with Girls on SUPs

5 tips to make your SUP tours even more fun

Admittedly, a SUP tour on a crystal clear mountain lake in Tyrol in the most beautiful weather sounds pretty obvious at first. But there are some things you don't have to leave to chance.


The Girls on SUPs take you to the Achensee for a wonderful winter trip and show you how you can pimp your tours. Read their 5 top tips hereafter!



At 10 o'clock in the morning we arrive at the Achensee. The water lies as smooth as glass in front of us. Snow glistens on the shore. And there we go: timing is everything. The fact that you should keep an eye on the weather - especially for  winter tours, but also in summer - and check for wind or thunderstorms is probably already on your radar. But have you ever thought about the position of the sun? Especially in the darker seasons or in the mountains, the sun can quickly disappear behind peaks or trees, leaving you paddling in the shade. Our tip: Photography apps like Photo Pills or Sun Surveyor. Some of them even simulate the position of the sun via augmented reality and you can see exactly when the SUP spot of your choice is bathed in the last golden light. So is the entry point on the other side of the lake perhaps the better choice after all? Next time you will know exactly. Our base for today is perfect: snowy, sunny, and the ideal starting point for our lake crossing.



Today is the grand opening day for our new Fanatic Diamond Air Pocket Boards and matching three-piece paddles. Because frequent opening and closing can easily loosen something, the paddles come brand new for now with screws tightened quite tightly. And there you are, standing at the lake, possibly not getting the parts of your paddle to fit together. The opposite can happen if you have used your paddle many times and it slips in too easily. So it's best to pack a small tool. That may save you your whole SUP day at some point. After all, you don't go on a bike ride without a bit of equipment either. Well, if only we had taken this tip to heart ourselves! The screws on Anja's paddle are still a bit tough. What to do? There is nobody around us. Keys, coins and the like don't help. Then we discover a man shoveling snow at the nearby campground. What happens next is a classic Girls on SUPs story that we still laugh about on the drive home: we ask him if he happens to have any suitable tools and he actually pulls a flathead screwdriver out of his jacket pocket. You have to be lucky sometimes. But because we don't always want to rely on that, we prefer to pack tools in the future.


On the small parking lot at the lake we stand now again completely alone and pump up our boards, until another car rolls up. In this car: not only a young man named Fabian, but also three oxygen tanks, because Fabian is a diver and about to sink for a while in the 4 degrees cold water of the Tyrolean Achensee. If we have learned anything in the past years, it is this: always talk to the locals. They know the waters like the back of their hand and can tell you all kinds of interesting things: are there birds breeding somewhere that you could disturb? Is there a spot that is particularly worth seeing? Or are there any fun facts?

The latter is the case here, as Fabian reveals all the things hidden in the depths of the lake: a VW Bulli from the 50s/60s, two VW Beetles, a police officer figure with a radar gun and a speed limit sign, a picture gallery with photos from the region, several sailboats, an old gondola from the Zillertal and an outhouse. Fabian dives off with "Servus, vui Spaß" and a loud "Blubbbb". We watch him for a short while and make our way to the other shore.


We glide almost silently over the glassy water. No boat, no paddler - far and wide there is no one to be seen but us. That's beautiful - but it can also get you into dangerous situations very quickly - in summer as well as in winter. The list of unlikely but not impossible scenarios is long: your board loses air, you get stuck and fall (and maybe hurt yourself in the process), a wind suddenly comes up and drives your board off, you get acute health problems. Whatever it is - you don't want to be helpless in such a situation. The most important safety tips for the cold season can be found here in our Winter SUP guide (ATTENTION: LINK HERE). Always go with two people on the water. This is not only safer, but also more fun. And if it doesn't work at all and you want to go alone - always stay close to the shore. Maybe you are wondering what this has to do with the fun factor. It's simple: the better prepared you are for all eventualities, the safer you feel, the better you can switch off and simply enjoy what you are experiencing. Therefore: don't save on safety equipment and deal with it in detail. On the next tour you will feel much more free.


Arriving on the other side of the lake, we explore the shore, which consists of rough limestone rocks. Because it is in the shade most of the time, icicles have formed here. 50 meters above us we see frozen waterfalls, next to us the sun carefully flashes through the stray fir trees that grow on this steep shore. Beside us, our reflection glides along, while below us the sandstone drops steeply and the lake changes from golden color to a rich, deep green. Even if you're into sporty touring and going fast: take the time to look around at your leisure every now and then. And really, in ALL directions. While we used to focus mainly on the shore, we now always look up (what does the sky look like right now?) or down. And exactly this view under our boards is rewarded again on this tour. A little further on, where the sun still illuminates a strip of the pebbly shore, the water turns bright turquoise. "Look, a fish!" quickly turns into "what's going on here?". We've come across a whole school of fish. During subsequent research, we find out that they are eelpout, which come to shallower areas for the mating season from November to March. Eelpout - such a strange name for such a beautiful fish. Shimmering gold-black, they meander under our boards. We keep quiet so as not to frighten the fish, but they are not disturbed by us at all. Some even get curious and carefully poke our boards and paddles. 

A few minutes we watch them, then it is time for us to start the way back. It has become shady and thus fresh. We put on our waterproof gloves and paddle back. This time we step it up a notch and after a few minutes catch up with the sun, which is just about to disappear behind the mountain. Once over there, we put our boards down to dry and sit on a log. With a big pot of tea and cinnamon buns we sweeten the last sunny moments and are happy about the new memories we take home today. Goodbye Achensee, goodbye Tirol - see you soon!

The Girls on SUPs (Julia Kaffka and Anja Moerk) are two SUP enthusiasts from Munich. You can find them on Instagram as @girls_on_sups, where they take over 30,000 people from all over the world with us on our small and big adventures.

Make sure you also read their Winter SUP Guide: a-winter-sup-guide-by-girls-on-sups