Urban spaces are being increasingly claimed by paddleboarders. From Copenhagen to Cambridge, Venice to Wrocław, Paris to Ljubljana (to name just few), SUP enthusiasts are turning their local waterways, canals and river stretches into newly found playgrounds. Accelerated by lockdowns, these vital, “rediscovered” local SUP spaces also contribute to a wider debate on sustainable, human-centric design and planning where cities serve their communities.
Hi Morene, welcome to TotalSUP! You’re a waterwoman, endurance paddler, NSP Team Rider and a Coach – What was the vision behind setting up your own SUP school in Amsterdam?
I have been wakeboarding a bit and then got into wave surfing but when my kid was born (17 years ago) I missed some time and chance to drive to the beach for surfing. Then I met Anne Marie Reichman who introduced me to the sport of stand-up paddleboarding and I was hooked.
It’s easily accessible, I could paddle everywhere and my son could come along on the nose of my board. I got my own board via somebody in Australia as there weren’t any SUP boards available in Europe then – We are talking 14 years ago!
I started paddling around and more and more people talked to me and asked what I was doing and if they could also join. So after one Summer I decided to start up a little school which I did in 2011. The first two years I owned a little school where I live and then opened another one in Amsterdam which was a good thing as people want to paddle Amsterdam city!
Image credit: SUP11-City Tour
Could you tell us more about your venture M&M SUP Amsterdam?
Amsterdam is a great city with hundreds of hidden canals and also surrounded by water which means there are so many places to be discovered by a paddleboard which I like to show and share with others.
As there is not current, high or low tide it is easy to paddle any day at any moment. I take out beginners and experienced paddlers and have routes for any level.
What’s the local SUP scene like in Amsterdam?
In Amsterdam it’s mainly paddling for fun and I haven’t met anyone who is training or doing long distance paddling. I live a bit out of the city at the Markermeer and enjoy paddling the open water during early mornings. And for the last 12 years I have never met another paddler there…I actually enjoy those moments on my own in nature and having my breakfast along the route at the Muider Castle or on the Pampus Island. For me that’s what paddling is about. Being outdoor enjoying nature.
What makes paddleboarding in Amsterdam unique?
Hundreds of canals and canal houses makes you feel like you are paddling through an outdoor museum.
The city has a very chilled vibe and even on busy weekends when lots of boats are also out on the canals everyone can enjoy it and loves to be out there. When out on the water we always get lots of attention and people stop on bridges to take pictures or chat with us as we paddle through which looks colourful and fun.
Can anyone enter the waterways in Amsterdam? Do you need a special licence to paddleboard the canals in Amsterdam?
No, anyone can grab a board and hop on the canals. However the route can be hard and none of the canals are start-to-finish at the same spot so paddlers can get lost that’s why we offer a 2-hour private tour and share lots of highlights.
What are your top, unmissable SUP spots in Amsterdam?
The Center Canals, Red Light District, Amstel River and Prinseneiland.
Could you tell us more about your collaboration with NSP?
I worked with BOGA boards and when they stopped the NSP Team contacted me for to collab and I have been working with their boards and raced on NSP Ninja and Puma ever since.
What’s your own NSP set up? And what NSP boards do you use for coaching and touring?
For teaching at my beach centre I use the soft tops all round and flatwater and for the city I use the 10.6 LT inflatable boards.
I own the NSP Carolina 14 x 23.5 and will use it for racing the SUP 11City Tour. I also have the 11′ flatwater soft top and a 10.6 coco allround boards for fun!
Image credit: SUP11-City Tour
Thank you for your time Morene and hopefully see you in Amsterdam!
At the ICF world championships in Gdynia SUP race fans might have noticed an unfamiliar name at the sharp end of the Elite men’s field, Blue Ewer. If you had also followed the European Championships in Denmark then it would be less of a surprise to see the young man from Team England pushing more […]
The 2023 iteration of the NSP Ninja Pro Carbon was just released by NSP. Immediate stand-out changes are the additional two 12’6” Junior versions of the existing Ninja, along with some refinements to the existing Ninja line-up. Our interview with Alain Teurquetil and Titouan Puyo on the New NSP Ninja! Let’s have a look at […]
International Surf and SUP brand NSP announced last week the signing of three new young high-profile names to their SUP Race team. In addition to superstar athletes Laura Quetglas, Titouan Puyo and Ty Judson (we’re still hoping Travis Grant to make a comeback to the racing scene after an early retirement from international competition in […]
Ahead of Alicante SUP Open, the 5th stop of the APP World Tour and the final battle of the 2022 SUP racing season, TotalSUP caught up with Daniel Parres, World Champion, NSP National Team Rider and the Founder of one of the biggest, most thriving SUP clubs in the world and also the organiser of the […]
Her beach run photo from the 2022 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship for her first World Title is now part of the SUP history demonstrating the sheer power, determination and endurance that’s put into our sport. TotalSUP caught up with Duna Gordillo, NSP Team Rider, to chat about her Gold Medal, the long-distance World […]
From a viral hashtag a decade ago and social media phenomenon to a lifestyle movement, van life, is still strongly resonating. It’s the aesthetic, the open road, the freedom that it evokes that captures our imagination. So what is it like to travel in a van as a pro SUP athlete? Is it as slick […]
‘Shrimpy would go’* and Shrimpy keeps going, stealing the limelight from SUP veterans at some of the most iconic SUP racing events both in the US and Europe. Shuri Araki aka Shrimpy from Okinawa, Japan, has just turned sixteen but his remarkable and consistent performance has already ranked him among the top pro athletes in […]
Since becoming NSP National Team Rider in 2020 Mia Soares Sliva (#supmiaproject) has not only won the National SUP Race Sprint Champion title in her age category but has been taking podiums at major SUP events in Portugal, Spain and beyond. At only 15, Mia is one of the youngest NSP Team Riders with an impressive […]
Boards are flying high and paddlers are brought to their knees at the Carolina Cup, one of the most spectacular endurance events in the SUP calendar, offering a perfect combo of flat water and ocean racing. Held on Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, this competition throws everything it got at its participants, who not only have […]