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windsurfing in europe

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Created by Bails > 9 months ago, 4 Jun 2008
Bails
WA, 137 posts
4 Jun 2008 1:50PM
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Hey all

Moving to europe for a year and have no idea about windsurfing there. Will be living in France but plan to travel around. Can anyone provide me with a short list of worthwhile places I can go when I feel the urge?

Prefer waves but flat water will do.

Cheers

sick_em_rex
NSW, 1582 posts
4 Jun 2008 4:12PM
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Bails said...

Hey all

Moving to europe for a year and have no idea about windsurfing there. Will be living in France but plan to travel around. Can anyone provide me with a short list of worthwhile places I can go when I feel the urge?

Prefer waves but flat water will do.

Cheers


I hear the red light district across the border in Amsterdam is good for urges You might find someone with a waterbed which could satisfy the wave component

Gestalt
QLD, 12082 posts
4 Jun 2008 4:20PM
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it's cheap to travel in europe once you are a resident.

approx 50 quid when i was there a few years back....

i reckon go to greece for your windsurfing. karpathos.... it's flat water though.

for in europe,

north west spain is good. san sabastian etc.

stehsegler
WA, 2974 posts
4 Jun 2008 3:20PM
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here a quick primer:

Portugal: Guincho, strong side onshore winds with big waves, best time (May to September)

France:
- Marseille to Nice: several good wave spots (Marseille, Carro, Brutal Beach, Hyere) but the wind gets pretty strong (40 knts+)

- Atlantic coast... endless possibilities, wind/ waves dependent on low pressure systems and usually best in spring or autumn.

- Marseille to Spanish border: most sailing is done on salt lakes along the coast. Wind is usually in the 25 to 60 knt range (yes 60 knts., I have seen once seen a container roll of the road... sideways), most of the lake sailing is bumb and jump, there are a few wave spots but they are hard to find, best to ask at a local shop. Best time to travel here is in February... in a good year you'll have 100% wind with a minimum wind speed of 30 knts.

- Spain - North West - Around Galicia: several good wave spots but you need to explore, wind mainly low pressure system dependent, luckily they call this the Cape of Good hope of Europe... read lot's of storms with big swells.

- Spain - Tarifa: great infrastructure, lots of windsurf shops etc. Tarifa itself rarely has big waves but Carro and a few other spots about 40 minutes west have good wave and the wind is usually a bit tamer.

- Spain - Canary Islands: Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote all offer quality wave sailing, the most popular areas wave sailing are Pozo and Vargas on Gran Canaria and the North Shore of Fuertevenura

- Greece - Rhodos, Mykonos offer wave sailing spots. It's mainly wind swell but the summer Meltemi blows consistently and holidaying there is cheap.

- Germany - Sylt, Nordernei, Femarn: All islands, and have great wavesailing spots. Wind again is low pressure system dependent and usually stronger in spring and autmn.

- Norway: There are several great wave sailing spots in Norway, the main problem up there is that the water is starting to get cold, long day light hours in summer but usually not much wind in summer.

- Denmark - Klitmoeller, Fish Factory: There are a number of great wavesailing spots around the Norther top of Denmark. Although wind and swell is depending on low pressure systems you get quite a few really good days even in Summer.

- Marroko - around Essouira: Not technically speaking Europe (it's actually North Africa) it's pretty easy to get there. There are a couple or great wave sailing locations just north and south of Essouira... wind is best in summer.

Sorry for the typos... can't be bother to go back and proof read...

a couple of additional tips:
- You will need a car to get to the real good wave sailing spots
- Make sure you check if you can take your board on the plane before you fly, a lot of the European Charter flights don't take windsurf equipment
- Make sure you get a 3.5 or smaller sail... you will need it!
- Watch for car thieves and people stealing in general, especially the South of France and some areas in Spain are particularly bad.

There is a guide which lists all European windsurf spots... it used to be only in German but I have heard they now have an English edition.. Have a look at the shops on the following web sites. The should have it in stock: www.stehsegelrevue.de ; www.dailydose.de

Hope this helps.


Rabs
81 posts
4 Jun 2008 4:38PM
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Buy yourself this book "the kite and windsurfing giuide to Europe" by Stoked publications. It's got all the destinations and tips you need.

www.stoked-publications.com/index.php?affiliate=windguru

All places mentioned in previous reply are good plus Essouira on the west coast of Morrocco which is is becoming a wave sailing mecca. West coast of Ireland is also good and if you want to fly you obviously have all the Egypt destinations to go to plus the Carribean ones. You're spoilt for choice over there...

staffan
NSW, 79 posts
4 Jun 2008 9:24PM
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Forget about Sylt, it sux big time but there is a Danish island just north of Sylt called Romo, that's pretty OK and much more accessible than Sylt. But If you're based in France why bother going north?

Stehsegler has listed most famous places. If you also surf go to Portugal and hang around the Sagres area and get some waves if the wind is not up.

