Wijk aan Zee
Typical small dutch seaside town. Nicely embedded in dunes You´ll find a somewhat historic town center with newer but not nicer buildings around. There is three possibilities to access the north sea.
Noordstrand and Zuiderstrand are very close to town just behind the string of dunes bordering the sea. Typical setup for this part of the north sea. Large sand beach, a chain of sandbars offshore that form surfable waves outside when the conditions are right and only allow small and weak slop to reach the beach. Riding waves means here going quite a bit outside and struggle with currents.
But when You follow the signs to Noordpier it´s a bit different. First You have to pass through an area that very much reminds of a blade runner filmset. Heavy industry complex with dark clouds coming out of the chimneys. Barbed wire on both sides of the small road. Hardcore location. Doesn´t make You want to be there. If You keep driving despite this uninviting scenery, You reach a parking lot at some sort of river. Again industrial complexes all around. A bizarre “beach cafe” sits at the beginning of a very long pier, that reaches out into sea for about 500m.
That monster disturbs the natural sandflow which in this case means less outside sandbars and more powerfull waves close to shore. Plus, it refracts northerly swells so that they double up in small but sucky peaks. All this means, that when everywhere else is kneehigh, here You get shoulderhigh and fairly powerfull waves that are very suitable for shortboard surfing. And the water is allways a bit warmer than at the natural parts of the coast. May be because of the abuse of the river by the industrie around.
So mankind destroyed nature and created a very good surfspot. Just don´t ask about water quality....
During summer season there´s a nice beach bar and a surf shop and school right at the beach.
surfing: go there, when strong northerly winds blow for some time and then turn to southeasterly directions. With a bit of luck You´ll get a full day with rippable waves in offshore conditions. Be there early as the first hours after the wind made its turn are the best. Noordpier has sucky beachbreak waves with short but powerfull peaks close to shore. Currents and refracted waves make it a bit difficult to find and hold the right takeoff area. Local experience helps a lot. Outside sandbars need some wavesize to work. Works also with southwest winds. Mellow waves with good windprotection then. On good days with a decent crowd. Local level is very high (for north sea standarts).
Noordstrand and Zuiderstrand only work with bigger swells and offshore or windless days. Clean waves that offer pretty long rides on a good day. It´s just a bit more paddeling involved.
windsurfing: You have to carry Your stuff a pretty long way before You reach the shore. Noordpier is too much of a shorebreak. But with a strong soutwesterly wind it´s all worth. Very nice wavesailing and jumping will then reward you for your efforts. Noordstrand with it´s outside sandbars should be good too. Best wind directions are southwest and northeast.
kiteboarding: large beach offers plenty of room for riding and flying.
more impressions in the galleries (the place, surf, surf pics 2011)