Fierljeppen: An Extreme Dutch & Frisian Sport

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Fierljeppen [pronounced: ‘fee – earl – yeppen’] is literally translated as ‘far-leaping,’ a name that befits each contestant’s main goal: to leap over a canal without hitting the water.

Fierljeppen, polejumping by Jacco de Boer

In order to accomplish this task, the ‘ljepper’ must sprint towards the canal and jump onto a pole. Then, if s/he successfully grabs onto the pole, s/he must climb the pole and control which direction it tips.

Een-Na-Fierste Ljepper by Hans D.

Ideally, the ljepper will jump onto the other side, and the audience will cheer. Otherwise, the ljepper will fall into the water, and the audience will say “ohh.”

The ljepper wins when s/he lands farther than the other contestants.

It’s like upgrading the Olympic long jump by adding a canal.

fierljeppen Almelose havendagen by Michel Coumans

Beginners usually fall into the water.

Perfect PE curriculum?


Do I kinda want to try it?

Also, yes.

Do I need to add visiting this time of year to my bucket list so I can observe Fierljeppen in all it’s glory?

Definitely, yes.

What about you? Have you ever heard of this sport before? Share with us in the comments below!

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