In many respects Lake Garda is one of the ideal places to learn and practise the sport of stand up paddling.
Here in Malcesine we are particularly blessed because we have a wonderful coastline and some interesting islands to explore to the south of the town as well as numerous bars and restaurants near to the beaches should you wish to stop for sustenance. Further North of Malcesine in the "frazione" of Navene there are a couple of schools where they run VDWS courses for SUP boarding and also hire out the equipment.
In this area of Malcesine despite the frequent winds which blow from the north or the south depending on the time of day there is a period of calm from the middle of the morning to lunchtime with flat water and no wind, perfect for learning to board or for taking a leisurely excursion.
From Navene you can follow the coast southward toward the magnificent Malcesine castle passing by the dedicated landing point for the parascenders who have launched themselves from the top of Monte Baldo.
Being aware that every so often one misses the landing and plops gently into the lake you can weave your way past these possible obstacles and enjoy the very best view of the Malcesine castle from the water. This is a good point to stop and take an ice cream or a refreshing drink before returning North in time for lunch.
For those fit and eager enough to push on once you have negotiated the entrance to Malcesine harbour and kept well clear of the ferries you can paddle on to Val di Sogno and the islands to the south.
The joy of this trip is that as the afternoon wind arrives from the south you can turn around and use the power of the wind to help your paddling back to the starting point.
Expert paddle boarders can wait for the strong northerly winds that arrive every so often and throw up some quite big lake type waves which are perfect for a roller coaster ride downwind. A few people have used this wind to travel right to the end of the lake some 50 km south!
Whatever your level of paddle boarding this really is a sport for everybody and does not require a ridiculous level of fitness in order to be enjoyed.
You just need a reasonable sense of balance and a love of water.
Everybody wears a buoyancy vest for safety and you can paddle quite close to the beach in order to enjoy the views and remain safe.