Jet Ski News
Report: Here is one for all Euro-skiers or all of you flying over:
What do you need? - Same as in most of northern Europe you will need a boating license for motor equipped vessels. One for rivers and lakes, and another for coastal waters. Fire extinguisher, paddle (sit-downs), and life jacket are mandatory and you have to have at least one part of the book: "Bootalmanach", a sort of map and regulations register. Also you have to register your PWC, which is easily and permanently done in any post office for the cost of Hfl. 57.50 (about 25$). When on the water, try to carry the boating license and the registration papers, and make sure to have the registered number on the hull. Cops can be a bitch!
Where may you go? - In general Jetskies may be used in any area where no speed limits apply, unless they are prohibited by local regulations. This sounds better than it is, because almost all lakes are restricted this way. Holland has a lot of coast, all beach, and the North Sea is free ride area. A good wetsuit however is recommended and during day it is always choppy. Stupidly it is forbidden to access the water by crossing the beach, and to get anywhere close to the shore. This is meant to avoid accidents with swimmers, but also means that wavejumping cannot be done legally and you always have to find a port to ski out of; and even this sounds easier than it is, since most ports are commercial and do not have public ramps. The large rivers are a good alternative, and you do not have to worry about salt in the engine. Be careful though not to run into partly submerged cables and rock "wake-breakers" close to the shores. This forces you to ride more in the middle of the river where in Europe there is a good deal of commercial traffic going on. Tugboats produce a good wake to jump, but are also extremely dangerous! If you fall, there is no way, those barges can avoid you or even see where you are. Also in strong current rivers, being separated from your ski can mean you just lost it. Side arms of rivers are mainly calm, no commercial traffic and some are free to speed. Holland also has an internal sea called "Ijsselmeer". It is brackish water, and not as cold as the North Sea.
It also ought to be 100% free ride area and due to a lot of marinas, access should be no problem. Another very good area to ride is in the south west of Holland, in the province of "Zeeland". Since the Dutch sealed off these scattered river outlets with dikes in their fight against constant flooding, the waters behind the dikes became excellent riding places: Brackish if not sweet water, no commercial traffic, warm water temperatures and wide open surfaces. To avoid accidents and in order to separate groups of different interest, the areas behind each dike are reserved for different sports: Brielse Maas, Haringvliet, Oosterschelde and Westerschelde are open to waterskiing and PWC; Grevelingermeer and others are absolute restricted to sailing, diving and very slow motoring. My personal favorite is the "Haringvliet" in Zeeland as it is the closest when coming from The Hague or Rotterdam. There is a public ramp where parking or even overnight camping is absolutely free of charge. That spot is on the map above to the left of Hellevoetsluis, in the corner just above the 41.
Get wet, but ride safe to grant us all the further access to these great riding areas.
Thanks Dutch Dude
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