Cruising down the river with a kayak.
Cruising down the river with a kayak.
Going strong: stand up paddle boarding
Going strong: stand up paddle boarding
News + Trends

Fun and sports on Switzerland’s rivers and lakes

Theresa Schieder
Zurich, on 11.07.2017
Translation: Eva Francis
Spending the holidays close to home is a great way to save money and discover a variety of cool activities which wouldn’t even be possible at the seaside. Some very popular options are stand up paddle boarding, wakesurfing and wakeboarding. For anyone who’d rather chill out than work out, cruising down river Aare or river Limmat in an inflatable boat or a pool float is a great idea.

Trend sport stand up paddle boarding

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) has become a sport in its own right and is extremely popular in Switzerland. And rightly so! Stand up paddle boarding is not only fun, it’s also a great workout for the entire body, especially your legs, abs and back. Some boards can even be used for yoga. You’ll pick up stand up paddle boarding in no time and don’t need any license to paddle along most rivers and lakes. Most of our SUPs are inflatable and can easily be transported and stored at home. SUP hardboards are a bit more stable, smoother to manoeuvre and easier to repair. These lakes are ideal for your stand up paddle boarding adventure:

  • Klöntalersee: This SUP tour has one of the most stunning mountain backdrops with an spectacular panorama, clear water and lots of possibilities to stop off and enjoy the mountain sun.
  • Lake Zug: A heavenly SUP tour in Central Switzerland with views of Mount Rigi and Pilatus. There are lots of public bathing beaches on the way, which are too inviting to pass by.
  • Lake Maggiore: Looking for a SUP tour with Italian flair? The delta region of river Maggia is stunning and full of great places to stop off and linger. The water is crystal clear and there are many small beaches waiting to be discovered.
Fiberglass (220cm, 3-piece)
Airboard Fiberglass (220cm, 3-piece)

Wakesurfing and wakeboarding

In wakesurfing, you trail behind a boat, riding the boat's wake without being directly pulled with a rope. Wakesurfers stand directly on the board barefoot and – other than in wakeboarding – don’t need any special bindings or shoes. Wakeboarding, on the other hand, is like snowboarding on water. You’re attached to the board with shoe-like bindings and are towed behind a motorboat. So where are the best places to surf and board?

  • Lake Zürich: Wakeboarding or wakesurfing right next to the largest Swiss city offers the chance to enjoy and good session and then finish off the evening in the city.
  • Lake Thun: A day on the lake with views of the Alps and the Bernese Oberland. Could it get any better than this?
  • Lake Neuchâtel: Lake Neuchâtel is famous for its wide range of activities on the lake. Estavayer-le-Lac also has the only water ski lift in Switzerland.
Koal w/ Tecnora The Lunatic (4'8")
Ronix Koal w/ Tecnora The Lunatic (4'8")
District Park inkl. District Boot (37-41) (134cm)
Ronix District Park inkl. District Boot (37-41) (134cm)
Syncro (1 mm, M)
Quiksilver Syncro (1 mm, M)

Drifting on the river

If you’d rather relax and enjoy a quiet time, why not cruise down a Swiss river in an inflatable boat, air mattress, pool float or pool lounge with your friends. Bring along drinks and snacks and keep them in an inflatable drinks cooler, which you can attach directly to your lounge.

Dry bags come in very handy here, as they’ll keep all your belongings dry during the ride. You can even use your dry bag as a buoy when you’re swimming in the water. If you’re bringing children along, make sure they wear water rings or life jackets.

Here are the best spots for your boat ride: + Zurich-Dietikon: It’s the classic trip on lake Limmat. Get into your boat at Wipkinger Platz, enjoy a cold beer and cruise down the river. Once you see the dam in Höngg, use one of the many exits on the left to get out of the water. You can get back into the water right after the dam and enjoy the ride until Dietikon. The river passes the train station in Dietikon where you can get out and take the train home. This is the perfect way to cool down after a day in the office. The ride will take about two hours, depending on the current. + Thun-Berne: The Aare tour begins in Uttigen near Thun and ends in Wabern near Berne right next to the campsite Eichholz. What lies between is an 18-kilometre stretch of crystal-clear river and an unforgettable view of the Bernese Oberland. + Stein am Rhein-Schaffhausen: This 18-kilometre tour on the Rhein via Rhenana, a Swiss cultural route, takes about six hours and gives you the chance to relax and enjoy culture, history and nature form up close. This is considered to be one of the most beautiful stretches of river in Europe. + Gisikon-Root-Unterlunkhofen: The best place to start this tour is in Gisikon-Root. This trip on the river Reuss takes about four hours and leads through stunning nature.

Tip: Iwona Eberle’s inflatable boat guide describes the best 20 river tours in Switzerland, including where to get into and out of the water and where to find culture and nature highlights along the way.

adventure kit (2x)
249.–was 299.–
Sevylor adventure kit (2x)
Swimming Luck (20l)
Quantity discount
11.30for 2 Pieces
Swimming Luck (20l)

Going fast with a sailing boat

The Smartkat is absolutely brilliant. You can take it anywhere and use it without having a sailing license. This extra light catamaran fits into two bags and is ready to sail within 20 minutes without requiring any additional tools. And you won’t need a boat place either. Get an impression of this catamaran in the video below.

These articles might also interest you (in German):

*Ab ins kühle Nass**: Entdecke unser Wassersport-Sortiment

Ab ins kühle Nass: Entdecke unser Wassersport-Sortiment

Kassensturz-Test: *Stand-Up-Paddles** im Vergleich

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*Stand-Up-Paddle-Boarding:** Lohnt sich die Anschaffung eines SUPs?

Stand-Up-Paddle-Boarding: Lohnt sich die Anschaffung eines SUPs?

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Theresa Schieder
Theresa Schieder

Category Leader, Zurich

I’m not a great cook, struggle with home decorating and am incapable of properly assembling IKEA furniture. So at Galaxus, I’m a marketing manager in charge of sports. And sports is also what I love doing best in my spare time: cycling, tennis, skiing, swimming or working out at the gym. I’m also passionate about football and a big Bayern Munich supporter.

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