ProStaffer of the Month: Marianne Nysted
AB: How did you get started kayaking and what do you love about it?
MARIANNE: I was offered an introductory course through my job as a school teacher. I quickly discovered how paddling could be combined with photography.
Recently, I've been into paddling long distances in one go. My current record is 107 kilometers in a day. My 2020 goal is 150 kilometers in a day. That is only possible with the proper amount of training and good gear. I use my Aqua-Bound Tango and a custom-made Greenland paddle.
I love the sense of freedom when sitting in my kayak. I'm not depending on following any roads, I can move freely, there's no parking lots or any rules.
In Denmark we take pride in our land and everyone have the possibility to move freely along the coasts. Often I bring my kayak on the roof top of my car and at the end of the work day, I drive directly to a beach for an afternoon or evening paddle.
No one in Denmark has to drive more than an hour to reach the sea. That sense of freedom and the knowledge about technique and safety of paddling alone is what I take pride in, when instructing my students.
It's a perfect way to learn more about one’s country, sitting there in absolute silence, just observing and sensing the greatness surrounding you. And for those who aren’t able to paddle, I'm doing my best to grab and convey that feeling.
AB: How do you like to give back to the kayaking community?
MARIANNE: I take a lot of pictures that I publish on Facebook and Instagram, hoping to inspire others to make more use of the beautiful nature that surrounds us. Also, I have an extra kayak, paddles, wet- and drysuit and often paddle short trips with beginners.
I’m a passionate photographer and always bring my GoPro. Back home I grab the best images from the videos. Most of the time you just need to straighten up the horizon (otherwise the viewer tend to get sea sick!).
I am also an active member of local kayak and photography communities and clubs.
AB: Is there a local Aqua-Bound dealer you help out?
MARIANNE: Yes, Butik Malik is my go-to shop for all things kayaking related.
AB: Do you introduce new paddlers to kayaking? How?
MARIANNE: I am a physical education teacher in elementary school and a kayak instructor in the local junior high school.
Parents are often afraid to send their children to water sports, so in my class both young people and their parents are very welcome. This way, I reach out to many more, and get them trained to move safely on and near the water. Safety along with pure joy is a very high priority.
The students come from different backgrounds. Some are tired of ball games, some want to learn something not many others can do, and some have heard about our cool community on the water.
Common to them is that it’s young people who have to find their identity and it may well be a difficult age. On the water, you have to be a trustworthy good friend, so indirectly, we also teach them to build healthy values that last a lifetime.
You can connect with Marianne on Facebook and Instagram.
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