Spot Guide - Stavoren/Ijsselmeer

The Ijsselmeer is a huge lake in the northern part of the Netherlands (about 30km north-east of Amsterdam), which was created by building a dam at the coast to the North Sea. It is quite shallow, with an average depth of 1.5 - 3m.

Most of the windsurf and kite surfing spots are situated on the eastern side of the Ijsselmeer and thus on its leeward side in case of the prevailing westerly winds. Makkum, Hindeloopen and Stavoren are the best known spots.

The Spot & Village
We stayed in Stavoren, a small, traditional village on the eastern coast of the Ijsselmeer. You will find some restaurants and cafes, and two marinas and several B&Bs as well as apartment houses and a camp site. There is also a lock, which connects a canal with Ijsselmeer and is frequently used by recreational sailors.

The spot itself is situated next to the home of the sailing club, at the southern fringe of the village. There should be usually enough parking spaces available. Ok, we went there during Eastern 2008 (End of March) and as you can see on our photos, it was really cold and therefore only a few surfer and kiter could be seen on the water. At temperatures of about 0-4 degrees Celsius we had to wait until the end of our trip, the last Saturday with temperatures of 14 degrees and 4 bft.

A large green next to the Ijsselmeer makes it very convenient to rigg your sail and enter the water.

Wind & Waves
The prevailing wind direction is again - as common at the North Sea - westerly or north-westerly (in this case on-shore or cross on-shore from the right). As the Ijsselmeer is a lake with limited depth, there will not be huge waves, you would rather find small chops.


In Makkum you will find a wide sandy beach (photo), which is especially suitable for kite surfers due to the convenient launching area and the very shallow waters.

If you have some spare time we could recommend a trip to the city of Sneek, home of the Gaastra sail manufacturer and its ‘logo’, the bridge pictured on one of our photos. Trying to work out, how to cope with my not properly turning Gaastra Poison, we found also a very good sail maker (although specialized on yachting sails), who suggested to shorten one of the battens and adjust the batten bag. And guess what? It worked. And the best: he repaid it for free (but we left some Euros for the coffee box) ...


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