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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 27.04.2009, 06:12
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

This mornings rising of the sun, over the lake is the reason I want to join a rowwing team. It's beautiful!
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Old 27.04.2009, 07:18
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

I would like to come to this, even if for just the experience, I am also a beginner

Hope you Kayakers can organize an event for us beginners to learn
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Old 27.04.2009, 12:06
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich & rowing

I currently row on lake zurich but would interested in kayaking too. Seeing a few comments on rowing, as a complete beginner I found my local rowing club v. friendly and not at all superior. Maybe I was just lucky.

If anyone wants to try a "lesson" I would recommend giving these folk a try for rowing. They are both current or ex swiss & german Gold medal winning rowers and run simply super courses. As a beginner myself, after their course I felt very comfortable in a boat. Another tip is they also run many courses for most of the rowing clubs around zurich so could then point you in the right direction to a club best suited to you (plus if the clubs know you have taken one of their courses they don't question your ability).

Finally , no I don't work or have anything to do with them, but have since enjoyed many really lovely rows on the lake and if this helps others take up a new or renew an old past-time hope it helps.

www.pamsruderschule.ch

Since I have now really taken to water would love to have a go at kayaking so would be happy to help in anyway to maybe get a group outing?
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  #11  
Old 10.05.2009, 21:47
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

Hi folks! Sorry for a bit of a delay in getting something organized for an intro-day on the water. I'm targeting Saturday, June 13th and will post an event on the calendar with all the details. Plan is to have a laid-back morning of paddling and learning-to-paddle (I think we have a nice mix of veterans, semi-vets, and newbies), some early afternoon cycling for those interested, and a cookout on the lake.

Location is most likely Schmerikon -- I just need to check with the shop to make sure that they have enough rental kayaks available on that date. As for equipment, we may have a fun logistical challenge based on how many people want to show-up, but we'll crack it and worst-case, if the turnout is higher than the boat supply, we can do some sharing. I'll post details on renting gear once I've confirmed that the shop has availability for this date.

By the way, I've been out on Lake Zurich a few times in the past couple of weeks and once out on Lac de Neuchatel. Great fun and the water is perfect. Here are a few fun pics from my 'commute to work by kayak day' last Friday:








Stay tuned -- more details on the event to come!
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  #12  
Old 10.05.2009, 22:25
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

oh great stuff, can't wait!
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Old 06.08.2009, 16:05
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

Is there somewhere near Burkliplatz to lock your kayak up during the day? I live in Kusnacht and would love to paddle in to Zurich to work, but I don't have any leads on where to store the boat (and paddle, PFD, etc) during the workday.
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Old 28.08.2009, 14:01
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

Hi,

I am wondering how the season went? Did you go regularly with people from English Forum? You seemed to drum up lots of interest.

I am really interested in trying it out and don't know how to get started. Did any regular groups start to form? Did anyone find a good place near the lake to rent Kayaks? The englishforum seemed like a hard place to centralize information .... did you come across any other groups or websites?

Thanks for any info,

Marie
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Old 02.09.2009, 20:14
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

Hi, I have just read through all the posts on this topic. I am dead keen to get myself a kayak and get out on the lake. I have just moved to Au and work in Pfaffikon SZ so could even paddle to work.

I appreciate this is now September but did anything happen with this? I'd love to join a little club and learn to do it properly and meet some new people in the process.

Cheers

Paul
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Old 21.09.2009, 19:16
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

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Hi, I have just read through all the posts on this topic. I am dead keen to get myself a kayak and get out on the lake. I have just moved to Au and work in Pfaffikon SZ so could even paddle to work.

I appreciate this is now September but did anything happen with this? I'd love to join a little club and learn to do it properly and meet some new people in the process.

Cheers

Paul
Hi Paul -- my apologies for the delay in response. We actually had a great event in June, with many people kayaking for the first time and others enjoying a return to the water. The turnout was so large that we split it into two sessions and had an excellent BBQ to end the day. I'll offer to organize a 2010 event as well, likely for next June. As the logistics are a bit complicated unless people have their own kayaks, we didn't see any follow-on clubs or activities occurring. Only a few of us (that I know of) own sea kayaks and I don't believe that anyone purchased or built one over the summer. I'm actually planning to build a kayak as a winter project. I'll try next year also to organize a few more paddle events for those who have their own kayaks (perhaps driving to some other lakes in the country).

