Kriminal Kayak starts back in the summer of 2009 as a result of the passion for kayaking of 4 friends (Gabri, Billy, Bacci and Jaco) and their will to spend time together, exploring always new river runs, sharing intense and adventurous moments, as well as from the desire to belong to a specific group: “double K” stands for Kayak and Kriminal, underlining the glimpse of craziness, typically belonging to extreme sports, and addressing all those who like to be “out of the box”.
Ever since KK's interest is not just focused on running rivers just down but also doing it on freestyle. The 4 friends, who finally became 5 in 2010, do perform training together several times a week: they do meet occasionally for going surfing some wave, when the sea allows it, they go running down some river in the Apennine area in Italy, even in rainy weather, or further North in the Alps during spring/summer. Finally, if there isn't anything else possible to do around, meeting on a little pond on the Scrivia, to do exercises and try out freestyle tricks on flat water, will do too.
Maybe it's due to the strong relationship created through shared experience, or due to some healthy rivalry between these guys, or it is this never ending teasing and making fun of each other, when a trick doesn’t work as expected, or when the line or the run of a rapid are not perfect – fact is these guys are getting better day by day and so they got noticed in the small Italian kayak world.
As there are not many – not to say very few – freestyle spots in Italy, the “Kriminals” very often have to go to France. Thus pretty soon new friends have been made. From new friends a lot of things were learned and amazing spots have been discovered. The new relationship has grown stronger and stronger so that some of the french kayakers have ask to be part of “Kriminal Kayak”… so the family is growing.
Gorgeous years are following, filled with friendship and brotherhood, plenty of cold nights spent in a tend alongside the river, maybe whilst a tremendous storm is blowing outside … dinners cooked on a camp fire with no light but a trembling glimpse of a headlight… endless car trips with kayaks on the roof… years of escapes from work, or from school, just to get off to catch the perfect wave or to have a fast run on the Scrivia. Often during winter times with temperatures close to zero degrees, some times having even snow… but that's just the real passion!
In 2011 “Kriminal-Kayak” has been tremendously shocked as a sad accident happened … one of the 4 initial friends did pass away. This has been a very hard moment. Something seamed to break entirely down. Somebody did stop kayaking for a while. But in the end passion always survives and never disappears completely, so finally the group gets back together and close again, stronger then ever before.
2012 is the year “KK” starts collaborating with Exo Kayak for the design of a new palyboat: The Exo Xg, dedicated to the the friend who had passed away.
Exo is one of the two kayak and canoe builders in Italy and one of the most known emerging brands in Europe.
During this collaboration some of the “Kriminals” have become part of the “Team Exo”.
“KK” gets more and more known and popular after 2012. A lot of kayakers start buying “KK T-shirts” and stick the “KK” Logo on their kayaks and cars.
In 2013 one of the initial 4 founders decides to turn his favorite sport of kayaking to a full time job, not just by teaching how to practice kayaking, but with the idea to organize trips and river expeditions all over the world.
“KK” starts first with teaching kayaking in some clubs around Genoa, bringing always new fellows closer to the “Kriminal-Kayak” world. Some people are just attracted through infinite adventure tales, others by the honest brotherhood of the group. The will of staying all under the same “roof” keeps growing. There is the need for a headquarter where you can meet, do collective training or just a place to chat and have a beer. It would also be great having a place where to keep the kayaks, besides a meeting point from where to start for different destinations.
Finally the time is ripe and so in 2015, supported by Exo, “Kriminal-Kayak” gets registered as an association, and is opening its base in the little harbor of Nervi. A dream has come true for the 4 initial friends, but also for the new mates, in memory of the one who had passed away. But it is also especially a reason to keep growing as well as to share the beauty and simplicity of a sport which offers you a lot.
KRIMINAL KAYAK TODAY
Nowadays “Kriminal-Kayak” became KK TURISMO AVENTURA Y EXPEDICIONES and is based in Futaleufù Chile.
Without doubts it is one of the best spots for someone, who is curious and wants to get closer to this amazing world of whitewater and freestyle kayaking or for someone that wants to have a 10 days aventure trip.
Classes are held with up to date equipment sponsored by Waka kayaks and Drago Rossi: kayaks and paddles are always in top conditions.
All instructors have a great background and a huge passion for this kind of sports. They are following up all students on their learning path.
Keep in mind “Kriminal-Kayak” is not just the best kayak school you can find … it is also a community with a strong brotherhood feeling: some people do focus rather on river running, others instead prefer calmer and easier sections.
Improving your kayaking experience, week by week, you will soon be able to join the others on new experiences: from a one day trip, over long weekend escapes, up to river expeditions in Europe or elsewhere in the entire World.
“KK” expanded in 2019 opening a headquarter, the “Kriminal Lake House” in Patagonia, Chile - just a few miles away from the a put-in of one of the most beautiful rivers in the world: the Futaleufú.