Uone guide to Gdynia: Host of the 2022 ICF SUP World Championships

In the run up to the 2022 ICF Stand-Up Paddling World Championships in Poland,  we’re taking a closer look at its host city – Gdynia – with Uone, a premium Polish stand-up paddleboarding and watersport brand specialising exclusively in inflatable boards, that will be present at the event offering board demos and guidance.

“With Poland being the ICF Worlds organiser, we hope that this will give additional boost to the growing Polish SUP scene to develop even further,” commented Hubert Tobis, Founder of Uone. “We would like to see 200, 300 participants taking part in national SUP racing events and with the world’s top SUP athletes coming over for the championships, other who are interested in the event will follow and see that this is a great sport and that it’s worth to get involved in progressing it. This is why we’re supporting such initiatives as a brand.”

Located along Gdansk Bay, part of the Baltic Sea sheltered by the Hel peninsula, Gdynia is a vibrant, contemporary city and seaport in northern Poland with a long and sandy beach that will turn in September into the ultimate SUP playground welcoming the world’s top pro athletes and SUP enthusiasts!

Whether it’s recognised as the nearby Gdańsk sister-city, the Open’er Festival  host or a symbol of communist resistance, Gdynia, “a city built on sea and dreams” will make history hosting a SUP competition of this calibre brought by The International Canoe Federation in partnership with Polish Canoe Federation with a prize money pot of 30 000 EUR. 

TotalSUP caught up with a Gdynia’s own SUP rider and Coach, Małgorzata Paszkiewicz, to find out more about this soon-to-be Polish SUP capital and roll like a true local when we arrive at the ICF Worlds! Here’s a selection of recommended stuff to see, eat and drink in Gdynia! 

Hi Małgorzata, welcome to TotalSUP! Tell us about Gdynia and your reaction to the ICF announcement!

Hi! Gdynia is a city that loves cinematography and sports, sports and cinematography (feel free to pick and choose the order)… It’s a city that hosts prestigious annual sailing events such as the World Championships and Gdynia Sailing Days, athletic and triathlon competitions such as Ironman Gdynia and even air shows.

Awarding Gdynia organisation of the ICF World SUP Championships is a testimony to its location advantages and a master level of event management.  As a local, trainer and stand-up paddleboarding enthusiast, I’m as happy as only a kid can be and probably will be too excited to sleep in the run up to this event!

Each year, the main beach attracts a remarkable amount of spectators and professional athletes. Residents are used to and appreciate the atmosphere that surrounds these types of events.

Gdynia is a relatively young city (it’s not even 100 years old) that offers a relaxed space of freedom and openness, and superb tourist, hospitality and entertainment facilities for everyone to enjoy.

One of the advantages is close proximity of the key facilities that allows to reach interesting places within a brisk 5-15min walk from the beach and hotels. It translates effortlessly into the “being and experiencing” especially important when you travel.

Gdynia is also the capital of Polish cinematography, hosting shows and movie premieres including the renowned Gdynia Film Festival (Festiwal Filmów Fabularnych) and Millennium Docs Against Gravity, the biggest documentary film festival in Poland.

 

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A post shared by Festiwal Polskich Filmów Fabularnych w Gdyni (@fpffgdynia)

Things to see

If you’re into the film industry, pop in to the Gdynia Film Center (Gdyńskie Centrum Filmowe) where you can find vintage movie cameras or catch some cool screenings.

In your spare time, you can visit the City of Gdynia Museum (Muzeum Miasta Gdynia). It’s a place where you can find shelter from the sun, chill and get to know the history of the city. If you’re travelling with children, I strongly recommend Experiment Science Centre (Centrum Nauki „Eksperyment”), an interactive exhibition that provides space for creative experimentation.

If you’re into sailing, you will definitely enjoy the iconic „Dar Pomorza”- The Gift Of Pomerania Museum Ship, the three-masted sailing ship built in 1909 that served as a training ship for 13 thousand sailors.