Holland has options all along the north sea coast line. And down south at Renesse. France has places along the atlantic coast. La Torche is good for waves and La Baule is nice too.

For wind you go to Tarifa in southern Spain or the lakes in Northern Italy such as Lake Garda. The canary Islands rocks. Try El Medano on Teneriffe or Pozo on Gran Canaria.

stehsegler
WA, 2974 posts
4 Jun 2008 7:32PM
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staffan said...
For wind you go to Tarifa in southern Spain or the lakes in Northern Italy such as Lake Garda. The canary Islands rocks. Try El Medano on Teneriffe or Pozo on Gran Canaria.


El Medano is no good... they build this hotel monster and pretty much killed the win. You can go to the bay next to El Medano (El Caboz) which has more consistent wind but the waves aren't as good.

Buy yourself this book "the kite and windsurfing giuide to Europe" by Stoked publications. It's got all the destinations and tips you need.

www.stoked-publications.com/index.php?affiliate=windguru


that's the book I was talking about. It's good summary of spots and well researched but for some of the spots it still helps to get some additional local info. Good starting point though.

gascha
VIC, 19 posts
5 Jun 2008 12:52AM
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Bails said...

Hey all

Moving to europe for a year and have no idea about windsurfing there. Will be living in France but plan to travel around. Can anyone provide me with a short list of worthwhile places I can go when I feel the urge?

Prefer waves but flat water will do.

Cheers


Print out stehsegler's list and you'll be fine. The only thing to add: If you`re in north-east france, consider netherlands: wavespots (northsea coast) as well as flatwater (Veluwemeer, Ijsselmeer)

gascha
VIC, 19 posts
5 Jun 2008 12:53AM
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Bails said...

Hey all

Moving to europe for a year and have no idea about windsurfing there. Will be living in France but plan to travel around. Can anyone provide me with a short list of worthwhile places I can go when I feel the urge?

Prefer waves but flat water will do.

Cheers


Print out stehsegler's list and you'll be fine. The only thing to add: If you`re in north-east france, consider netherlands: wavespots (northsea coast) as well as flatwater (Veluwemeer, Ijsselmeer)

gascha
VIC, 19 posts
5 Jun 2008 12:54AM
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stehsegler - you're german, right?

Bails
WA, 137 posts
5 Jun 2008 10:07AM
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Thanks guys you rock

nasty
WA, 149 posts
6 Jun 2008 3:33PM
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Get yourself over to west coast Ireland on a good forecast if you can. You'll struggle to find better wave sailing anywhere when it's firing

stehsegler
WA, 2974 posts
6 Jun 2008 5:25PM
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gascha said...

stehsegler - you're german, right?


yup... but now living in Sydney.

Sorry for the bad grammar in my post... I wrote this at 2 am German time after a night out.


stehsegler
WA, 2974 posts
6 Jun 2008 5:42PM
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nasty said...

Get yourself over to west coast Ireland on a good forecast if you can. You'll struggle to find better wave sailing anywhere when it's firing


Actually forgot to include Ireland as well as the UK:

Ireland:
The place to be is the Dingle Peninsula. Works in almost any wind direction and when the swell gets to big you can always find a protected bay with flat water. While there make sure you pop into the Greenroom for a Guinness or six but make sure you brush up on your Aussie folk songs if you don't want to embarrass yourself.

The entire west coast of Ireland has a number of great surfing locations... if you do the trip make sure you visit Gallway... they have some of Europe's best Oysters (if you like Oysters that is).

Cornwall:
Plenty of quality wave sailing in Cornwall. The golf stream runs past here so water is usually quite warm. Be prepared for a lot of driving though. If you head for Cornwall it's best to check with one of the local windsurf stores for where to go. There are a number of UK wave sailing events happening thought summer... it's a good bet that they are held at a beach with good conditions.

Scotland:
Great country side and friendly people... and don't forget the best single malts in the world. It's worth a trip just for the 150 km Whiskey trail.

As far as wave sailing goes try Thurso on the northern tip of Scotland. It's pretty cold weather by Oz standards but gets some massive swells. There is a really impressive photo in the "Storm Riders Guide to Europe" of a 45 foot ground swell hitting a reef just off Thurso. Pre jaws that was the scariest thing I had ever seen.

The Island of Tiree is another popular spot but it's a bit of a pain to get to. Although the wind and waves can be great there.

I also sailed Loch Ness while I was there... didn't see the monster but the sailing was similar to Lake Garda. The westerly winds funnel down the Loch which can make for some fun high wind sailing. But the wind direction needs to be pretty spot on for it to work.

Overall though I would give the UK and Ireland a miss (I know I'll be stoned for this comment) as there are too many other much better options in Europe.

FYI, still nothing beats West OZ! Perfect combo of friendly people, warm weather, consistent summer winds...

WINDY MILLER
WA, 3181 posts
6 Jun 2008 8:03PM
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quoting: FYI, still nothing beats West OZ! Perfect combo of friendly people, warm weather, consistent summer winds...


amen to that.



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