep in your cabin with private bathroom. Not first class cruise, of course, but the ticket price (which includes your car) isn't too expensive, at least if you compare it with the air fares during the high season... not considering the extra baggage I was able to carry on board....

So, what conditions can you expect to find in Italy during summer time? Let's start from the beginning: the cold, hot, wet Italian summer could drive you crazy, especially in the peninsula. The beaches are always so crowded that rigging your gear -no matter if you are a windsurfer or a kiter - could be difficult, unless the weather conditions becomes really bad keeping tourists away from the sand.

Finding a parking slot could also be a stressing experience. Unless the spot you want to surf is a secret one (but then you are supposed to know a local which will give you the right directions), either urban and remote beaches are always being assaulted by locals. If you want to find a decent parking slot, then you should keep in mind that it's better getting there early in the morning. Don't forget that parking fees could cost you a lot of money too.

Weather conditions are quite similar in all the peninsula, with high pressures crossing the Mediterranean, which keeps storms and winds far away. From time to time a small perturbation could cross the country, but it usually fades away in a couple of days. The hardcore wave surfers will find that most of the time the sea is flat, especially if you are not heading Sardinia (so far one of the best destinations in the whole Mediterranean sea). But don't worry as you can find a lot of spots where thermal winds can really make your day - especially if you love freestyle and bump and jump conditions.

One of the best resource I can suggest is to buy the Windsurf/Kitesurf Atlas, available also for iOS or Android (and gives you more freedom to choose and pay for a specific region. I used it during my Canary Island and Andalusia trips last year and I find it very useful. Not all the sposts are listed (the secret one remains "secret") but at least you got a good indication of the directions and the conditions for a particular ones.

In less than ten days I scored two windsurfing and two kite sessions (and I lost one because I'm sick at home) so it seems to be quite consistent. As I'm using a GPS I can show you some data. The first one was recorded during a windsurfing session where I used a slalom (RRD X-Fire 135lt) on a Hot Sails GPS 8.0:

As you see from the speed graph, nothing really special and typical summer on-off condition for a thermal wind. The 70kph spike I guess is an error. The spot is Il Carrubo, south of Rome, and it usually works when high pressure is stable over Italy and there's a small SW wind component.
The second image has been recorded at "La Bufalara" spot on a kite, nice wave session (small ones) but pretty consistent. 

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