Sensi Ambassador Jamie Broder is a pro volleyball player who has traveled the world. Here she shares her list of the top ten beaches for volleyball. Get ready to add these to your travel wishlist!
I am pretty lucky that my job takes me around the world to so many beautiful locations. A lot of the time we are busy with prep and competition so we will only get to see the airport, hotel and venue, but there are those rare days off where we have a little more free time to explore. Many of the venues that we play at are in fact man-made courts in the middle of a city instead of on the coast at a natural beach, but here’s a list of my favorite “beaches” that I have played at in the world!
Seven-Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Island Just as the name describes, it seems this beach has endless stretch of pure white, fine grain, squeak when you walk kind of sand. We have fond memories of this location since it was where Kristina and I had our first tournament win, clinching Gold at the 2013 NORCECA. To top it off, the water here is a bright and beautiful turquoise color, perfect for a dip after playing.
Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver Canada This is the beach that I grew up playing at while attending the University of British Columbia. With a stunning view of the North Shore Mountains (Seymour, Cypress and Grouse) as well as the seawall path wrapping around the shore, there’s no better place for a sunset practice.
Karon Beach, Phuket Thailand Home of the FIVB Phuket Open for many years, this spot was a favorite of many athletes on tour. With the ever-exciting town of Patong just a short scooter or tuk tuk ride away, and the gorgeous Phi Phi islands by boat, there is lots to see and do in the area. The hot and humid weather made playing beach volleyball an exhausting battle, but the stunning scenery around made it worth the trip!
Manhattan Beach, California USA The stretch of sand along the Southern Coast of California is arguably the beach volleyball capital of the world. Along Manhattan, Hermosa, and Redondo Beaches, there are hundreds of permanent courts set up, and with year-round sunshine it’s hard to beat. We love to train here in the off-season when the weather in Toronto is a little less favorable ☺
Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro Brazil Another hot spot for Beach Volleyball in the world, Rio also happens to be the host of the upcoming 2016 Olympic Games. I had the opportunity to play here back in 2005 at the U21 World Championships, and I can’t wait for the chance to represent Canada once more in 2016. We are currently in the process of qualifying and it helps to be able to visualize the very spot where we plan to be competing for a medal, one year from now.
Waikiki Beach, Hawaii USA We played here for an exhibition event between USA, China and Canada, put on by the Hilton. This was over the top amazing, and in such a prime location and tourist hot spot.
Gstaad, Switzerland Nestled in the Swiss Alps, this picturesque village is one of a kind. It is a popular destination and ski resort during the winter months, and during the summer there are some stunning hiking and cycling trails to enjoy. This stop on tour is the highest elevation for any tournament, at 1050 meters (3445 feet) above sea level. Post tournament indulgence in Swiss chocolate and fondue is a must!
Stavanger, Norway Here is one of the man-made locations I mentioned, in the harbor of Stavanger where all the huge cruise ships dock. The weather here is usually pretty chilly for beach volleyball, but the backdrop is one of the most unique that we encounter on tour.
Ashbridges Bay, Toronto Canada Our home and native sand. This is where we practice in between stops on tour and it’s a pretty great beach for anyone looking to play a game. There are hundreds of posts set up for nets, as well as easy access to Lake Ontario for a post-practice ice bath!
Porec, Croatia The city of Porec hosted an event for the first time this year and it was a quick favorite among athletes. The center court was set up right near the Old Town with many restaurants and shops to explore, and the players lounge was overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Looking forward to this being a frequent stop on the World Tour!
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