Netherlands

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The Netherlands – Holland – Amsterdam with 523 kilometers of coastline

The realization that we are totally spoiled despite the fresh climate, starts once you have tasted the Dutch kitesurf spheres a number of times. In many countries the sea is not as “safe” as in the Netherlands. Sharks, deadly jellyfish and crocodiles are some of the dangers that you cann’t find in the Netherlands, you can only find there some seals and cormorants and maybe some jellyfish. Many countries in the world envy us Dutch, in the Netherlands you can usually be at the coast within 1.5 hours! With 523 kilometers of coastline Holland have many champions, kitesurfing is a sport that matters. Youri Zoon, Kevin Langeree, Ruben Lenten, Jalou Langeree, Vera Klabbers and Annelous Lammerts are famous kitesurf champions in the kitesurfing world.

The Netherlands ended up in the Lonely Planet top 10 more often. Because in addition to the crowd puller Amsterdam, in 2018 the province of Friesland was chosen 4th of European hotspots. Texel was also voted 9th europe hotspot in 2016. These three highlights of the Netherlands are less than 3.5 hours apart. We have windy periods the whole year. From September to May you find the most windy periods but most of the time with cold and rain. Pay attention when choosing your clothes, often we go to the water in the Netherlands with a wetsuit 5/4 and on winter days even thicker or a drysuit.

Kitesurfing zones in The Netherlands

With a North Sea coastline of 523 kilometers and the large lakes (including IJsselmeer , Markermeer and Randmeren) the Netherlands is very suitable for kitesurfing. With its kilometer-long sandy beaches, the Netherlands often has the perfect conditions to go completely loose. But with more than 15,000 kiters in the small Netherlands on nice days often too busy. Regulation is then important, in addition to the standard kitesurfing priority rules, kitesurf spots / kitesurf zones are used. With more than sixty-five kitesurf spots, there is always one in the area with the right conditions. These kitesurfing zones can be found in the map below but also on: https://www.nederlandsekitesurfvereniging.nl/
Note: this means that you can not go kitesurfing anywhere in the Netherlands. This is supervised by the government, with the consequence that if one does not adhere to it, there are measures in the form of fines, but sometimes worse, the closing of a kitesurfing zone.

There is a pole every 250 meters and the coastline is 300 kilometers long. This results in a long row of 2000 posts, each with a unique number. Beach posts are the hectometre posts of the Dutch coast. You have kilometer markers with a white head (which bear the beach pole numbers), the poles that you see in between every 200-250 meters have a red head. They describe the distances to the main posts with a number. Thanks to their rounded numbers, the kilometer markers are the markers that everyone uses to orient themselves. The Netherlands has 124 kilometer markers.

Accommodations

At the various locations in the Netherlands there is always a hotel, camping or bed and breakfast nearby. In the summer, spring and autumn the campsites are recommended, often close to the spot. Free camp in the nature in the Netherlands is not permitted. Because of the beautiful road network, it is also recommended to travel around with a camper, often you can park near the kitespots. Please keep in mind that  when you go with a rental camperfan some engines are not permitted in the cities.

Rescue services

The zoning of the kitesurf spots makes it easier for the various rescue services to keep an eye on our “kite surfers”. In the Netherlands we have three coastal rescue services, namely; the rescue brigade for the work on the beach (the baywatch of the Netherlands) the KNRM (Koninklijke Nederlandse Reddings Maatschappij) for the heavier work at sea and the coastguard for all reports and the coordination of rescue operations. They scale up when it becomes a professional shipping / life-threatening issue, think of the deployment of helicopters etc. Very important: all three parties are not a pick-up service! Most of these organizations consist of active passionate volunteers, who are happy to help you when you really have a problem, but do not let it get that far! If you see someone in trouble, call 112

Beginner? With more than fifty kitesurf schools in total, there is always one in the district. Lesson in kitesurfing is highly recommended. It is still a sport with risks, so let yourself be trained in advance by the different kitesurf schools.

Dangers

In the Netherlands it is twice high tide and twice low tide in 24 hours and 50 minutes. The tides are vary widely, the tide shifts in almost 12 hours from the south west to the north east of the Netherlands. There may also be a much larger difference in height between the high and low water levels at one location. This difference is the biggest in Zeeland.
A strong wind of onshore wind can ensure high waves. The wind creates an upstream to the beach and an invisible underflow into the sea and that undercurrent is often strong. Is there any offshore wind do not go on the water.

Beware of muien, between the sandbanks. Perpendicular to the coast are openings between sandbanks, we call this muien. Because the water can flow through these openings more easily than over the sandbanks, a very dangerous and strong current can occur in a mui. Even high waves can cause faults. The high waves hit the banks and this causes too much water in the swin. The excess water will flow back to the sea through the mules. This creates a strong current in the sea. The most important thing to remember is: do not panic!
Stretch dams strengthen the coast against the violence of the water. These breakwaters are often a few dozen meters long. Around the ends of this they are reinforced with boulders. It can be dangerous to be around these breakwaters, these breakwaters have a great influence on the flow.

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