The Maloja wind splits summer days on the Engadin lakes into one still and one windy phase, and so divides water sports enthusiasts into two types: early risers in search of tranquillity, and late risers who love action.
Here we are talking about the first group: stand up paddlers, canoeists, kayakers and anglers in their rowing boats. They have one thing in common: they all appreciate the peaceful early morning, the mirror-like surface of the lakes and the low sun, whose rays gradually light up the surrounding mountain slopes. What these people do not like is wind, which as a rule rises around the middle of the day. By that time, they are usually long back on shore, enjoying a good coffee.
Stand up paddling, especially, is enjoying a boom. SUP, as it is also known, gives participants a natural high, relaxes the soul and exercises the whole body from head to toe. No wonder stand up paddlers can be seen on all the large lakes – Lake St. Moritz as well as Lake Silvaplana and Lake Sils. All three lakes have rental outlets that hire out SUP equipment as well as canoes and kayaks by the hour. These venues are located at the sailing club on Lake St. Moritz, at the windsurf and kitesurf centre on Lake Silvaplana, and at Plaun da Lej on Lake Sils. The various water sports operators also offer guided SUP outings and courses in SUP technique.
Stand up paddling is especially magical on Lake Sils. This is the largest lake in Graubünden, and it offers a magnificent natural backdrop full of variety. To paddle across the still waters and look up at the towering Piz da la Margna feels like an experience of pure wilderness. There’s lots to discover, especially along the opposite shore to the road: the idyllic bays of the Chastè peninsula, the little island of Chaviolas and the Isola delta with its grazing cattle, where you can hear the song of rare birds. But be careful: Lake Sils is the first lake that the notorious Maloja wind encounters. When ripples appear on the surface of the water, it is time to head home.