Water Sports on the Han River

On a nice hot sunny Seoul day, I decided to rent a bike near the dorms (see Vincent’s bike rental article here) and bike along the Han River (한강). As I was biking I passed Ttukseom Hangang Park (뚝섬 한강공원), where many people were lounging in their tents enjoying the day by the river. About five minutes after that I passed a number of water sport rental sheds all lined up in a row, offering a wide range of water sports. There was wakeboarding, wind surfing, kite surfing, paddleboats, and waterskiing, but what really interested me was the STAND UP PADDLE BOARD RENTAL SHOP! SUP is still not as popular as kite surfing or wind surfing but it is one of my favorite water activities. Essentially you are given a massive surfboard that you stand on, and a long paddle… and you paddle! I find it very fun, it is calm, and a good work out. It is not as physically demanding as other water sports, and you can easily go at any pace you like.

Stand-Up-Paddle-Boarding-

Source: canyonlakeadventures.com

For two hours the cost was 40,000 KRW, but two hours on a SUP is more than enough time and I thought the cost was well worth it. The guy set me up with a board and a paddle and carried my board down to the dock for me. He made sure I was able to paddle and turn, and snapped a picture of me and sent me on my way. Now you may have come to realize that liability in Korea does not exist in the same way it does in western countries. I had to pay cash, and he never even wrote down any of my information. He asked me if I could swim, and I said yes, he asked if I wanted a life jacket and I said no… However, this was a mistake. Not because the current was strong and I couldn’t handle it. Because yes I did fall in once… and easily got back on my board (people with better balance probably won’t even touch the water if they don’t want to). However, after 1.5 hours paddling upstream, where I had the most enjoyable time watching all the scenery and the people around the river… the Coast Guard found me. They made me get into their boat, and asked me where I came from, and preceded to drive me all the way back to where I rented the board. After this embarrassing ride back, they preceded to explain to me that I was not allowed to be on the river without a life jacket, something the SUP guy neglected to mention to me. So if you want to do any water sports on the river, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A LIFEJACKET! Even if you don’t wear it and just leave it on the front of your board, at least you can just plead ignorance and slip it on if you do end up coming into contact with the police or coast guard. Despite this, I really did have a great day on the river, and I highly suggest trying one of the water activities offered if you have time. Here are the rates for some of the other water sports:

 

Sports Rates (KRW) Districts Where Available
Motorboat 25,000~30,000 All Districts
Water Motorcycle 30,000 (10min) Jamwon
Rowboat 8,000~10,000(1hr) Ttukseom, Ichon, Yeoui-do, Mangwon
Paddleboat 8,000~10,000(1hr) Ttukseom, Ichon, Yeoui-do, Mangwon
Yacht 30,000~35,000(1hr) Jamwon, Nanji
Water-skiing 15,000~20,000 Ttukseom , Jamsil, Jamwon, Banpo, Ichon, Mangwon
Wakeboarding 18,000~25,000 Ttukseom , Jamsil, Jamwon, Banpo, Ichon, Mangwon
Fly Fishing 15,000~20,000 Ttukseom, Jamsil, Jamwon, Mangwon
Banana Boating 10,000~15,000 Jamsil, Jamwon, Banpo, Ichon, Mangwon
Peanut Boat 15,000~20,000 Jamwon, Mangwon
Wind Surfing 20,000 Mangwon
Cruise 9,900~14,600 Ttukseom, Jamsil, Yeoui-do, Yanghwa, Mangwon, Nanji

*note these prices were published in 2007 and may have increased slightly in this time

 

Directions:

By Bike or Walk:

1) From the river close to Hanyang University (한양대학교), follow the signs to Seoul Forest (서울숲), once you see the turn off for Seoul Forest, keep biking, do not turn. Keep biking until you see the strange building below.

20150523_151820

2) Once you pass this building keep biking for about 5-10 minutes and you will see docks with rental facilities in your left. The SUP rental shop is just passed the Korean flag, and the yellow wind surfing flag with a path up to the shop

20150523_150943 20150523_150934 20150523_150953

 

By Subway:

Take the Subway to Ttukseom-Resort Station on the Seoul Subway Line 7 (뚝섬유원지, 7호선), Exit 2 or 3. And then follow Part 2 of the biking directions above.

 

Article by Lindsay from Canada

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