Sunday, August 16, 2009

Brouwersdam, Netherlands - World's Greatest All Around Windsurf Spot?

Chuck Rigs 5.0 on Beautiful Fall Day at Brouwersdam, 18 Oct. 2008

(Click on photos for enlarged view)

There is a truely remarkable place on the southwest coast of Holland where what could be one of the worlds greatest all around windsurfing spot, Browersdam; is found. Thanks to the dikes, or dams as the Dutch call them, built to keep out the North Sea, Browersdam separates the North Sea to the west from the inland bays and waterways to the east. These bodies of salty to brackish water are commonly called lakes, by the Dutch people. It reminds me a lot of the Outer Banks of North Carolina except that the ocean is on the west side and the sound on the east.

It is generally a windy place most of the year but with typically lighter winds in the summer and plenty of strong winds in the fall, winter, and spring. Of course this includes times when the infamous North Sea gales can bring nuclear winds ashore. As for wind direction there are spots to windsurf for every wind direction between the North Sea side and the lake side of the dam.

Several kilometers in length Browersdam has a beautiful sandy beach all along its west side with parking for literally thousands of cars and vehicles. Here exists a fabulous spot for Windsurfing, Kiteboarding, and land sailing/kiting on three wheel carts when the tide is lower.

Between the North Sea and the Lake side there is something for just about everyone. Beginner areas, slalom/formula, free style, speed zones, bump & jump conditons, and even wave sailing can be had. About a kilometer or so out from the beach is a series of sandbars, often exposed at low tide, that break up the Northsea waves creating flatter water in the huge expanse of water to the east of the bar. When the tide is high North sea swells and waves can come over the bar bringing in breaking surf and rideable waves along the beach. On a good wind day the more adventurous can sail out to the bar and waveride the surf. It is just like sailing out to sail the reef on the Pamlico Sound south of Avon in North Carolina except you are likely to see a bunch of sea lions out there at the Brouwersdam outer bar.

Check out this link to Google Earth to see where the spot is. Also if you zoom in close you can see the wakes from windsurfers.,3.870964&spn=0.018595,0.07699&z=14

Windsurfing North End North Sea Side

Kitesurfing Area near South End, North Sea Side 15 August 09

Looking North from the Kitesurfing area, North Sea side. (You can windsurf here to if you don't mind being out with the masses of kiteboarders)

Looking south from the Kitesurfing area

Sun tanning Euro Style

Kitesurf Centrum - Kitesurfing rentals, school, and land sailor rentals.

Entrance to the south end kitesurfing area.

Chuck's windsurfing vehicle and German friends kitesurfing son, Kim.

Caravans, Vans, and cars from all over Germany, Holland, Belgium, France etc. parked along the road by the kitesurfing area. (Looking South)

Looking North along the road up towards the windsurfing area on the North Sea side.

View from atop the dune looking NW up the beach, North Sea side.

Plethora of Kites fill the sky. Plenty of windsurfers out to the north of the kites as well. Another great day, summer 2008 at Brouwersdam.

5.5 wind day and high tide bring in some waves from over the outer bar into the beach, north end Browersdam. Fall 2008

Sailors getting ready to head out.

Dutch windsurfer heading out - view looking south.

Valeri Veroski, Brussels, Belgium windsurfer and his new 65 liter high wind custom "Witch" board. He has a new 3.7 and 3.4 to ride it with.

Chuck at Brouwersdam, November 2008, 4.7 - 5.0 day, cold, but FUN!

4.7 / 5.0 day, November 2008

Brouwersdam Lake Side

On the inside of the dam, just across from the beach is a huge area of water with room for hundreds of windsurfers. Kiteboarding is not done on the lake side so there is plenty of room for windsurfers. There is also a perfect beginner and freestyle pond just outside the windsurfing shop, school and restaurant/bar called the Brouwersdam Ziel & Surfcentrum (Sail and Surf center) . See there website at: "" On a good windy day the beginner pond is full of young freestylers practicing all the latest moves.

Brouwersdam lake side looking east from the dam.

Looking ESE at the lake side of Brouwersdam south of the Surfcentrum area.

Brouwersdam "Surfcentrum" and the "ski jump" in the distance as windsurfers sail the lake area

The Beginner - Freestyle Pond- Looking west north west. The pond connects to the bay (lake) so you can sail out and in when you want to. Otherwise it is perfect for learning and is a freestyle show off area in higher winds.

Looking north along the beach by the pond and adjacent to the "Surfcentrum" windsurfing store, restaraunt/ bar

Another view looking north

Note all the caravans (RV's) all loaded with windsurfers and windsurfing gear!

The windsurfing center and restaraunt/bar

Each you lunch, have a beer, and watch the action

Another view looking west at the pond

Note the entrance to the pond from the lake on the left of the photo

They even have built recently a big waterslide jump that you can slide down or even ski/snowboard down ending in being boosted up high into the air over the water for aerial trick practice.

The outside bar area

,Looking South East from the windsurf center out onto the lake.

Entrance to the windsurfing shop

Back entrance to the windsurfing shop warehouse area

Another view of the bar area

All around the west end of the lake near the Surfcenter is parking room for several hundred caravans and cars and more windsurfing. To the north of the center is another huge area of water with even more places to park and windsurf when trying to get away from the big crowds near the Surfcentrum. One place called the "Punt" or Point" is very good for SE, S, and SW winds.
Waiting for wind at the Punt - Looking West towards the dam that separates the Northsea side from the lakes on the east side.

Looking east at the Punt. Once you get about 15-20 feet out from the beach the bottom becomes sandy but you need to wear foot wear on this side for getting into and out of the water plus protection from shells.