[kaya-ooyook] 'He who rolls up with his paddle in his kayak after a capsize
Currently I live in Oslo, Norway with my girlfriend and daughter, work as a full time engineer and enjoy many aspects of the Norwegian Outdoor life!
I started paddling in Hamburg, Germany in 2004 because a friend of mine was going after a university lecture and asked me if I wanted to join. As I liked being on the water, I spontaneously came along and liked it instantly.

So, I was quite active paddling almost every week and joined first day and overnight trips on the rivers around the city.

In addition I took part in two longer paddling holidays and building up a small group of Kayak Polo players with white water kayaks and floating Basketball goals. During these trainings I had my first contact with braces and rolling, but did not really manage.
As I could not wait, I already bought my first kayak, a blue PE Prijon Motion which I gave the name 'Nautilus'.

In autumn 2005 I moved to Kiel, Germany and had to look for a new club.

I found it in the ‘Kanu-Vereinigung Kiel’ directly located at the Kiel fjord.

Here I met two other newbeginners who were very motivated and together we met for playing sessions almost once or twice a week in addition to weekly paddling trips on the fjord. Just after a couple of weeks we were able to do first braces and rolls. We also tried out all kinds of rescue maneuvers, also during winter as we were paddling all year round.

Luckily the one responsible for seakayaking in the Northern part of Germany was also a member in that club and he soon integrated me in the National education schemes and courses he gave within the German paddling association. He also motivated me to take all kinds of courses to get official trainer licenses.

These official licenses could be used to offer overnight trips on the Baltic in addition to courses for forward stroke, advanced paddling techniques and safety and rescue in official programs and I very much enjoyed these activities.
In the meantime I was outgrowing my kayak quite fast and bought me a Lettmann Eski 530 named 'Blue Marlin' which was the only laminated kayak I could afford as a student which had a seakayak like shape. I still have it and although this is not really a full seakayak, I like it very much!
As I liked to try out everything and teach others, I also created and established a new weekly group that would focus on training for beginners and trying out all kinds of kayaking techniques within the club. It’s still active although I left Germany years ago!
As there are not too many seakayakers in the Northern part of Germany I also was involved in the process of introducing the European Paddle Pass (EPP) system in our educational programs, which I think was a good opportunity to really sort out all the old material and practices we had and replace by the ones we found working in all weather conditions. So participants in my courses were then able to get the EPP certificates for seakayaking.
Now, I’m in the process of collecting all these activities and get them accredited in Norway for the wetcard system, so that I can offer wetcard courses as well.
Picture: North Sea, Germany
(c) 2015 Qajaujuq All rights reserved