Action on the water
Water sports in NRW
Sailing, surfing, paddle boating or diving is offered at many lakes in North Rhine-Westphalia. But even those looking for something extraordinary will find what they are looking for: For example, NRW has a total of 15 water ski ropeways.
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 sedate for you, try river rafting. Among others, tours on the Erft are available. From Neuss moving quickly along the wild little river through the powerful flow in the direction of Düsseldorf, where the tour flows into the Rhine and ends with a beautiful view of the state capital.
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.
Waterskiing and Wakeboarding
Another refreshing option for getting active is waterskiing. Incidentally, NRW, with its 15 waterski lifts, is the No. 1 location for waterskiing - over 200,000 people learn to waterski and wakeboard in NRW every year. 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.
Water sports are also possible on some of the rivers in the state, for example river rafting. In Rheine in Münsterland, further boat tours are available. The classics include canoe tours along the Ems, which are available in various forms, for example as a canoe tour of the locks or a canoe rally. A trip on a raft or dragon boat might be a bit more unconventional but is all the more adventurous for it.
Canoe and dinghy tours are also offered on the Weser. So it’s off to the former imperial abbey of Corvey near Höxter. This is now not just a Unesco World Heritage Site, the castle in the Teutoburg Forest is also the canoe centre on the Weser. Canoes set out from the State Domain on one-day or multi-day tours. Since 2013, dinghy tours have also been added, whereby up to ten adults can take a trip on a rafting boat.
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.