Windsurfers were already cavorting on Lake Silvaplana in the 1970s. That’s because Silvaplana is the most wind-safe windsurfing spot in Europe. Promptly at noon the legendary Maloja wind turns on and attracts the top international windsurfers to the Engadin every year.
They have all been here and enthusiastically shown off their maneuvers on the perfect waves of Lake Silvaplana. They include international windsurfing legends like the Hawaiians Robby Naish and Josh Stone, the 42-time world champion Björn Dunkerbeck, who even keeps his residence in Silvaplana, and the Swiss speed world champion Karin Jaggi. What the top stars like here is what all windsurfers crave: dependable wind conditions, a breathtaking mountain landscape, and an ideal infrastructure in place on the lake.
The windsurf center in Silvaplana is the hub of the scene. Both beginners and advanced surfers can book courses and rent first-class equipment at "Windsurfing Silvaplana." The cozy restaurant "Pappaloù," with its inviting sun terrace directly on the lake, invites you to linger, chat, and even flirt. With salads from the garden or burgers from the grill, the appetite you worked up while dancing with the waves will surely be satisfied.
Right next door is an idyllic camping site which in summer becomes a second home for many windsurfers from near and far and is known for its warm and cheerful atmosphere.
Within walking distance is also the Sports Center Mulets, which offers numerous sporting opportunities for the times when there is a lull on the lake or when you’re looking for a change of pace. Alternative fun on land is possible with tennis, beach volleyball, or football, and children and the young at heart can let off steam on the large children's playground with skateboard facility and pump track. In Sils, at the upper end of Lake Silvaplana, the windsurfing school operates a second site. The wind is usually weaker there so it's the ideal place for families and beginners. And the adjacent "Beach Club" offers fine food, a playground, and beach volleyball courts.
The windsurfing pioneer in the Engadin is Arnoud 'Noldi' Missiaen, who was one of the best European windsurfers in the 1980s and knows the surf scene inside out. Originally from Belgium, he was immediately fascinated by the unique Maloja wind and the alpine mountains of the Engadin and settled in the valley. Over 30 years ago he founded the windsurfing school "Windsurfing Silvaplana" and brought the who's who of surfers to the Engadin. Today his daughter Sarah runs the school and his son Steven runs the restaurant "Pappaloù" next door. However, Noldi can still be found at the windsurfing center almost every day to support his daughter and son or to enjoy the Maloja wind on the lake himself.
The Maloja wind is a thermal wind that blows practically every day when the sun is shining - and the Engadin is known to have many sunny days. The wind picks up around noon and blows until sunset with a force of four to five Beaufort, which corresponds to about 50 kilometers per hour. This natural phenomenon makes Silvaplana one of the most famous windsurfing spots in the Alps.