Or you can take a trip on the gloomy M/S Dragon, a passenger vessel which looks like a XVII century galleon, that allows to see Gdynia from a different perspective, offering traditional cuisine and the famous Polish hospitality.

Those in love with walking will appreciate one of the most climatic and romantic places on the Polish map – The cliff and pier in Gdynia Orłowo (a city district on the way to Sopot and Gdańsk, accessible by foot along the beach or via city transport).

In Tawerna Orłowska, located right on the beach, you can bite into those iconic fried sprats and all those early birds can buy freshly caught fish here. Sunset chasers stay on the pier up till dusk so you won’t be disappointed.

 

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A post shared by Tawerna Orłowska (@tawernaorlowska)

Where to eat & drink

As a Gdynia native, I’d like to recommend some local flavour, although it’s not easy to decide, trust me!

The best coffee in my opinion is being served in the marina, right where the heats will take place, in the „Może kawy?” coffee shop. The owner already knows about the Championships and he promised to keep it open outside of the season and get some extra beans to grind!

 

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A post shared by MOŻE KAWY? (@mozekawygdynia)

Two minutes away from the Mercure hotel, in a small, intimate street, you will find the „Tłok” coffee house and bakery. Their morning bakes and scrumptious coffee are unparalleled so pop in before it’s too late!

 

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A post shared by TŁOK – kawiarnia i piekarnia (@tlok.kawiarnia)

To immerse yourselves in a movie and a crotchet climate of Gdynia and the history of Polish cinematography, visit the charming „cafe Klaps”, not far from „Tłok” that will welcome you in a more traditional style at a table with a knitted tablecloth.

If you like your coffee and cake without sugar, head over to a vegan / vegetarian café “Kate” where Kasia will offer you fresh, colourful gems, created based on your own, healthy, fit-idea.

 

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A post shared by Urokliwa kawiarnia z pracownią wypieków w centrum Gdyni (@katecoffeeandcake)

Freshly squeezed juice bursting with vitamins can be ordered to go from Andrzej of “DajGo”.

You’ll eat healthy at “Malika”, a family owned-restaurant and „Pasta miasta”. They feed so well that you have to que to get in. If you’re a pizza fan, get yourself to the “Ogniem i piecem” pizzeria. I’m drooling already.

 

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A post shared by Restauracja Malika (@restauracja_malika)

If you like to cool yourselves down with ice cream and desserts – the best ones are served in a “Bosko” gelateria  and vegan “Hygge”. They even have ice cream made of pansies.

You will not need comfy shoes as everything is close by so you won’t get tired. I’m waiting for you under the Gdynia sky, keeping the kettle on and cheering for you all! See you soon in the marina – Barefoot!

Thank you for your tips and see you in Gdynia!

Important information

How to get there?

Gdansk Lech Walesa Airport (GDN) is one of the three most important international airports in Poland and the nearest airport to Gdynia. It takes around 25 min to get from the airport to Gdynia.

Where to stay?

There are two hotels recommended by the organisers with special rates available for the participants.

Mercure Gdynia Centrum,  located in city centre, a short walk from the beach.

Hostel Mały Żagiel , located 50m from the beach in the very heart of Gdynia. For more information and hotel rates, visit the official Polish site icfsupgdynia2022.pl

 

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A post shared by Mały Żagiel (@hostel_maly_zagiel)

Board Hire

Uone Team will have an expo stand at the event with their iSUP quiver available to test throughout the event.

International Canoe Federation’s official partner Sports Camps Group offers a service of board rental and board transportation to and from the event. More information can be found here.

To find out more about Uone, visit www.u1.net.pl and follow the brand on Instagram and Facebook

Follow Małgorzata Paszkiewicz on Instagram 

*Images courtesy of Małgorzata Paszkiewicz

About the Author

Anna Nadolna

Anna is the Founder of SUPer Whale, a Cambridge(UK!)-based emerging watersports brand and a stand-up paddleboarding community. She is a certified SUP Flat Water Instructor accredited by International Surfing Association (ISA). Anna is also a digital marketing, storytelling aficionado and a growth hacking enthusiast.

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