At the beginning of your waterski carreer you might have had the same idea: „What a great sport. Wherever I go for a vacation, I can waterski. I just need a beach“.
As you advance, this image slowly crumbles away. The better you get, the less you are willing to accept bumpy conditions and wrong boat speeds. In the end, only a handful of those touristic places you once dreamed of remain skiable.
One of them is the lake „Wolfgangsee“ in Austria.
It is not by chance that the lake and the three surrounding villages count almost one million visitors per year. When you arrive the scenery is hard to believe its real. The crystal clear water, the mountains and the village look so ridiciously nice, that the scenery seems to be a fake. You expect „Heidi“ herself crossing your way any moment. Take the time and make a google image search on „Wolfgangsee“ and you will see what I mean.
We owe the fact that you can pick this lake to Teddy Furian, a former austrian slalom champion who skies today in senior category on the 12 meter line.
Teddy began his waterski carreer at the age of 10 when by participating in waterskiing shows on the Lake Wolfgangsee. The rest of the story reminds me of my own and many other skiers I met… He caught fire on waterski and spent some time at serveral schools in the US before returning to his origins at St. Wolfgang.
It is not hard to imagine where he wanted to put his focus 🙂 But while you may take this for normal you must be aware of the traditional Wolfgangsee tourist. „Heidis“ friends do not really tend to be active sportsman and focussing on an exotic sport like waterski was businesswise, an unusual and risky step. But again, I see a pattern here. All the places I have visited and and that worked, were run by dedicated waterskiers.
Teddy leaves no doubt that he takes it serious. He called his hotel „Furian, Europes first waterski hotel“. The boat are always top of the line (Correct Craft 200) at the time of our report and offers the latest equipment from brands like Conelly and D3.
As a former state champion, Teddy in charge of the slalom coaching while his sons are more into wakeboarding. The slalom course is only 30 secconds away from the „Lakeside“.
The water conditions are very good in the morning. You can expect glassy water from 7 to 9:30.
Then, all depends on the wind conditions and the boat traffic. You may be lucky and have great conditions all day long but that is not guaranteed.
I had incredible rides on glassy water and it was hard to concentrate on the buoys and not watching the beautiful scenery… But the water can get choppy. The wolfgangsee is not a manmade lake and there are some cruise ships operating on the lake.
The „Hotel Furian“
The hotel is a beautiful 4 star house in the traditional austrian style. The friendly 35 sqare meters large rooms are all equipped with TV and balcony.
There is a five minutes walk down to the lake where the hotels privatly owned beach club „Lakeside“ is located. It is a nice place that invites to stay. They have an area with lawn, sandy beach, comfortable deck chairs and a cocktail bar. Near the ski boat dock there are pappleboats and canoes at your service to explore the lake in between sets 🙂
A big plus is the touristic infrastructure around the spot. Especially the „non skiing partner“ or kids have the choice between horse riding, tennis, sailing etc.
There is a lot more to do like visiting the Scalaria Air Callenge or the Red Bull Cliff Diving.
Here is a list of some other places to visit:
- Schafberg Bahn & Wolfgangsee Schifffahrt
- Kaiserstadt Bad Ischl
- Mozartstadt Salzburg
- Kulturhauptstadt Wien
- Erlebnis Salzwelten
- Red Bull Hanga 7, Salzburg
Our personal point of view on Furians spot:
Furians place is a dream location to spend a vacation with your partner and with the kids. Inmidst a beautiful classic austrian tourist highlight, you can mix waterskiing with a classic vacation. Go there with your family or friends, stay in Furians Hotel and use it as a base for waterskiing and excursions. Have a set or two in the morning and spend the rest of the day to visit the area. It is one of the very rare places where you can do that.
I am not sure if I recommend the place for hardcore slalom addicts. If you tend to concentrate 100% on skiing and spend all the time on the dock adjusting your fin settings anyway, you will also want perfect reliable water.
Here are some links you may find useful:
The homepage of the Hotel Furian
Direct link to Google maps:
Regional website covering things to do at and around the lake:
Coordinates for Google Earth: 47°44’27.64″ N 13°26’30.34″ O
This club report was brought to you by Ulf Unbehaun and Marco Schössler