Some time ago, while chatting at the club, Jos asked me the question: “How did you get into (sea)-kayaking?”
I had to think for a while about this.
I thought the answer fits in this blog as well, so I published it underneath.

Well I guess it started, when I was much younger, by reading the book “Jan Battingh becomes rich” (1933) which I inherited from my father a long time ago.
The book is about a boy, looking for the old family treasure that a grand-grandfather ever had hidden and was never found for generations.
Well, that has nothing to do with kayaking, you say!
Right, but the book also describes the boy going kayaking as sport: training and active in competition, but also while enjoying a tour in nature at relaxed pace.
I think the atmosphere around the kayaking-part was described in such a way that it turned a key for me and I became interested.

When I read in a local paper, somewhere around 1966, that a kayakcentre was to be built at the “Westboekpark” in Scheveningen, I jumped on my bike to take a look. Nothing to be seen yet. I must have been there every day since to take a look, but I had to wait for at least half a year when it was opened: somewhere in 1967.

From that moment I could be found there almost every day. For 25 cts you could paddle there for an hour. First in Spider’s from (“I think”) Letmann.
After some time Karel Muys, being trainer of the national kayakteam, came into view. He was a nice guy who liked the idea of the kayakcentre and the kids kayaking. He started to train some of the youth that frequently visited the centre and was showing enthusiasm. I also joined this group and now I couldn’t be stopped for I started training daily, practising what Karel teaches us. With the group I even got into the paper in 1969:

Click on photo to enlarge


Click on text to enlarge

In the years following, I kept visiting the centre until I joined a local kayakclub “De Windhappers” in 1972.
From that moment kayaking was never out of my life and, in some sort of evolution-process, I went through most aspects of kayaking such as competition, touring, open canoe, whitewater, sea&surf, kayakpolo, slalom, seakayaking.
May be I write later more on this.

oktober 2023 : Inmiddels heb ik het vervolg geschreven, dat ik hierboven heb genoemd.
Dat zijn de artikelen:

In den beginne - 2 - Wedstrijdvaren
In den beginne - 3 - Brandingvaren
In den beginne - 4 - Toervaren
In den beginne - 5 - Kanopolo
In den beginne - 6 - Wildwater
In den beginne - 7 - Naar zeekajakvaren
In den beginne - 8 - Zeekajaks digitaal
In den beginne - 9 - Zeekajakken “en verder”