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The Maloja whisperer

Solo Solinski about the Maloja wind

Silvaplana
Solo Solinski -The Maloja whisperer

Solo Solinski once followed a tip from a surfer and travelled from the flat countryside of his homeland to the Engadin. It was the beginning of a love story between the Dutch surfer and the Maloja wind.

When Solo Solinski mentions the Maloja wind, he does so with reverence. He talks about Maloja as if it were about a person he loves. “Maloja is unpredictable and can be quite contrary.” Sometimes it rages violently, almost angrily. At other times it behaves gently and almost quietly. Sometimes it even stays away from the Engadin and Lake Silvaplana, altogether.

Solo Solinski, real name Martyn Van Solingen, is not just some random person talking about the wind. Solo Solinski is a legend when it comes to all types of sport involving wind and water. The 55-year-old grew up in the Netherlands. Although there are no mountains there, there is plenty of sea and wind. Windsurfing was something he was born into, so to speak. He learnt how to handle a board and sail as a young boy. He often travelled to the sea in Zeeland with his parents and quickly became a good windsurfer.

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“Maloja is unpredictable and can be quite contrary.”
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At some point, the Netherlands were no longer enough for him. He wanted to go somewhere warmer. Somewhere with palm trees. For years he pursued the wind and the waves. In Texas, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Australia. He got to know a lot of people on his travels. These included people who lived in the mountains and pursued their second passion, skiing, in winter. They surfed in the summer. They talked about the Engadin. He heard that both skiing and windsurfing are possible there, sometimes on the same day. Intrigued, Solo Solinski wanted to know more. In 1993, he travelled to a place completely unfamiliar to him. He ventured up into the mountains, to Lake Silvaplana.

At first, he was simply overwhelmed by the beauty of the natural surroundings. He was bowled over by the high plateau, the high mountains and of course, the lakes. The initial positive shock was followed by surprise. He was surprised by the lively windsurfing scene here. And he made his first acquaintance with the Maloja wind. That was the clincher: he was hooked. Since then, Solo Solinski has been surfing on Lake Silvaplana almost every day. The term windsurfing is too imprecise. Solo tries out everything possible with wind and on water.

Solo Solinski
“In the Engadin, both skiing and windsurfing are possible, sometimes on the same day.”

He currently spends a lot of time windfoiling. This kind of sport focuses particularly on the forces of wind and water. Few people can do this as well as Solo Solinski. He does it with a mixture of strength, endurance, lightness and elegance. But above all with a sense of fun. You can appreciate his joie de vivre when you watch him from the shore as he seems to float on the water. His enjoyment is truly infectious.

Something nobody would have thought possible has happened: This original surfer boy, with his big, flamboyant personality has made his home in the Alps rather than California. In winter he works a ski and snowboard instructor, in summer he tends to the Silvaplana camping site.

The Engadin is no longer an secret tip for windsurfers, but has become a major attraction and meeting place of the scene. The “Engadinwind”, one of the most important water sports events in the world, takes place in Silvaplana every summer. Almost all the stars have competed there. Among others, Robby Naish surfed on Lake Silvaplana; he is a 24-time windsurfing world champion.

Solo Solinski
Solo Solinski
Solo Solinski

The Engadin is no longer a secret tip for windsurfers, but has become a major attraction and meeting place of the scene. The “Engadinwind”, one of the most important water sports events in the world, takes place in Silvaplana every summer. Almost all the stars have competed there. Among others, Robby Naish surfed on Lake Silvaplana; he is a 24-time windsurfing world champion.

Solo Solinski lives on the Silvaplana camping site. He does almost all the odd jobs that crop up there. He is one of the first people up and about in the mornings. This gives him time to head onto the lake later. He loves the atmosphere at the campsite. It is extremely relaxed and easygoing. Surfers share their positive attitude and lifestyle with visitors and guests. The scenery plays its part. And Solo. Almost everyone knows him, the Dutchman with the smile on his face. The man whose thumbs are always pointing upwards. He radiates positivity everywhere he goes, always greeting with the same Shaka gesture. On certain evenings, Solo sits on a rocky outcrop by the lake. The wind blows through his hair. It seems that he is completely at peace with himself and the world. He gazes at the peaks and then at the lake.

“The Engadin and me make a perfect fit.”
Solo Solinski

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