My first windsurf spot review has to be from my local spot, Ørekroken (pron. almost like OreoCookie ;))! A very nice flat water spot, situated in a lovely bay, just 1,5 hours drive from Oslo.
Overall and climate
Rating (from 1 to 6), click here for more about how I review.
The big pro for this spot is the flat waters, a Scandinavian paradise for windsurfers and kiters. It is best on south-west, but it will also do on south winds. A good spot for both beginners and experienced, freestylers and freeriders. The wind and the shape of the bay make some waves, but this is not a wave spot. Still, the waves make it good for jumping. The wind is most consistent in the spring and the autumn.
Local windsurfers will surf on the spot from March to December.
Still, I would only go there from June until October. In March, April, November and December, you will need a 6/5 mm wetsuit or a drysuit. Otherwise wetsuits 5/4-3/2 mm would be enough.
It is a nice bay and you can stand on both sides of it. There are no particular hazards. Just pay attention to boats. You can not windsurf on the inside of yellow markers, marking the swimming area. Still, on windy days, there will be no swimmers around.
It is a nice place to bring your family. There is a quiet and windless beach on the spot. The Hvaler islands also offer lots of other stuff to do.
On days with little wind it is really nice to stand-up paddle boarding at Ørekroken and around the islands. There are also some surf spots, but these are secret ;).
How to get to Ørekroken?
The spot is situated on Kirkeøy, Hvaler municipality, Norway. You will need a car to get here. The drive from Oslo is 116 km from Oslo, app. 1.5 hours. You drive to Fredrikstad and follow the signs towards Hvaler. You pass three islands before entering the Hvaler tunnel. Just after the tunnel, you take the first right following a sign saying Rødshusveien. After app. 300 m, you take left on a narrow road and you will soon se the parking lot for Ørekroken. On busy days, it will be full, and you must park a long the road. Be aware and pay attention to others using the area, like summer house and boat owners.
You must bring your on gear. If you break something the local Ezzy dealer, Halvor Torgersen, might have spare parts you can buy. Or other friendly windsurfers are happy to help.
Where to stay and eat?
Hvaler is a popular vacation destination for Norwegians, either on day trips or they have a cabin. The best budget accommodation is Storesand tent camping, situated in a nice bay next to Ørekroken. You cannot make bookings, first come, first serve! More pricy alternatives are Hvaler Resort or you can rent a “boat house” in Skjærhalden. Check out Visit Oslo Fjord for alternatives.
When it comes to eating, I would suggest have bring your food and have a BBQs on the beach. There are also some cafes and restaurants in Skjærhalden, only 3 km away.
Other things to do?
There might be down days or maybe your family do not want to watch you windsurf every day. Hvaler is a beautiful place and there are many trials for walking, running or biking. You can also go island hopping, and visit some of the car-free islands. There is also a golf course on Hvaler. You can check out the yoga at Indigo or just do it yourself overlooking the sea. The range activities make this place a good option to go as a couple or family.
Others spots nearby
Spots nearby are Brattestø, Skipstadsand and Skjærhalden. Visit Hvaler seilforening for more information (sorry, Norwegian only)! There is also a spot called Larkollen, 65 km from Ørekroken. This spot is maybe better for free riders.
My week Ørekroken in July 2015
This week, we rented a cabin close to the spot and have really enjoyed the great summer life at Hvaler. We stayed one week and windsurfed four days with 4.2, 4.7 and 5.2. It was just the little family of four traveling, so we had to take turns on the water. Alexander had a good week, practicing his freestyle moves. He uses Soloshot and here is a short recap from one of the days.
For me, this was the second time on the water in 1,5 years, because of having the twins. I must admit that I was a bit nervous. But meeting nice windsurfers on the parking lot and having the gear ready rigged on the beach motivated me. When the week was over, I was really happy! I have managed to get back to my good-old-tacking and even did three gybes (now I have done five in my life:)). It was great fun! That was the most important for me!
Have a good time at Ørekroken!
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