Corona Diaries #7, Bram Peeters (Belgium)
Outside, rivers are starting to flow and spring is around the corner, the sun is shining high in some areas, yet around the world, many are grounded at home, and it seems likely others soon will be. Which, though difficult, let’s repeat it, folks is THE THING TO DO! It is necessary and worth it!
So, we at Kayak Session decided to take the opportunity to catch up with our friends in the whitewater community and see how they are coping across the globe.
Today we speak with Belgium rider Braam Peeters who excels in both competitive Slalom and Creeking, and now works as a coach for the Belgium Youth Flat Water racing team.
Where are you and what is the situation like where you are?
I’m at home, in Belgium. At the moment we are not in full lockdown, but we are very limited in going outside. We are only allowed to leave the house for necessary stuff like groceries, drug store, etc. Luckily for now, in Belgium they also think doing sports is very crucial for (mental) health. So we are also allowed to go for a run or bike session. As long as you do this alone or with your partner.
« I’m super lucky to live on a houseboat here in Belgium. So at the moment I’m still allowed to go for a paddle everyday. »
How are you maintaining fitness and your sanity? Can you get any exercise or paddle at all?
I’m super lucky to live on a houseboat here in Belgium. So at the moment I’m still allowed to go for a paddle everyday. Lots of flatwater, but with spring coming up it’s an amazing escape from the whole situation!
Wait, you live on a houseboat? What is that like? How much space do you have at that moment to live in?
Haha, yeah it’s great! It’s 23m long and about 70-80 square meters living space. We found the boat by coincidence I would say. I was actually looking to buy a campervan or something to live in. When I searched online for a van I bumped on this houseboat in my hometown! It was an easy choice, we both love water and it was the perfect opportunity to live on our own and still be able to travel and go kayaking as much as possible.
« Stay positive, stay healthy! We’ll be boating again soon! »
How long have you been boat based? What are the advantages or disadvantages, would you say?
We have been living on the boat for five years now. We do have to pay for parking space, as nothing is for free these days. But we can live a simpler life here, so it keeps things a bit cheaper I guess. The main plus will always be that you live more outdoors and of course from a kayakers perspective that you live on the water. It does have some ‘downsides’ though. It really needs maintenance. Every year, I need to sand and paint about 150m2. And then thers’s loads of other boat-related stuff that needs attention. But for the moment still all worth it!
How do you spend most of your time?
I’m working as coach for the Belgium youth canoe sprint team. At the moment I’m not allowed to travel for my job anymore. So I need to work from home and we try our best to follow up with the athletes and have strong communications through this tough times for them. Except for that, I try to do a paddling session everyday, go for walks with my dog and try to be a little bit productive by doing chores. A houseboat is awesome, but it needs maintenance, which is great to stay busy at the moment.
What are you watching right now? Any (kayak) porn recommendations?
I was pretty stoked that EG released some new videos! Reminds me of the good old Bombflow days.
Any words of wisdom for your fellow paddlers across the world?
Stay positive, stay healthy! We’ll be boating again soon!