Surfing in Holland

Surfing in Holland means over 450 kilometres of inconspicuous coastline with more potential than many might think. Artificial harbour mouths, piers, breakwaters of all sizes and shapes, huge sand deposits and a small chain of mostly undeveloped islands for surfing.

In addition, the Dutch coast is aligned in such a way that most spots magnetically attract the north to north-west swells of the low pressure areas off Norway and the south-west wind swells of the English Channel.

Some – traditionally suspicious of the lake – specialised in dike construction, which was perhaps not a bad idea given the low location below sea level. The others surfed the waves of the Dutch North Sea and celebrated the surfing culture since the 1960s with disproportionate vigour.

Because if you want to surf and score in Holland, you need a lot of strength. Mentally, because it can be very good that the forecast will let you down mercilessly and physically, because it can be very good that the current is so strong that you either have to fight permanently against the assembly line or have to run laps all the time.

But it’s also part of what makes surfing in Holland so special; it keeps you on your toes and when everything finally comes together you really appreciate it. The following sections should prepare you as best as possible to be at the right spot at the right time. Because when it comes to surfing in the Netherlands, timing is absolutely everything. Timing and the ability to figure out what’s been a bit of a confusing forecast so far.

First a few general but essential tips:

Surfing in Holland: The best time to travel

So when is the best time to go surfing in Holland? The nice thing is that every season has its advantages and you can always be lucky. The most constant waves are definitely in the winter, but then the water temperature also drops down sensitively and even with a high-quality neoprene suit every session becomes a hard test.

In the coldest season of the year the main surf spots around Scheveningen and Wijk aan Zee are recommended. The winter session isn’t made easier anywhere: the surf clubs on the beach are open all year round and have heated changing rooms and warm showers – for everyone and for free!

After the icy session you can warm up by the fireplace with a hot chocolate or a grog.

Such luxury used to be unthinkable when you had to dump the hot water from the thermos into the stiff-frozen neoprene booties in the parking lots. As a rule, it always takes until the end of May, beginning of June, until the North Sea gets a little warmer and you can get rid of the winter pellet.

Then you should rather avoid the North European surf mecca, because with the warmth comes the masses! The relaxed winter surfing village of Scheveningen then becomes an overcrowded tourist circus with almost anarchic conditions in the water.

If you want to surf in Holland, you shouldn’t always follow the season, but the predictions and set off spontaneously, if it looks good at the weekend or if you have a day off.

Magicseaweed and Windy have proven to be reliable for the Netherlands.

Groundswells from 2 to 3 feet with 7 to 8 seconds from NW to N, with wind from southeast to south direction are the absolute jackpot! Short-lived Windswells from west to southwest are also worth considering.

If you’re a bit overwhelmed by the forecasts or don’t quite trust the weather, you should take a look at Meteorologist Tobias van Tellingen gives an overview of the conditions for the coming week, including expectations for wave heights, wind directions and recommendations for the best spots.

Your Holland Quiver: The right board for the North Sea waves

Volume is your best friend in the North Sea. It’s always possible, of course, but rarely is your high-performance shortboard the right choice for a surfing session in Holland.

Longboards or Mid-Lenghts are never wrong to maximize the wave yield. Fish and hybrid shapes with lots of volume under the chest are also recommended. Nowadays even softtops are socially acceptable and a fun option for the small days or the shorebreak. Except during southwest storms or at the Maasvlakte you can leave your shortboard at home.

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