Wakeboarden in Winterberg, © Ferienwelt Winterberg

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.

Stand-Up Pad­dling

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 Rursee on the Eifel, Baldeney­see in the Ruhr Area and Nord­see in Xanten.
www.rursee.de | www.sea­side-beach.de | www.f-z-x.de/sup 

Raft­ing Tours

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.f-z-x.de/wasser­ski

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?

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.

Something en­tirely dif­fer­ent awaits wa­ter sports en­thu­si­asts at Kron­en­bur­ger See in Dah­lem: Ger­many?s only wa­ter ropes course. Five dif­fer­ent climb­ing areas of­fer both be­gin­ners and ad­vanced climbers just the right de­gree of dif­fi­culty.

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.

Tips for a sum­mer in NRW

Zeltstadt KulturPur in Hilchenbach-Lützel, © KulturBüro! Siegen-Wittgenstein

Fest­iv­al sum­mer 2019

Werksschwimmbad Zeche Zollverein, © Jochen Tack, Stiftung Zollverein

Un­usu­al reser­voirs and out­door pools