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-   -   Windsurfing in Switzerland (Neuchatel area) (https://www.englishforum.ch/sports-fitness-beauty-wellness/26244-windsurfing-switzerland-neuchatel-area.html)

ehalahmi 15.06.2008 15:29

Windsurfing in Switzerland (Neuchatel area)
 
Hi,

I read the thread regarding windsurfing near Zurich but I could not find the information I am asking for 2 reasons: 1. I do not understand German. Only English or French, and most of the sites were German only. 2. I couldn't find seasonal information there about conditions in the summer.

I am used to windsurfing at winds of 20-30knots (daily in the summer) and warm water of above 26C.

I know Switzerland is not the ideal place to windsurf but I am starting to leave in Vaumarcus soon and I really do not want to stop windsurfing.

I never surfed in cold water before and I ask for your advise:
1. Is there a place up to even 3 hours drive that I can windsurf (maybe also in France) with winds at least 15knots and with water at temperature above 20C?
2. If I am doomed to surf in clod water, how bad is it :confused: and what suite would you recommend?

Many Thanks.

Eire 15.06.2008 17:33

Re: Windsurfing in Switzerland (Neuchatel area)
 
Look out for Bise wind and get your butt down to Yverdon. The wind is cold, but the water temperature can be OK depending on the time of year.



These are the kind of conditions you can expect with Bise, but don't get your hopes up about Switzerland. I am a total windsurfing nut and have all but given it up since I moved to Switzerland.

I occasionally sail on lake Silvaplana during the summer (6.8 on Freestyle board), but its cold water. Other then that you spend so much time waiting for wind and so little time windsurfing it just pi$$es me off, so I go mountain biking instead.

Wildstreak 15.06.2008 18:56

Re: Windsurfing in Switzerland (Neuchatel area)
 
Ditto, but when the Bise blows try Greifensee (very small and therfore a bit warmer) or Vierwaldstaetersee (just south of Brunnen on E41) or Walensee (on the A3 before Heidiland). Its all a bit low quality and there's a fair chance you can end up on the wrong side of the lake wafting through the water, knee deep on a sinker at the end of the day.

Weather report on http://www.swiss-sailing.ch/greifensee/

Despite all this negative vibe, its still a day on he water!!

Bon Chance!

Eire 15.06.2008 19:18

Re: Windsurfing in Switzerland (Neuchatel area)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wildstreak (Post 248232)
Ditto, but when the Bise blows try Greifensee (very small and therfore a bit warmer) or Vierwaldstaetersee (just south of Brunnen on E41) or Walensee (on the A3 before Heidiland). Its all a bit low quality and there's a fair chance you can end up on the wrong side of the lake wafting through the water, knee deep on a sinker at the end of the day.

Weather report on http://www.swiss-sailing.ch/greifensee/

Despite all this negative vibe, its still a day on he water!!

Bon Chance!

Been there, done all that. I live right next to Greifensee. The wind is ridiculously gusty. In my opinion its just not fun. I hate this on the plane off the plane short sharp chop stuff, and spending the day waiting around to see if you get 20 minutes of sailing in.

The best conditions I have had in Switzerland, (and believe me I've tried nearly everywhere) have been Lake Neuchatel (Bise) and Silvaplana (Maloja wind). All the hype about Föhn is blown out of proportion. It is the gustiest wind I have ever come across.

I think I will be sticking mainly to biking in Switzerland until it gets a coastline and I can get logo high waves with 10 or more knots of wind from the side.

ehalahmi 15.06.2008 19:42

Re: Windsurfing in Switzerland (Neuchatel area)
 
Eire & Wildstreak, thank you for your prompt reply.
I see the sail in the video is 5.5 or more, correct?

I forgot to mention my gear. I am using usually Goya Freestyle-wave 80l with 4.5-5m sale. I also have 6m and fortunately for me I need to use it only on rare occasions of low wind.

From the information you provided so far it looks that it does not worth bothering even bringing my gear over :(. What do you think?

Eire 15.06.2008 19:52

Re: Windsurfing in Switzerland (Neuchatel area)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ehalahmi (Post 248252)
Eire & Wildstreak, thank you for your prompt reply.
I see the sail in the video is 5.5 or more, correct?

I forgot to mention my gear. I am using usually Goya Freestyle-wave 80l with 4.5-5m sale. I also have 6m and fortunately for me I need to use it only on rare occasions of low wind.

From the information you provided so far it looks that it does not worth bothering even bringing my gear over :(. What do you think?

In the video I linked to I was using a 4.1 and 3.7 on an 82 litre board. That day the 82 litre board was actually too big, I could have done with my 63, but had left it at home because the forecast was only for 18 to 20knots of wind. It was gusting at 45 to 50 knots!!! :eek:

I'd say its worth bringing your gear, but don't expect to use it a lot. You need to keep an eye on the forecasts and figure out when its worth going. Bise is definitley worth checking out, but the wind is cold, so you'll need a good wetsuit even if the water is warm enough.

