Daan Jimmink grew up in a small farming town in the South Island of New Zealand. He played a lot of sports, spent time traveling with his family and having adventures. When he was 13 years old, he was given the opportunity to try kayaking through high school, and was instantly hooked. But it was another three years before he was able to kayak again. This time it was for a school class called Outdoor Education, where one day a week was dedicated to an outdoor pursuit.
“Every time I got home after one of these adventures, I would share my endless stories with my parents who listened patiently. I had found my calling,” said Daan.
Daan was offered to be an outdoor instructor at a course nearby that taught Outdoor Education. Since finishing his three years, he has worked all over the world teaching kayaking and other outdoor activities.
“Helping people to experience kayaking in the same way that I love the sport is my passion.” You will find Daan on a river, in a swimming pool, paddling on a pond, traveling the US I-5 in search of water or flying up a river on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
Daan has the highest level of kayak instruction award in New Zealand (NZOIA Kayak 2). He is also a kayak assessor for the New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association. In his spare time he works together with Jess Matheson creating a digital magazine called Dreaming of Whitewater.
Daan’s philosophy in life is to do what you love; once you get good enough at it you can make it your job and it doesn’t feel like you are working. He seems to be living it! Daan is a great resource for kayak instruction and adventure, and Kokatat is honored to be a part of his journey.