Gallery 4: My paddling buddy Niels

These pictures are mostly about Niels, my friend and paddling buddy for many years. Niels was responsible for bringing me into contact with this sport, and he taught me a lot during my first year of paddling. That has changed a bit over the years, where I'm now the one who teaches him a lot with regard to paddling. It's nice to be able to return his kindness.

Niels is definately one of a kind, always good for a laugh, but also serious at times and always very attentive. These pictures show why some of the people who've only met Niels once, will immediately know that I'm talking about Niels, when I'm narrating one of the many stories that involve Niels, without even mentioning his name.

Click on the thumbnail pictures for larger resolution pictures.

Wilko

Even when it snows, Steven and Niels can be found on the river with me. Yeah, and some people think that I'm crazy!
There are not many trips with Niels where we got snow, although it's quite often below freezing when we paddle in the winter.
Here the snow continued when we paddled, as can be seen on Niels' helmet.
Seeing how much care Niels takes with our paddles, (here in Spain) it becomes even more surprising to hear how many paddles he already has abused beyond repair...
...As can be seen in this picture, on the German Perlbach creek. That little black vertical stripe on Niels' paddle blade comes from sticking it between some vertical planks under the bridge drop in the background, folding the blade neatly to about 45 degrees from normal... The paddle wasn't that old either, purchased only the summer before.
These next four pictures show Niels in action on one of our regular runs, the Irrel Waterfalls in the German Eifel. Look at the expression on his face.
Niels usually has pretty clean runs at Irrel...
..he seems to do rather well in most rapids...
...And generally has no problems with class IV runs like this.
Although there are exceptions...
...Even on dry land!
Niels his ideas about fashion definately aren't shared by all, here he deliberately plucked some tafts of hair through his "Ace" helmet's holes.
And if there's a camera around, he can always be seen in crazy stances...
...Or simply been caught in bandages... or weird situations!
Sometimes you'd think that he does all those weird things just for the camera.... but those who know him know better: he always does crazy things!

Niels' second page of pictures here.

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Copyright 2006 by Wilko van den Bergh