Lake Karapiro, Cambridge

Launch Spot. Concrete car parking spaces with ample grass areas for rigging.

Accommodation: Camp at the Mighty River Domain, which is 100m upslope from the boat ramp (Gate #2).

Entering the water: There are two concrete boat ramps about 150m apart. If you are beginning or unsure, enter at the upwind ramp by the Yacht Club, exit at the larger Karapiro Rowing ramp.

Wind Direction: Works best with SE. Wind is channeled along lake length.

Winds Strength: Winds are gusty (similar to Lake Pupuke). Hunt for the gusts. Predict wind observation and wind models suggested 8-12knots, winds are actually 5 knots more. No nearby live wind meter, if the trees are bent over and its SE, it’s on.

Where’s the best riding: Refer to map. The winds are localised along the lake length and width. The west side of the lake has stronger winds. Large wind shadow on the eastern side of the lake across from the yacht club. Interesting gorge effects going on here, wind decreases in strength towards the dam as the valley opens.

Best time of year: Nov-April, or when ever the SE blows hard.

Water depths: Foil from 10m lake edge.

Tides: No tides here buddy, levels can fluctuate over a weekly period by 0.5m

Swell: Ya dreaming mate due to short fetch. 0.1m white capping if you are lucky.

Water quality/clarity: Pure NZ fresh lake water with 1m vis.

1) Small patches of grass weeds around lake margins.
2) The permanent rowing lanes are marked by painted 0.1m and 0.2m polystyrene cubes that bob up and down. They must be attached to a sub-surface vertical and horizontal string-bridle? I foiled within 0.2m of the poly-markers and didn’t hit them with a 1m mast.

1) Being the NZ high performance rowing centre, the amenities are world class. Even a playground for the kids. Unfortunately there are plenty of events and training scheduled, lake is typically free after 5pm. Check their website, download the PDF

2) The Cambridge yacht and motorboat club have regular meets.

3) Jetski towing also ideal from Keeley Reserve. DW from Keely Reserve to the Yacht club could be a goer if the SE has filled in. There’s a few bouy marker lines to dodge along the way, good luck.


Additional Details

  • Distance from waters edge to safe foiling depth.: 10-20m
  • Anything else we should know?:No Wingfoiling during rowing events - there are plenty!!
  • Rider level:Beginner, Intermediate
  • Shore Description: Lake
  • Best wind direction: SE
  • Best Tides: N/A
Show all
  • Best swell conditions:0-2ft
  • Best time of year:Dec - Feb
  • Car Parking:Sealed
  • Rigging Area:Grass
  • Entering the Water:Boat Ramp
  • Average Wind: 8-12kts
  • Best area or direction to ride:Infront and upwind of rowing club rooms
  • Alternative landing locations:Boat ramp (best to avoid the dam!)
  • Other likely on-water activities to watch for:Boating, Fishing, Families, Sailing, Jetskis, Swimming/Surfing
  • Obstacles on the water:Lots of rowing bouys to dodge

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