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Old 07.04.2009, 23:25
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Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

For current and any aspiring sea or touring kayakers out there, I thought it would help to have a thread covering this water sport on Lake Zurich and the surrounding area. While it's obviously not full-on ocean kayaking, it's great fun out there and on Friday evenings in the summer, the chop from all the boats makes it feel like ocean kayaking! Topics for the thread can include recent conditions, entry/exit points, tips and advice, experiences with local shops, etc.

I’m typically out paddling on Lake Zurich 1-2 times a week during the warm months, with a once-a-week paddle commute to work day and another day for exploring (typically as a recovery from running or cycling). Most of my trips start from Rüschlikon and the paddle commute day ends up in the canal in the middle of Zurich near Burkliplatz (not the Limmat). I'll share experiences throughout this season on the water and look forward to discovering other EFers who may be out (or want to get out) on the water as well!
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Old 07.04.2009, 23:38
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

Conditions Report: April 5th, my 1st day on the water of the season. Surprisingly warm water for early spring – so much so that I didn’t need gloves and actually overheated in my dry-top. I think I would have been quite chilled by a capsize and swim, but the water was much warmer than I expected. I even saw some wake boarders out (but shrieking as they entered the water). The entry at Rüschlikon is from the boat ramp so you have to wade in a bit (which chills the feet unless you have dry boots), but it didn’t feel drastically different than early summer. Very smooth water, even with a light wind and the tour boats kicking off their season as well. I expect this to change soon though – especially on the weekends and evenings. Choppy water just adds to the fun though, right?
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Old 08.04.2009, 10:24
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

Do you need any permissions to kayak on the lake?

Is it forbidden to kayak on the limmat through Zurich?
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Old 08.04.2009, 10:29
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

Hi,

I'm an absolute newbie with the fitness level of an obese lemming. Can I kayak? I've done it a few times - and adored it. I imagine I need some one knowledgeable to guide me, etc for the first couple of times until I get the hang of it.

I also would need to rent a kayak, since I don't own one.

I guess what I'm asking is-

1. Do you know where (near Thalwil) is the best place to get this information, and get started?
2. What equipment do I need to buy myself, (as a minimum) to get started?
3. Do they have classes etc.?

Thanks a lot. I've been looking out at the water wistfully in the last couple of days wishing I was out there. Appreciate any assistance you can provide me shift my lemming-like butt into gear.
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Old 08.04.2009, 10:32
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

Hmm... if there is interest in this we could maybe get an event going.

Advntr, do you know what the story with renting kayaks is? Are they all open "sit-on-tops" or are there closed with spray deck etc. available to rent too?

Somewhere like Wallensee would be really cool to kayak along the cliffs to Quinten or something like that.
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Old 08.04.2009, 10:33
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

i would be up for an event of this nature!
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Old 08.04.2009, 10:43
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

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Hmm... if there is interest in this we could maybe get an event going.


Somewhere like Wallensee would be really cool to kayak along the cliffs to Quinten or something like that.
This sounds like a long kayak trip, don't forget the varying degrees of fitness people here have !
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Old 08.04.2009, 10:53
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

I have been watching the rowers out on the lake in the mornings for years now, and as an ex-swimmer, I long to join them. But I have the feeling that the rowing clubs would never take me as a member. I too would be interested in kayaking - I have done it in the past, albeit years ago - but rowing seems a bit more social, there are more people in the boat to chat with!
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Old 08.04.2009, 10:59
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

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I have been watching the rowers out on the lake in the mornings for years now, and as an ex-swimmer, I long to join them. But I have the feeling that the rowing clubs would never take me as a member. I too would be interested in kayaking - I have done it in the past, albeit years ago - but rowing seems a bit more social, there are more people in the boat to chat with!
Maybe a more important distinction is that rowers are typically highly trained serious athletes who can only talk about 500m times while kayaking seems to be more for fun
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Old 08.04.2009, 11:04
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

Well I don't know about you, but I can handle the heat!
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Maybe a more important distinction is that rowers are typically highly trained serious athletes who can only talk about 500m times while kayaking seems to be more for fun
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Old 08.04.2009, 11:37
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

Hi Advntur

This is a great post. I've just come back form a two week holiday in New Zealand where I did some amazing sea kayaking on the milford sounds. I would love to kayak on the Zurich lake.
Anyways I echo most of the points above.

