Zeeland, magnet for water sports
With some 650 clicks of coast, Zeeland has virtually endless access to the water: an amazing place for fans of water sport. The wind and sun combine with the alluring aquatics to yank you up away from wherever you’re taking it easy. Always good to test yourself in the breeze, isn’t it? And that cusp of shore, water and sea is just made for kite surfing, wave surfing, sup boarding, swimming, sailing and diving. Here’s a glimpse at the feat-all-you-can buffet out on our waters. Enjoy!
Maybe our founding mothers and fathers could have called this place ‘Zwemland’. Swimming is what we do in the water. Dive into the sea and cavort in the waves. Jump into an inland lake and caper around, like lambs in the spring meadow. Or have a dip in the pool. Indoors, outdoors, any way you like.
You’ve got your vessel, I’ve got mine. Water taxi, sloop, kayak, yacht, ferry, excursion boat, water bike, motor boat. Zeeland’s waters welcome them all. On the inland waters, the sheltered bays, the lively exposed Oosterschelde estuary and the extensive open sea. One time you’ll go out alone, under your own steam as it were. Another, you’ll sail under the firm but gentle command of a professional skipper. Aye, Aye, cap’n. More and more people enjoy a day trip on the water, whether in nature areas, a family excursion or a seal safari. More possibilities, new discoveries. See the other sides of Zeeland from the water: look at the menu of options here.
It’s catch of the day for your choice of fishing spot. The beach, on a dike, in a polder canal, up a creek and away on the open sea. La mer. De zee. No wonder that Zeeland is popular with anglers. It’s so relaxing, away from any hustle and bustle. Hang out your hook, hang up your hassle. Stare peacefully over the water, that bite will come any time now. Just to look, or to book, or to cook.
Happy home for surfers, Zeeland has the waves. And whichever wind you need, we got it! The North Sea has the best of both, so wave- or wind-surfing thrive here. The slightly more sheltered lakes of the Veerse and the Grevelingen have pretty cool for wind-powered surfing. Welcome to one of the wateriest, windiest and waviest parts of Europe.
What a brain wave that was, back in the Surf Age, to invent kite-pulled surfing. And not just from A to B, but to skim the waves, launch, do a multi-loop in the power-zone, high-five the wind and get home in time for tea… Tea-bagging and schlogging not required, just perfection. Adrenaline flow guaranteed. We have shoals of surfing schools to be studious at.
Diving and snorkelling
Get those colours in underwater Zeeland. Snorkelling on the surface, or plunging down in your diving kit. Visibility is good in the Grevelingen and the Oosterschelde, to appreciate the abundant animal and plant life down below. Sure, cuttlefish a’plenty, and lobsters, anemones, weeds, worms and other invertebrates.
Waterskis and wakeboarding
Ah, the loneliness of the long-distance water-skier, or their sibling on a wake-board. You’re on your own back there, behind your boat or hanging from your cableway. And oodles of space on our seas and lakes. Throttle up, sun beating on your face, the salty airs filling your lungs, the tow rope an umbilical cord in the thrill of your life. Sen-su-al! Just find your balance and slice your way through the water. Allowed in several locations across the province.
The craze now arriving on Zeeland’s waters – especially the more sedate Veerse Meer – is called ‘suppen’, the fruit of human ingenuity. It uses facets of the human body – balance, strength and vision – in new dimensions of harmony in serenity and tension. It can end in a splash, though. And laughs all round. Best learning curve is on calm water, more enjoyable still at sunset. Even greater challenges await out at sea, as your muscles clash with the surf. You come to some great places on your supboard.
Canoeing and kayaking
A tad less assertive than other water sports, canoes and kayaks are a good enough statement. Sedate but inquisitive, at the speed of the paddle, a twist of the arm, a constant movement. More challenging is kayaking at sea, best done after you’ve acquired the basic skills. Several providers around the province offer tours and training.