Windsurfing at Lipno


     Lipno dam is part of the Vltava cascade and it is its highest step. It is located in mountain terrain, on border of National park and Protected area Šumava. Giant valley reservoir Lipno was constructed 1952 - 1959 on the upper part of Vltava. Its waters covered great part of large Vltava valley with unextracted peat-bogs. It is located 725 m above sea level.

Lake Lipno, sunset above the lake

     Thanks to its high sea level is in Czech Republic Lipno one of the best location for windsurfing. Due to constructions of water-cleaning stations has Lipno compared to other water sources in Czech Republic perfect quality of water. All windsurfing action is concentrated into two areas - Kovářov and Černá v Pošumaví. Thanks to the large camp close to lake, most of surfers are at Černá v Pošumaví. Very popular place for surfers is vicinity of SurfShop. Parking on the beach enables easy access to lake; this place is one of the best for its wind conditions. Here is also located shop and rental of windsurfing goods.

Windsurfing at Lipno, map of suitable locations.

     The wind blows mostly in direction to Southwest (west), it is also the best one, because wind can spread on large area. The best is to ride to several different places to pick the best one. Thanks to high level of water surface of Lipno often appears strong blows of wind and big waves, which are dangerous. Probability of good wind is higher out of summer holidays. During spring and fall can be recommended sails around 7 m2 as well as smaller ones around 5 m2. If you do not have such a sail you can get it in rental. Of course - no one can tell to wind in which direction it shall blows. If there is no wind you can do other sports. Vicinity is created for biking, trips to Austria and swimming. Summer open movie is open whole July and August. There is a number of camps where you can be accommodated at the Lipno ; the most suitable for surfers are camps Jestřábí I, II and III in Černá v Pošumaví. Maximum width of Lipno lake is almost 10 km. Under ideal conditions you can ride on slide at Kovářov more than 8 km long way! People are surfing from March till November, but skilled surfer with good suit rides in winter as well - of course if the lake is not covered by ice.

     At Lipno can be time to time seen windsurfing specialties, which can be shown only by a small number of surfers mainly from Austria. For example Speedloop, Jumpjibe, etc.

Windsurfing at Lipno, Černá v Pošumaví, blows SW wind 10 m/s, in front rides Martin Jelínek with sail 5.5 m2 and surf Wave250

Wave paradise at Lipno

     Height of waves depends mostly on strength of wind and length of water surface. Wave locations are SurfShop v Černá v Pošumaví for SW wind, Hruštice for NW wind and Kovářov for W wind. It was proved, that waves reach their size as listed in table bellow :

wind power  8 m/s 12 m/s 18 m/s 25 m/s
sail size 6.5 m2 5.0 m2 4.0 m2 3.5 m2
max. wave size 0.5 m 1.0 m 1.5 m 2.0 m

Values are only approximate, sail size is valid for 75 kg heavy surfer.

Windsurfing on Lipno, location Kovářov, view in direction to Dolní Vltavice, blows wind 20 m/s

     Waves reaching up to 2 m are very nice, but they appear during sporadic windstorms with wind power over 22 m/s, when surfing is a hazardous. Necessity is a helmet and quality float. Two meter waves were proven even by local lake-life savers. These waves appear several times a year, usually out of summer season. During strong wind is recommended location by Surfshop, because you can find here paramedics and shop with windsurfing goods, where you can repair damaged parts.

Windsurfing at Lipno, view from surfshop in Černá v Pošumaví, W wind 20 m/s with blows 25 m/s, view at Smrčina (1300 m above sea level), windsurfing only for stunts, 1.11.1998   Windsurfing at Lipno, view from surfshop in Černá v Pošumaví, W wind 20 m/s with blows 25 m/s, view in direction to N, windsurfing only for stunts, 1.11.1998

Suitable locations at Lipno and accessibility to water

It is probably the only free parking just by the lake. Access to water is comfortable - slowly declining sand beach. It is always valuable to come here and get advise from local surfers. Every year takes place here race the University of Speed, what is a race for the fastest surfer. Records on Lipno are around 55 km/h.


Are three camps along the lake, mostly with sandy beaches and excellent access to water. The highest number of surfers on Lipno is concentrated here. If you are not staying in camp, just behind camp Jestřábí III is an excellent grassy strip reaching to water. Here is perfect access to water, excellent lookout and at the bank water surface without waves.


Cottage area. You walk among cottages to water. Disadvantage are transport restrictions; if you behave fine, locals do not pay you any attention. Along the bank is a strip of poplars.


Only one road leads there and it ends by a ferry. Access to water is different - somewhere muddy sand, else stones. Available are pensions Rozárka and Na Vyhlídce.


In village Kovářov turn to the right and on stony road go down to water. Access to water is stony. Nearby is located the life-guard Kovářov.


After passage through Kovářov is offered to you a unique view at the largest area of Lipno. Keep going straight till you come to the cottage settlement.


You can of course surf at the other locations of Lipno as well. But those locations are less suitable or not suitable at all

Windsurfing at Lipno, Černá v Pošumaví, SW wind 8 m/s, in front Martin Lakomý, sail Lipno 6.8 m2, surf F2 Axxis278, in back Ing. Rostislav Ružbatský, sail Lipno 6.8 m2, surf F2 Ride285    Windsurfing at Lipno, Černá v Pošumaví, wind 8 m/s, in front rides Martin Jelínek with sail Arrows Tomahawk 6.6m2 and surf Fanatic UltraRay282

Locations suitable for concrete directions of wind

S 7 km

Ideal location is positively Radslav. You can start without problems even from camp Jestřábí and Surf Shop, but wind does not blows by bank and so you have to ride away about 100 m. Waveless alternative is Dolní Vltavice.

SW 6.5 km

Ideal direction for surfers in camp Jestřábí, SurfShop and at Radslav. Wind blows usually stable. While is wind blowing in this direction the most surfers are on the lake. Wind blows to a dam in Černé v Pošumaví; this place is not in vain called "the bay of idiots". Little bit weaker alternative is Kovářov

W 6 km

For this direction is the best Kovářov. It is the largest area on Lipno and beginners should watch out the great waves. If you do mind the waves, by Dolní Vltavice they are half size. You can ride even by Černá v Pošumaví, but the wind is weaker there.

NW 8 km

The best location is called Hruštice. Probably the greatest waves in Czech Republic can be found here. They are nicely curved and jumping on them is excellent. Suitable is Kovářov too. For smaller waves can be again recommended Dolní Vltavice.

N 5 km

The only one suitable location is Kovářov. Under these condition you have to ride vertical to the bank.

NE 6.5 km

The only place for this direction is strip from SurfShop to Radslav. Ideal is a meadow behind Jestřábí III. By Surfshop wind does not blow by bank and so you have to ride away about 100 m. The power of wind can not be determined from the bank. Surface is almost without waves and it is the best waveless combination at Lipno

E 6 km

The only suitable place is Dolní Vltavice. Waves are rather average. To ride in this direction elsewhere is worthless.

SE 8 km

Same as E direction.

Windsurfing at Lipno, picturing of ideal wind directions.

Ideal and the most frequent directions are S,SW,W,NW,W; less frequent and suitable are SE,E,NE.

Lake Lipno, beach

Advice and recommendations

Lake Lipno, surfers, foto: Libor Sváček

Winter windsurfing - Ice Surfing
     Water surface on Lipno freezes during winter for several months. Ice is thick, safe and suitable for winter windsurfing. Float is specially adjusted. For ride on ice is float equipped with special skates. If the ice is covered with snow, the float is equipped with special ski. Surfing on ice is more dangerous than the one on water. That is why you have to wear special clothing, during stronger wind even helmet. During winter blows at Lipno pretty fair winds.

Ice windsurfing at Lipno, surfer Martin Lakomý, Frymburk, March 1999   Ice windsurfing at Lipno, surfer Tomáš Kučera, Frymburk, winter 1997/1998

Surfing with parachute - Kite Surfing
     New sport, which is at Lipno just on start. The parachute is similar to the one used for paragleiding. The parachute is high above water surface and small float is similar to the one for windsurfing. Surfer keeps parachute in needful altitude and crooks with legs by pressing on edges of float. This sport is bodily very demanding, but it is fantastic.



Further information :
Lipno Dam
Hydro plant Lipno
History of the hydro plant Lipno
Černá v Pošumaví
Dolní Vltavice


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