Kuster Sport in Schmerikon is a good place to rent or buy kayaks and not too far of a drive from Au. (I'm not affiliated with them -- this shop just happens to be where I bought my kayak and one of the closer stores from Zurich. Good selection and service as well.). There are other shops -- which I think are mentioned earlier in the thread. What I haven't found is a rental show really close to the city (as in, right on the lakefront from Zuri).

If you get a kayak, let me know. I'm still paddling to work occasionally (while the daylight remains) and I could always try to meet you out on the water.
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Old 29.09.2009, 09:22
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

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Hi,

Do I need a licence of some sort?
No license required, but there are some guidelines as well as common sense to apply while sharing the water, especially on busy evenings in the summer. First, on licensing ...

Here's a link to the Canton of Zurich site (in German) where it shows that kayaks aren't required to be licensed: http://www.stva.zh.ch/internet/ds/st...ko_zulass.html

... and an english summary: http://zurich.angloinfo.com/information/70/sailing.asp

As for paddling rules, I've heard varying comments about restrictions, such as "you must stay within 300 meters of shore", "you must stay within 200 meters of shore unless you have a PFD on", "you can go wherever you want, except keep your distance from protected areas, marked by yellow buoys." I'm still looking for an official source that clearly explains the rules, at least for Kanton Zurich. When I find it, I'll post it. If anyone else knows of a source, please share it.

From experience I can say that I always wear a PFD; most of the time when I paddle I'm 300 meters off shore for a good part of the trip; if I'm out in middle of the lake or in the entrance/exit path for any of the ferries to various villages, I stay hyper aware and quickly adjust course when something large is motoring my way; I've paddled at night (although carefully, w/lots of lights, and close to shore); I give protected areas a wide berth; and I've seen the water Police numerous times while out and have never been stopped or talked to. I also carry a paddle buoy, bilge pump, and tow rope.

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Hi,

Where can it be moored (if I cant carry it to and from the house every time).
This is a very tough nut to crack. I've yet to hear of anyone finding a solution to store their kayak at a facility on Lake Zurich. There are rowing clubs all along the lake and even a Canoe/Kayak Club on a canal just off of Brandschenkestrasse, but anyone I know who has tried to score storage space for a sea kayak at any of these places has struck out. I'd love to hear from someone who has solved this. I keep mine at my flat and either drive it to the water or roll it to the lake on little folding cart that I can stow in the rear hatch when I'm paddling.
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Old 29.09.2009, 09:35
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

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From experience I can say that I always wear a PFD; most of the time when I paddle I'm 300 meters off shore for a good part of the trip; if I'm out in middle of the lake or in the entrance/exit path for any of the ferries to various villages, I stay hyper aware and quickly adjust course when something large is motoring my way; I've paddled at night (although carefully, w/lots of lights, and close to shore); I give protected areas a wide berth; and I've seen the water Police numerous times while out and have never been stopped or talked to. I also carry a paddle buoy, bilge pump, and tow rope..
I am thinking about putting one of those childrens bicycle flags on my kayak. Maybe you've seen them, a very long 2 meter thin flexible stick with a triangular orange flag at the top...
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Old 29.09.2009, 09:32
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Re: Sea Kayaking on Lake Zurich

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I don't believe that anyone purchased or built one over the summer.
I built one over the summer ! And used it to paddle on lago maggiore and our own zurisee. I will have to try to sell it soon though as I will not have my van anymore early next year, will not be able to transport it anymore . But I am now building a collapsable kayak out of aluminium tube over the winter .

This is my (for sale) kayak in lago maggiore:
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Old 21.09.2009, 14:37
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Kayacking

Hi,

I may be missing something, so apologies(!) but I am really keen to get a kayack and get out on the lake of Zurich.

I live in Au (Wadenswil) and think that the nearest place to buy one is in Stafa. However, the thread about sea kayacking seems to have gone dead.

Does anyone have any advice on this? Id like to know if that is indeed the best place to buy one (compared to where I live of course), do I need a licence of some sort, and where can it be moored (if I cant carry it to and from the house every time). Also, is anyone else wanting to go out and paddle about?

Any advice gratefully recieved!
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