Where can you go surfing, scuba diving and kayaking in January, while all seeing the latest boats, yachts, marine electronics and other gear? Northern Europe. Yes, we’re absolutely serious. At the 2017 boot Düsseldorf show.
Germany’s **boot Düsseldorf **is the world’s largest boat and watersports trade show in the world, 17 massive halls and more than 2.3 million square feet of exhibit space right in the heart of the city. It’s an appropriate spot. The 900-year-old capital of North Rhine-Westphalia lies along the busiest waterway in the world, the Rhine River.
The 48th annual boot Düsseldorf runs from Jan. 21 to 29, and roughly 1,800 exhibitors from more than 60 countries are getting ready to display all their latest innovations, from recreational powerboats, engines and gen-sets to PWCs, angling gear and every possible gizmo related to watersports.
But this show is not going to be a strictly spectator sport. Here, in the depths of winter, show organizers have placed active on-water (and underwater) lifestyles at center stage.
In the Surfers Village, the world’s first standing, deep-water wave will allow newbies and experts alike to test their surfing skills on standard boards and stand-up paddleboards. Up to six surfers can ride “The Wave” at the same time, depending on their skill levels, and beginners (including children ages 6 to 12) can use a bar while they find their sea legs.
The Wave’s unique, nine-pump surfing system allows enthusiasts to use standard boards with fins, which creates a realistic feel. Surfers will be able to surf 24.6 feet across the 77-degree pool on waves that range between 2.3 and 5.9 feet (measured on the face before they break). Perhaps best of all, registration is free on the show’s website.
Scuba diving will be another hands-on experience. At the boot Dive Centre, visitors are invited to dive in the 19.6- by 15-foot pool, which is 5.9 feet deep. The show will provide compressed air, regulators, wetsuits and fins free of charge, and diving instructors from the world’s top diving organizations will provide training tips and advice.
Prominent organizations like PADI, Protec and SSI will be on hand to offer information about dive training. The diving halls will feature destinations from Egypt, Turkey and Indonesia to Portugal and the Caribbean; Sardinia will share information about its dive regions for the first time.
Visitors can spend time with international manufacturers like Aqualung, Atomic Aquatics, Bauer, Mares, Ocean Reef and Scubapro, and those who wish to learn more can visit the dive tower for a wide variety of lectures, interviews and other programs.
And don't forget about the boats. The 48th annual boot Düsseldorf International Boat Show is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 21 to Sunday, Jan. 29. The doors will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and entrance passes can be ordered online. All tickets allow free use of public transportation within the city’s VRR transportation network.