Got Sand? Beach Tennis Aruba Celebrates 20 Years!

Have you ever heard of beach tennis? Ever played it? If not, please keep on reading and by the end of this blog you might actually want to hit the sand, here in Aruba, or even at home.

Beach tennis is a fun sport that combines elements of regular tennis with that of badminton (if you will) and beach volleyball. It’s easy to learn and only involves paddles, an inflated tennis ball, a volleyball net and a sand court with the same dimensions as beach volleyball (16 x 9 meters; 52’6” x 26’3” for doubles). The rules of the game are easy: you serve over the net and keep the ball in the air as long as possible; once the ball bounces or drops in the sand, the point goes to the opponent. Beach tennis can be played in singles and doubles, just like regular tennis.

A 20-year history

Beach Tennis Aruba was founded in 2002 by two Dutch local athletes Sjoerd de Vries and Jochem Ros. Both young men provided regular tennis lessons for locals and tourists, as well as team building and boot camp activities, often on the beach. That is how the idea was born to play tennis on the beach on an improvised court, using regular tennis racquets. Soon this idea took off as a group of (mostly Dutch-born) locals showed great interest and enthusiasm for this new sport and wanted to practice and play more frequently.

Moomba Beach Club

By 2003 beach tennis in Aruba had gained a modest following of about 50 consistent players and the very first tournaments were held on the small beach strip in front of Moomba Beach Bar. With more and more beach tennis players joining in Aruba, Jochem and Sjoerd decided it was time to professionalize and regulate the sport by adding official beach tennis courts at the backside of Moomba Beach Club, introducing professional beach tennis paddles for rent and for sale, as the local players still used regular tennis racquets, adding lights to the court for nighttime play and a local competition.

Beach Tennis USA

Meanwhile, Jochem and Sjoerd’s ambitions didn’t stop in Aruba; they started promoting the fairly new sport on neighboring island Curacao as well. In early 2005 the very first interisland beach tennis tournament was organized, flying a large group of local players from Aruba to Curacao to introduce and promote the game.

At the same time, with beach tennis now played almost every day on a central location on Palm Beach in Aruba, tourists also were exposed to this fun, new way of exercising on the beach. One of them was Marc Altheim, a real estate developer from Great Neck, N.Y. While he was vacationing in Aruba he saw the locals playing beach tennis and got enthusiastic himself. Marc soon became the founder of Beach Tennis USA and introduced beach tennis in the U.S. in May 2005. Sjoerd visited the U.S. frequently in those early years to further help promote beach tennis.

International Beach Tennis Event

During the following years Beach Tennis Aruba focused on professionalizing and expanding. Their hard work was soon rewarded with many new memberships and the introduction of an annual international beach tennis tournament. The first two editions this international tournament were held on the ‘birth ground’ of Beach Tennis Aruba, at Moomba Beach.

However, the tournament soon grew out to a local highlight of the year and turned into a mega event, involving stands that could hold up to 1,000 spectators, food stalls, a dozen beach tennis courts and more. The limited space available at Moomba on Palm Beach no longer sufficed. In short: the event needed more space. A new location was appointed on pristine and wide-open Eagle Beach and the international event then doubled in size in just about everything: participants, spectators, amount of courts and overall foot print.

Beach Tennis Aruba

Not only the annual international beach tennis event grew immensely, but beach tennis as a sport also became so popular in Aruba that it needed a bigger venue, thus the Beach Tennis Aruba Club was born. It’s location is in the Eagle Beach area, next to the Eagle Resort. Besides a fun Clubhouse, Beach Tennis Aruba manages over 25 competitive leagues on 16 permanent courts. In addition, Beach Tennis Aruba still manages 4 beach tennis courts at the Moomba Beach Club, where the sport originated in the early 2000-s.

Courts and beach tennis paddles can be rented at both locations and BTA-accredited beach tennis teachers are available for clinics and lessons. Beach Tennis Aruba is managed by Marc Kiezebrink and Sjoerd de Vries. More information on Beach Tennis Aruba can be found online on their website and their Facebook page.

ARUBA OPEN

As the annual international event evolved over the years and changed locations a few times, it also changed its name and today is called Aruba Open. Now hosting hundreds of international players from 15 to 20 different countries and attracting thousands of spectators, the Aruba Open Beach Tennis Championships 2022 will be held on Bushiri Beach from November 13-20, 2022. This ocean front location can be found adjacent to the Divi Dutch Village Beach Resort and next to Druif Beach.

While the matches played have an element of competitiveness and the surroundings professionalized, one thing never changed over the last 20 years: the spirit of the early days of Beach Tennis Aruba. It is still very much about fun and games, making new friends, enjoying music, sun, sand, surf and simply having a blast. The Aruba Open is the largest open-air beach tennis tournament worldwide and the largest sport event in Aruba.

Learn more

BOARDWALK HOTEL AND BEACH TENNIS

Boardwalk guests who have an interest in beach tennis while vacationing in Aruba, are encouraged to come see us at the front desk where we can set you up for beach tennis court rental, or help you find your way to the November Aruba Open events. Fun and good times guaranteed! The Beach Tennis Aruba Moomba Courts are located across the street from Boardwalk, on a mere 15 minutes walk or a 2 minute car drive. Parking at Moomba is free, yet limited. The Beach Tennis Aruba Club is located on a 10-minute drive from Boardwalk.

Want more of this? A brief, international history of beach tennis can be found here.

Update Child Policy

As of June 2022;

- Now welcoming children of 12 years and up.

- Existing reservations with children under the age of 12 will be honored.