The Urnersee is a lake in Switzerland, nestled between the Alps, which, with South Foehn, can offer truly exceptional conditions, with wind speed even at 40 - 50 knots. Windsurfing sessions in this lake are often epic.
Windsurf, spots reviews: The Urnersee, Switzerland, with South Foehn
The Urnersee is actually a branch of Lake Lucerne (in the German language called "Vierwaldstättersee"). There are several spots to go out on the lake, that offer very different conditions, even if located a few kilometers from each other. The wind can vary a lot in intensity, and quality, among the various spots, and even the water surface can go from completely flat to very choppy.... Considering that the conditions can be quite demanding, to enjoy the exit, it is better to know well the different conditions offered from each spot, and the characteristics of the logistics on the shore, taking advantage of the precious information given in this article.
The most famous and popular spot is Isleten, but you can also ride at Fluelen, on the opposite bank.
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What makes Isleten main spot much more challenging than the others, further south, is not only the wind intensity, but also the water level, here decidedly choppy, with a sometimes regular and long waves of 50-100 cms, near the shore, while in the middle of the lake, tendentially they are more chaotic. The wind intensity is such that, even with small sails and boards, you will easily take a lot of speed, and you'll take off high, even on a chop of some tens of cms; even because, once in the air, your sail will act like a wing and will hold you in suspension for a long time. But, it's a great feeling.....
In the leeward beach, freestylers go to look for flatter water just downwind from the beach, to try their maneuvers. In addition to crowding, pay attention, here, because a hundred meters further north is the landing jetty of the ferry that serves on the lake.
When the wind exceeds 50 knots (above all if it is cold), enter into the water only if you know what you are going to do....
On October 14, 2018 (read report), when I came out here, for my first time, I was overpowered with the 3.7 sail (my weight is about 72 kgs), and above all, the 87-liter wave board was too big. For me, that day, a 3.3 and a board of 70 liters, would have been more appropriate. If you plan to come out here often with South Foehn, get adequate equipment.
We have heard that on the Vierwaldstättersee (how the lake is globally called in German), with South Foehn, you can also ride in Lucerne, with less demanding conditions, but not having tried the spot, we are not able to provide other information.
Finally, it must be said that on the Urnersee, in summer, you also ride with a thermic wind from the north, much less intense than the Foehn, which blows in the afternoon. In this case, the most southerly spots are preferred, cause the thermic can get stronger, especially in Fluelen, near the cliff just north of the campsite beach. We have not tried the Urnersee with thermic wind, so far. If you have any information, please send us, to upgrade the article.
Hang loose. Fabio
Click here, for a nice slidegallery taken at Isleten spot with South Foehn.
A video shot in Isleten with South Foehn