If you want to windsurf here, I think your best bet is to get a larger freestyle board (I have 110 litre, but wish I had gotten 100 litre), and a fairly punchy 6.5 sail or so. Then you'll get a few thermic days on some of the lakes that might satisfy your needs. This is what I do. I go biking near Silvaplana in the mornings and then sail in the afternoon, just to see if I can still do it. This helps for when I get to go on holidays and go windsurfing properly.

I will admit though, I am a bit of a windsnob these days. I've had worldclass conditions on my doorstep when I was growing up and have been in quite a few of the best places in the world to windsurf so iffy conditions just don't excite me anymore. :msncrazy:

ehalahmi 16.06.2008 09:01

Re: Windsurfing in Switzerland (Neuchatel area)
 
Thank you Eire. The information you provided is very helpful. I also saw your videos from Maui.Cooool :cool:.

Can you tell me please for how many surfing days a year I should expect in Yverdon (which is very close to me, about 15 minutes drive), in what seasons, and what the conditions I should expect (including water/air temperature).

Also, for someone who is used to surfing in warm water and warm air temperature, how frustrating do you think it will be for me changing to a much colder environment, and does the wet suit makes it feels like a "warm" location?

Many thanks!

ticino 16.06.2008 09:11

Re: Windsurfing in Switzerland (Neuchatel area)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ehalahmi (Post 248462)
how frustrating do you think it will be for me changing to a much colder environment, and does the wet suit makes it feels like a "warm" location?

Many thanks!

My outside thermometer says 12°C and its raining. No fun to be out there, no matter what you do. I'm not into wind surfing but I used to go sailing from time to time before moving to CH - have given up here. You always need to plan in advance (if you need to rent a boat - at least that's easier when you're surfing), and then you end up sitting on the lake in crap weather with no wind at all.

Don't want to sound too negative, but I guess you have a max. of 30-40 days a year where you get really good and pleasant conditions. And those are not necessarily weekends :(.

Eire 16.06.2008 21:09

Re: Windsurfing in Switzerland (Neuchatel area)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ehalahmi (Post 248462)
Thank you Eire. The information you provided is very helpful. I also saw your videos from Maui.Cooool :cool:.

Can you tell me please for how many surfing days a year I should expect in Yverdon (which is very close to me, about 15 minutes drive), in what seasons, and what the conditions I should expect (including water/air temperature).

In Yverdon you will probably get strong Bise a few times a year (maybe 5 or so). Water/Air temperature totally depends on the time of year. Bise appears to blow strong enough to windsurf more in Autumn. This means that water temperature can be anything from 22deg or more in September to less then 10 deg at the end of November. Air temperature is always cold in Bise.

You will also get a few Southwesterly days a year (Maybe 5 to 10) that that are sailable on Lake Neuchatel. These days are a little warmer and can happen at any time of year. During the summer with a strong SW storm you could have 20deg air and water.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ehalahmi (Post 248462)
Also, for someone who is used to surfing in warm water and warm air temperature, how frustrating do you think it will be for me changing to a much colder environment, and does the wet suit makes it feels like a "warm" location?

Many thanks!

If your used to surfing warm water, cold water SUCKS! I grew up sailing in cold water, and it was a shock to the system when I moved home from Maui after living there. Modern wetsuits are very good and they make conditions bearable. When it is really cold it takes some time to get used to the feeling of wearing booties etc during the winter. You will get used to sailing in cold water, and spending some extra money on a good wetsuit is definitely worth it. t will make your days sailing so much more comfortable.

patrickk 09.04.2020 18:10

Re: Windsurfing in Switzerland (Neuchatel area)
 
where are good spots around Neuchatel (north part of the lake) and under which conditions ? I have noticed there is a lot of wind in winter, almost every day, but it seems quiet now that days are getting warmer.

Belgianmum 09.04.2020 18:30

Re: Windsurfing in Switzerland (Neuchatel area)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by patrickk (Post 3169560)
where are good spots around Neuchatel (north part of the lake) and under which conditions ? I have noticed there is a lot of wind in winter, almost every day, but it seems quiet now that days are getting warmer.

St Blaise and the areas around there are pretty popular for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Guest 09.04.2020 18:35

Re: Windsurfing in Switzerland (Neuchatel area)
 
From St Blaise sailing club is a good spot- but any place really. But do be careful - as Neuch lake is so close to the Jura mountains- conditions can be treacherous and catch those who do not know the area- often with a tragic end. As the weather cools up in mountains and gets denser, and it is still warm by the lake - it can VERY quickly create a vacuum- and very strong winds within minutes. So end of afternoon is the favourite time for keen, experienced windsurfers- as winds get stronger- but watch out for warning lights on the shore all along the lake- and don't ignore- get back to shore asap. That wind is called locally 'Le Joran' and it causes both physical damage to crops and buildings- but has also killed many over the years. Stay safe. (posts crossed BM). Because of the sailing club, lots of young windsurfers there- so a good place to make friends too.

Guest 09.04.2020 18:39

Re: Windsurfing in Switzerland (Neuchatel area)
 
They also organise a crazy festival there every Summer- let's hope it will go ahead as usual

https://youtu.be/W9Dg3bf2iUE


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