Bodensee, Friedrichshafen, Germany, windsurfing

Bodensee, Friedrichshafen, Germany, windsurfing

Another carbnb adventure, we changed last-minute plans from a trip to Norway into a trip to South Germany or Italy (for better temperatures). The first stop was Bodensee, Germany.

We arrived on the west side of the Bodensee and I thought windsurfing would be “not soo good”(read impossible) over here. We did some fun things, BBQ at the beach, reading a few books enjoying really nice weather. Also some great “therme” with view over the lake. I highly recommend the Zeppelin Museum, it was really inspiring over there!!

“Look at that tree, isn’t that wind?”
After three days we drove from the west-side to Friedrichshafen, there was a McD with WIFI and soo I checked up my emails. While I was doing my emails Sun was pointing me a tree which moved a lot because of the “wind”. I was like, yeah right.. wind over here?. I looked at Como, Garda and than the Friedrichshafen windmeasurements. I was surprised to see the most wind just around the corner… At the Bodensee. According to the measurements it was 12kn and 15kn gusts.
There was wind!?! For how long?? I did not know where I could get in the water… Mission impossible started, find a place to start with windsurfer…. Driving around was stressful every bit of beach is claimed by privateers, companies (Mercedes for example), yacht clubs, etc. I tried to pay the yacht club staff to get me on the terrain, however that was not possible within the club rules. All fences… After 60 minutes driving around I found a small tunnel and the first launch place “Reiherweg, Friedrichshafen”, you just have to unload windsurfstuff on the beach and than park your car uphill (150 m). An even better spot (more difficult to park) was found the next day at “Ziegelstrasse, Friedrichshafen”.

Windsurf review
I was not alone, I was windsurfing together with three happy locals and they were just as excited. In the summer there is not a lot of wind. I rigged a 8.3 sail, 105 liter board and Sonntag Fins 40cm. I could plane from the very first moment. How sweet if there is wind while you expect to get no wind!!
The winddirection was West and the waves were a bit bigger than you will find normally at a lake. The water and air was really nice. Depth is ok near the shoreline, the beach is made of large round gravels and boulders not very comfy but possible to surf barefoot. The equipment I used was the right size, definitely not smaller needed!

Movescount session and windsurfing conclusion

I used my Suunto to check the stats afterwards. I managed to do over 30km distance and with a 33km/h 30minutes average it wasn’t really bad. However it has to be noticed these are not numbers for a windsurfing holiday… But the spot is nice if you look for a holiday with family where you might get a good day windsurfing too.

Best wind prediction and best season
According to the locals the wind is often based on thermal effects and in summer not very strong. Therefor a site like windfinder, windguru doesn’t give a realistic prediction. However locally on the beach in Friedrichshafen you will see yellow lights flashing at the other side of the lake (in Swiss). 60 times/minute if there will be wind up to 6bft and 90times/minutes for wind up to 8bft.
Best season for wind is spring/fall, however it is cold at that time. The local I spoke used a drysuit for his best sessions.

Erik Loots

Erik is windsurfer for 10+ years. In his daily life he is professional in construction dewatering, advisor, troubleshooter. Erik likes adventures, explore and to challenge himself. During his life he is trying to get the best out of it and have respect for the earth, nature and future generations. The modern world is about sharing, in this blog Erik shares his experiences, selfreflection and lessons learned.