This article featured in Kiteworld multimedia issue #108. First published: January 2021
As you’ve seen in our previous two features this issue, Sicily is home to some very special flat water riding. We got in touch with the local gurus at ProKite Alby Rondina Center for a full run down on the magical spots in and around Lo Stagnone, the kiting capital of the Italian Mediterranean Island
WORDS: Laci Kobulsky / PHOTOS: Laci Kobulsky, James Boulding & Prokite Alby Rondina
LO STAGNONE LURE!
The close proximity to Europe and steady winds all year have helped Lo Stagnone become a popular kiteboarding destination in the last five years. The huge 2,000 hectare natural, flat, shallow lagoon is the main magnet, though.
Prevailing winds blow from the north (almost every day in summer) but all directions are possible and rideable. 90% of visitors will pitch up and ride in front of the centres at Lo Stagnone, but there is a rich diversity of riding playgrounds to be enjoyed around the lagoon. You’ll need a little bravery to venture beyond the main spot, but this short guide will help you know where to go to find some truly exceptional kite spots.
#01 PROKITE ALBY RONDINA CENTER
For sure the first place you’ll kite is the beach just in front of the kite center. This spot is the perfect place for the school because it works with all wind directions. Shallow water makes it ideal for students who usually stay closer to shore. If you kite beyond the beginners you’ll find acres of space, and beyond that the fun really begins…
WORKING WIND DIRECTION: All directions
IDEAL FOR: Easy freeride, beginners, big air in strong wind
#02 SANTA MARIA ISLAND
Just a few tacks upwind from the main beach you’ll find a sandbank that creates perfect flat water for freestyle in the cape of Santa Maria’s narrow island. This spot is really close from the main beach so it’s a perfect place to regularly train your freestyle tricks. The water may seem too shallow at first glance, but you will find its deep mud underfoot, so crashing isn’t as threatening as it looks. Don’t jump too close to the island though as there may be a few rocks there, so check the area out first.
WORKING WIND DIRECTION: North is the best
IDEAL FOR: Short freestyle session for butter flat water
#04 SAN THEODORO
The northern lagoon entrance is really special place where turquoise sea water meets the lagoon; it’s easily the best place to snap a drone shot! The water can get shallow and together with sand it’s quite sketchy for freestyle tricks, so take care! However, on the right day you can even find a small wave at the entrance providing little kickers for your tricks.
WORKING WIND DIRECTION: All directions but best with north-west and south-west
IDEAL FOR: Freeride in beautiful turquoise water, small kicker waves
#05 SALINAS SAN THEODORO
There are lots of salinas around the northern lagoon entrance where salt is produced. These attractive little ponds turn pink around August / September but it’s illegal to kite inside of them and locals quickly get very angry when you pollute their production. Anyway, the lagoon water is perfectly flat behind the salina walls so there’s no shortage of amazing conditions! Maybe you remember watching Aaron Hadlow’s ‘Reflection’ movie and getting a serious craving for mirror flat water. Recreate it for yourself here!
WORKING WIND DIRECTION: North (salinas close to mainland) and west (salinas close to Isola Lunga)
IDEAL FOR: Freeriding on absolute butter, freestyle and jumping around the wall
#06 ISOLA LUNGA
Head for Isola Lunga on the opposite side of the lagoon for a real adventure. There are many butter-flat water spots to choose from in Lo Stagnone, but our favourite is at this broken salina wall with old windmills in the background. There’s no vegetation upwind, so the wind is perfectly steady and you can even enter the broken salina and boost some extreme jumps over the wall. Take serious care, though! This is quite far from the main beach, so in case of emergency you will be on your own. We recommend this spot only for advanced riders, to always go in a group and to try to take it easy.
WORKING WIND DIRECTION: All directions but best with north-west or south-west
IDEAL FOR: Freeride adventure and big air on butter-flat water
“Tahiti” – the hidden jewel! Working in southerly winds you’ll have to head north outside the lagoon on the open sea. Once again the water’s butter flat with one small but noticeable difference – the incredible turquoise colour. We’ve had some of our best sessions here, have filmed many videos and generally had tons of fun. This spot is also only recommended for more advanced riders as it’s offshore in open sea. Reach the spot by kiting around the San Theodoro entrance or rent a small boat at San Theodoro marina and have an easy and safe trip.
WORKING WIND DIRECTION: South for flat water, north for waves
IDEAL FOR: Epic turquoise flat water, freeride, freestyle and big air
Long time Cabrinha International pro team rider, Alby Rondina, opened his kite center and hotel ProKite Alby Rondina directly on the beach. Pay them a visit: www.prokitealbyrondina.com
Find more details about Lo Stagnone in our own Kiteworld Travel Guide online here: