In summer, we call this tour “Bavarian Amazonas”. We have been thinking about paddling it at full moon for quite some time, and this weekend the forecast looked OK. Not good, it was overcast, but there was 85% chance of seeing the moon between 20.00 and 24.00. So Petra ( and Etienne (Munich Stand Up Paddling) decided to give it a try.

It was -2°C and the water temperature was 4°C. But in winter and in darkness it did not look like the Amazonas anymore. More like a Louisiana Swamp. Do you watch True Blood? Think about the opening credits and you get the idea.

Etienne and I started paddling, he with a headlamp, me with a torch around my neck and an LED light glued to the board, which we both turned of after some time as our eyes adjusted to the low light. It started with a loud splashing sound and Etienne saying he had seen something big in the water. I did not want to know any more details and just kept paddling.

During the first part of the tour the river is quite wide and the edges are covered with trees, later it gets narrower and it’s mostly reed. After a narrow passage with lots of reed comes a wider pool with a small landing stage on which we always take a break, as after that comes quite an exhausting passage, with a few rapids.

While we were sitting there, eating chocolate chip cookies and drinking energy drink, all of a sudden the clouds moved away and we saw the moon and hundreds of stars. We were glad to have some more light for the rapids passage, and went on paddling.

After about 2 hours of paddling we reached Starnberg harbor. It was tinted in yellow lights and looked a bit like a ghost town.

Starnberg Harbour at night per SUP

A few more minutes of paddling and we reached lake Starnberg, it can be quite choppy, but on that day it was flat like a mirror. We sat on our boards in total quietness and watched the amazing reflections of the lights of the surrounding towns in Starnberg lake. Plus we saw a perfect full moon now. Totally amazing! We were so stunned by the view that we almost did not notice how cold we were getting, we looked down on our boards, and they were covered with a big crust of ice. Time to paddle back!

Starnberg Lake Light reflections at night SUP Tou

Overall, the first part of the paddle with all the wilderness was not as beautiful and stunning as in Summer, it looked much darker, scary, spooky and felt a bit like a horror movie. But this was set off by the quietness and the amazing light reflections once we reached Starnberg lake. Etienne said, this would have been even more amazing with snow. Funny enough, last night it started snowing again and now we have 5cm snow here. We will for sure be back.

A totally amazing experience! Thanks Etienne, for paddling with me!



Equipment Used:



  • Imagine Carbon Paddle
  • Corban Carbon Paddle


  • Etienne and Petra were wearing 3/2 mm long wetsuîts
  • Etienne was wearing a windbreaker, Petra 2 softshell jackets
  • We were both wearing cycling gloves
  • Petra was wearing 3/2 booties (non-split toe) with crocs on top (yes those ugly crocs are good for something after all, they keep your feet dry, as you are slightly elevated)
  • Etienne was wearing this split toe booties in which he is notoriously getting cold feet.