The summer of 2017 is now definitely on its way! I don’t know about you, but I’ve been getting extremely excited about spending more time outdoors. Usually, I go on lots of hiking and cycling trips, but I’ve recently been getting more into water sports again. I was an avid swimmer when I was younger and had my first taste of surfing last summer, so I’m totally up for trying new activities. When I received an invitation for a Stand Up Paddling (SUP) workshop with Jobe Watersports at Kijkduin Beach a few weeks ago, I figured the timing couldn’t have been better. Off I went, armed with a pair of shorts and a healthy dosage of misplaced confidence in my supping skills!
What is Stand Up Paddling (SUP)?
Stand Up Paddling originated in Hawaii and first started as a variation of surfing. Instead of catching the waves, you continuously stand on your board and propel yourself through the water with a single paddle. Nearly anyone can learn how to paddle board, as long as you can keep your balance. Stand up paddling is a fitness activity on its own, but can sometimes even involve fishing or yoga moves. The intensity varies according to how calm or rough the water is, as well as wind conditions.
Testing my Skills
As most of us were SUP beginners, the Jobe team had organised a special practice pool on the beach itself. That definitely made me a little less concerned about falling in the water. The sun was shining and the weather was insanely beautiful, although there were occasional gusts of wind. When I first started paddling, I realised that balancing on the board was indeed a bit of workout, especially when the wind even started blowing me backwards. As I started paddling in the opposite direction, I caught the wind and suddenly felt like I was flying. I got so distracted that I accidentally paddled right into the edge of the pool and had to jump into the water. No worries, though, it all ended well (despite my wet underwear).
Why You Should Give Stand Up Paddling a Try
Admittedly, I might not be a natural talent, but I’m ready to try some more supping this summer. I also want to do some more surfing, but it can be quite intense if you’re not very experienced. Stand up paddle boarding is an activity where you can distribute your energy over a longer period of time. That’s why I would love to try supping in the city, maybe even on the canals of Amsterdam! There is always the option to go supping at sea, but sightseeing while paddling seems like such a cool way to explore the city. What about you, have you ever paddled in a city? Let me know about your experience!
My first supping session was also the very first time I visited Kijkduin, a seaside area in The Hague. I had only ever visited Scheveningen, The Hague’s other seaside district, but Kijkdijn is just as lovely. It’s smaller and a little less urban, but that also means that the seaside’s natural coastal atmosphere is still intact. If you’re going to be in Holland in the next few months, you should definitely try to plan a day at the beach in The Hague.
How to get to Kijkduin
Travelling to Kijkduin Beach is easiest from Den Haag Centraal (The Hague Central Station) by bicycle (OV fiets) or bus. You can take bus 24 all the way to the beach. Alternatively, you can take a bus (line 26) from station Den Haag Hollands Spoor (The Hague HS) and also get off at the last stop.