The first windsurfers were skimming across Lake Silvaplana as far back as the 1970s. This lake offers superb and steady wind conditions: every sunny day, the Maloja wind rises around noon. This natural phenomenon has made Silvaplana the hottest windsurf location in Switzerland.
They have all been here, performing their tricks on the crystal-clear waters of Lake Silvaplana: the Hawaiian windsurf legends Robby Naish and Josh Stone, the 42-time world champion Björn Dunkerbeck, who now lives in Silvaplana, and the Swiss speed world champion Karin Jaggi. The stars of the scene love exactly what attracts all the other windsurfers: uniform wind conditions, superb facilities by the lake and a spectacular mountain backdrop.
The windsurf centre in Silvaplana is the focus of the scene. Beginners and experienced windsurfers alike can book courses at “Windsurfing Silvaplana” and rent top-quality equipment. The friendly “Pappaloù” restaurant is perfect for relaxing, chatting and enjoying tasty burgers. Changing rooms and showers are available for use free of charge. Best of all, there’s an idyllic campsite next door, which becomes a second home in summer for many windsurfers from near and far.
The nearby Mulets sports centre offers all kinds of activities should the wind die down or if enthusiasts want a break on terra firma – with attractions including tennis, beach volleyball and football. Children and the young at heart can have fun in the large playground with a skateboard park and pump track. The windsurf school also has a second site in Sils, at the far end of Lake Silvaplana. Winds are usually lighter here, making this the ideal spot for families and beginners. The neighbouring “Beach Club” has an excellent restaurant, a playground and beach volleyball courts.
The great windsurf pioneer in the Engadin was Noldi Missiaen, who was among the top European windsurfers in the 1980s. Originally from Belgium, he fell in love with the steady Maloja wind and the mountain landscapes of the Engadin. He settled down in the valley and founded the “Windsurfing Silvaplana” school. Today, his daughter Sarah runs the school, and his son Steven manages the “Pappaloù” restaurant next door. Noldi himself still comes to the windsurf centre nearly every day to support his daughter and son – or to enjoy some action on the lake when the Maloja wind is working its magic.
The Maloja wind is a thermal wind that blows almost every sunny day – and the Engadin is known for its many days of sunshine. The wind rises around midday and reaches peaks of around Force 6 (30 knots). These steady conditions make Silvaplana one of the most famous inland windsurf locations in Europe.