Guided by Giardino
Windsurfing in the Engadin
The Maloja winds make windsurfing in the Engadine an unforgettable experience. Philippe Frutiger, CEO of the Giardino Group, likes to swap his jacket for a wetsuit from time to time – and he even takes guests along for the ride on Lake Silvaplaner.
When he was 12 years old, Philippe Frutiger had a role model. This role model was an American by the name of Robby Naish, probably the most famous and most successful windsurfer in the world. Philippe Frutiger bought a surfboard and used every opportunity to learn how to surf, quickly becoming very proficient. “Windsurfing was the epitome of freedom”, he explains, “and very, very cool.” He taught windsurfing for a few seasons at Lake Silvaplaner, and even moved to Australia for a while to truly live his passion. This passion earned him some bruised ribs, many a cut on his hands, and sometimes a sprained shoulder. But it also taught him an important lesson for his career as hotel manager: during stormy times, the 47-year-old CEO of the Giardino Group knows how to set a firm course. Together with his wife Daniela Frutiger, with whom he built up the hotel group, he constantly strives to develop the company further. Naturally, windsurfing is still his passion, but he currently has limited time for it.
Like a Swiss clockwork
On summer weekends, Philippe Frutiger swaps his jacket for a wetsuit. You will then see him on Lake Silvaplaner with numerous other windsurfing addicts who have travelled to the Engadine from all over the world. They’re all sailing in the famous Maloja wind. “It arrives in the afternoon, as reliable as a Swiss watch”, says Philippe Frutiger. “It is a result of the temperature difference between the hot region of Lake Como and the cool mountain valley of the Engadine.” He is often accompanied by his sons, Justin and Morris. “Windsurfing with my sons in strong winds makes me proud, but these days I really need to make an effort not to let them overtake me.” If the opportunity arises, they take a few guests from the Giardino Mountain with them. He has seen many surfers’ paradises on this planet, but the Engadine impresses him every time. “The panorama of the valley with the crystal clear and turquoise-coloured water of the lake is unique.”
The hotel for the story:
Hotel Giardino Mountain, St. Moritz