River or lake, sitting or standing, with paddle in hand or water skis under your feet – a vast variety of waters in NRW offers sparkling action and refreshing relaxation, just the way you like it. Do you love athletic challenges and adventurous excursions? Do your rounds on water skis or a wakeboard or take a rafting tour on the Rhine! If you prefer a slower pace and enjoy the surrounding landscape in peace and quiet, you will find stand-up paddling and canoeing a refreshing offering. Blobbing at lake Biggesee is extraordinarily energetic, too.
By board or boat
Stand-up paddling and rafting
Whereas stand-up paddling (SUP) has long been a familiar sight in Australia, on the Pacific coast of the US or in Hawaii, the leisure sport is not as widespread in Germany yet. As it’s name suggests, you stand on a board similar to a surfboard with a paddle. The advantage of stand-up paddling compared to surfing is that you don’t need wind or waves. Because of this, lakes are the ideal location to try out stand-up paddling for yourself. The trendy new sport is available in NRW, among other places, at Baldeneysee in the Ruhr Area or Nordsee in Xanten.
www.seaside-beach.de | www.beachline-xanten.de
If stand-up paddling is too slow for you, try river rafting instead. A boat will move more rapidly. There may be plenty for you to see, too – e.g., on a sightseeing tour in a rafting boat on the river Rhine.
Or how about sightseeing by rafting boat? On a tour like this, the participants get to see Cologne from an entirely new perspective. From the Rhine, there is a wonderful view of the city’s sights, such as the Chocolate Museum, Rheinauhafen and of course Cologne Cathedral. And it always gets adventurous when a passing commercial ship creates powerful waves.
A tour of the Ruhr can also be quite varied, along the intermittent quiet stretches and rapids. One of the large boats can fit up to fourteen passengers and a guide, promising an exciting and idyllic trip on the river in the Ruhr Area.
www.querfeldeins.org | www.wupperkanu.de
Across the lake on a rope
Water skiing and wakeboarding
Another refreshing option for getting active is waterskiing. Various locations in NRW offer the opportunity to do so, including the Blaue Lagune in Wachtendonk on the Lower Rhine. In addition to other sports facilities, such as a trampoline and a climbing garden, the natural open-air swimming pool there also has a waterskiing facility. Anyone who wants to stay for longer can book a tent, sleeping cabin or holiday house at the lake.
Water skiing is also possible at other locations along the Lower Rhine and at Nordsee in Xanten as well as Effelder Waldsee in Wasserberg. Amici Beachclub, the natural open air pool at Effelder Waldsee, also offers wakeboarding.
www.amicibeach.com | www.wasserski-xanten.de
Further facilities are available for wakeboarders and waterskiers at Sportpark Wedau in Duisburg. Located right on the idyllic Sechs-Seen-Platte, the park also offers many other water sports such as canoe polo, rowing or dragon boat trips. Anyone who is planning a sporting holiday can stay at the adjoining Duisberg-Sportpark youth hostel, which is not only right next to the water sports paradise but also caters specifically to sporty guests.
Langenfeld is also one of the top destinations for water sports enthusiasts. Here, at one of the biggest waterskiing locations in the world, beginners and pros can find the best conditions for waterskiing and wakeboarding. International championships are even held in Langenfeld. You can also stretch out and relax on one of the sandy beaches there, and watch sporting aces perform their tricks.
Sauerland has expanded its offering for younger guests too: At Ferienwelt Winterberg, a wakeboarding and waterskiiing facility has also been opened - the first of its kind in South Westphalia. Beginners can book courses with expert instructors here, spectators can look forward to seeing pros performing impressive slaloms, pirouettes and flips.
What else is there to find?
Canoe, world culture, and jumping cushion
A canoe will take you across the water on the Lower Rhine fully immersed in nature, as the river Niers offers about 70 kilometres worth of relaxing river idyll as well as about 15 canoe rental companies on its banks between Viersen and Goch. Further service is offered there after docking as well if desired, as they will pick up your boat, bring along your bikes, or provide a barbecue.
The Benedictine monks used to like the river Weser so much 1200 years ago that they laid the cornerstone for a building ensemble that continues to attract people to the river in Höxter even today there. The original Corvey monastery has not only grown into an extensive baroque castle complex, but has also become a UNESCO World Heritage site – and a canoeing centre on the river Weser to boot. The Domänenhof offers canoes for day and multi-day tours.
Friends of fun sports can try the blob base at Biggesee in Sauerland. The big, inflated rubber cushions swim together with a diving platform at the lake. The active fun is provided by the fact that the blobber - who sits at one end of the hose-shaped cushion - is catapulted several metres into the air by the jumper - who jumps off the platform onto the other end of the cushion. The blob base is moored at a large bathing island, which also includes a plunge pool. Open air concerts, film screenings and sporting events are also held here.