I would be a beginner and would love to know where you can get/rent equipment. As Eire mentioned would an open top kayak be ok or would you recommend a closed one with a spray skirt.
Are there any clubs around or adventure companies by the lake?

Look forward to hearing from you

Brian
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Old 09.04.2009, 08:29
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

I'm happy to see such interest -- fantastic!

krlock3, no permission needed to kayak on Lake Zurich; however, you are correct about the Limmat in Zürich. The only other areas you have to avoid getting too close to by boat (including kayak and canoe) are wildlife/marshy shore areas which are well-marked and the marked swimming areas (in front of the bads). I actually watched one of the Euro2008 matches on the big screen while floating in my kayak beside a Police boat at the entrance to the Limmat last year. IMO, I had the best seat in the house!
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Old 09.04.2009, 08:44
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

I have my work cut out for me now! The only rental spot I know of immediately is where I bought my kayak, Kuster Sport in Schmerikon (at the opposite end of the lake from Zurich). I'll do some research and see if there are more options to list and based on what our options are for rentals, I'll organize an event.

For making a choice on sit-on-top or inside, I did lots of reading, spent a few hours in the shop asking questions, and then tested two models back-to-back. In the end, I preferred being in the kayak with the spray skirt. I'm comfortable in rough conditions and longer excursions and wanted a very light kayak though. The sit-on-tops are fun for lots of conditions and very good for beginners, but just didn't match how I wanted to use the kayak. Btw, sea kayaking in NZ sounds like great fun!
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Old 09.04.2009, 09:17
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

I live in Basel but would be happy to come to Zurich for some kayaking. If you are organizing an event please let me know. Sounds like a lot of fun.
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Old 09.04.2009, 13:21
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

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I have my work cut out for me now! The only rental spot I know of immediately is where I bought my kayak, Kuster Sport in Schmerikon (at the opposite end of the lake from Zurich). I'll do some research and see if there are more options to list and based on what our options are for rentals, I'll organize an event.

For making a choice on sit-on-top or inside, I did lots of reading, spent a few hours in the shop asking questions, and then tested two models back-to-back. In the end, I preferred being in the kayak with the spray skirt. I'm comfortable in rough conditions and longer excursions and wanted a very light kayak though. The sit-on-tops are fun for lots of conditions and very good for beginners, but just didn't match how I wanted to use the kayak. Btw, sea kayaking in NZ sounds like great fun!
Having had a quick look at the Kuster site it appears they do rent both open and closed kayaks... I could be mistaken on my interpretation though.

Since they are based right at Schmerikon we could perhaps do a first trip there, it's accessible by train for those that don't drive, then we could see what the general standard is like and if people wanted to try some other options.

I'm not sure if I would be into a full day on the water, but perhaps we could arrange some sort of activity where we go kayaking, then those that wanted could do something else in the afternoon and we all meet in the evening for a bar-be-que by the lake.

I used to be a kayak instructor in a past life so if people wanted I could help with newbies if there was interest.
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Old 09.04.2009, 21:04
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

Hi all - am also in Basel but love kayaking so would like to be involved with something like this - thanks for presenting the opportunity! Will also have to initially hire equipment.
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Old 09.04.2009, 23:17
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

If we could figure out where to get boats from it would be great for me too, I was training every week in Ireland during the winter in double see kayaks with my adventure racing team but havent gotten sorted here yet. Sit on tops are pretty pointless for any kind of long stuff though : (
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Old 09.04.2009, 23:22
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

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Maybe a more important distinction is that rowers are typically highly trained serious athletes who can only talk about 500m times while kayaking seems to be more for fun
I was a rower for years and its a very social sport which has club members and activities at all different levels. Obviously it would be hard to get into some of the more exclusive clubs in Zurich like Grasshoppers but if you were really interested and wanted to enjoy a new sport then Im sure there are clubs there for you. And btw...the heads of the river in the winter were anything up to 15km long and over the summer Olympic distance is 2,000mtrs not 500 : )
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Old 09.04.2009, 23:28
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

Count me in too, for further info, Advntur, I have done a bit of kayaking.
Cheers,
Pat
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Old 14.04.2009, 14:07
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

We really wanted to get involve this year as well. We've done a few trips before but no expert yet
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