It’s a strange sight to see people standing on water, isn’t it? With summer in full swing it’s not uncommon to see gaggles of standup paddle (SUP) boarders making their way around the Zürichsee. But what is this sporty activity really all about?
As you might expect, SUP is an offshoot of surfing and originated in Hawaii, but didn’t really take off until 2005. It is now known all over the world as you can practice on almost any body of water; making it a perfect sport for Switzerland. Zuri Girl got the full scope on the Swiss SUP scene with SUPSWISS.ch.
Never been on a board before?
That doesn’t matter! SUP is something for everyone and all are welcome. With school being out lots of pre-teens, teens and their parents have been trying the sport for the first time. Professionals tend to come toward the evening hours as a wind down after work. The only requirements are to be able to swim and stand — not necessarily at the same time of course. Be prepared for a bit of a mental and physical challenge as you put your balancing skills to the test. Don’t feel embarrassed if you fall in the water. SUP is about togetherness, so just enjoy your time with friends on the water.
Gearing up for paddling
The best weather conditions to try SUP are flat water (like in the morning), little wind, no rain (cloudy is ok, but sunny is better) and definitely no risk of thunderstorms! If you don’t have a board you’ll need cash to rent one or to take a lesson (board rental often included). While any water sport requires a sense of adventure, if you have any concerns about being in deep water, wear a lifejacket.
Safety & Tips
It’s highly recommended to stay within 300 meters from shore. Any further and by law you’d need a lifejacket. Steer clear of docked and buoyed boats and for big passenger ships. Bumping parked boats can damage them and bumping into passenger ships could damage you!
SUP while barefoot is the best for good balance. It might be painful to walk on the shore’s pebbles before getting in the water, but the pay off is on the board. Once on your board, keep your feet hips width apart and in the middle of the board (where the handle is) and look forward. Keep paddling to maintain stability and direct the nose of the board in the direction of the waves (not parallel) for a smoother ride.
Special SUP Contest
From now until the end of August you can take part in the SUP Race Zürich for just CHF 29! This isn’t just a chance to try SUP at an unbeatable price (the best we’ve seen), but you can also enter to win prizes totaling CHF 28,000! Summer fun, great price and a chance to win amazing prizes? Not a bad deal at all! Visit SUPSWISS during regular business hours to learn more.
Other offers from SUPSWISS
As an International Organization Standup Paddle (IOSUP) certified school with highly trained instructors, you can be confident that you are in good hands for special tours, basic and advanced courses, private events or event just renting a board and paddle. Several large corporations are scheduling SUP courses and group outings as a form of teambuilding and mental training. Private sessions in the evening tend to be a bit more relaxed and very fun. We’ve been told that SUPSWISS has hosted some outrageous bachelor/ette parties. There are even full moon tours with BBQ and headlamps for late night paddling. Want to SUP somewhere besides the Zürichsee? SUPSWISS has a trailer of boards for easy transportation. You provide the water of course. Zuri Girl was especially impressed that they offer courses for you and your dog! SUP is truly for everyone and all really are welcome. So don’t wait to try it!
+41 (0)44 451 90 90 . Website
Zuri Girl Ashley Ringger of Set Sails Media regularly contributes fun and insightful articles about life in Switzerland to Girlfriend Guide to Zurich.
In her spare time, she likes to stay active by going to the gym, doing yoga or paddling board, travels and cooks with friends. She also can’t say no to a good film!