Johans Kayak Site

De Zaan
Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I rent a kayak/canoe?

Have a look at the map on the site of The Naked Kayaker (also for dressed kayakers :-)

Do you need a permit to navigate the canals in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands it's free to kayak on all the waterways unless indicated differently (like in nature parks). There are a few exceptions: the Rotterdam harbour and you may not follow the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal (crossing it is allowed). For the Reeuwijkse Plassen you need to buy a permit fot the day (see web-page).

Do you need a permit for the Belgian waterways?

In Belgium it's free to kayak on all the waterways unless indicated differently (like in nature parks). In Belgium only Belgian kayaks need a tax-plate (immatriculatieplaat). The rules about it are very unclear. Non-Belgian vessels don't need to have a plate, so actually you need proof the kayak is not Belgian.

Do you need a permit for the British waterways?

In the UK you have to have permission by the owner of the non-tidal waterway before you can take your kayak into the water. Waterways that have an open connection to the sea and that have a tidal current, are free. British Waterways owns about 2000 miles of canals and other waterways in the UK. For access to the waterways owned by BW you need a licence and a third party liability insurance. To obtain permission to access the canals you best become a member of the British Canoe Union. Membership costs £32,75 a year (2009) for adult recreational paddlers and includes permission to the waterways of British Waterways, the neccessary insurance and the bi-monthly magazine Canoefocus. For cycling on the towpaths you need a permit. You can obtain this for free at

Can I rent a kayak or canoe from you?

No, I just share information about where to kayak. If there is a kayak rental, it is mentioned on the page. I have no commercial relation to kayak rentals, so you have to contact them yourself. I own just one kayak and I don't rent it out.

Is there white water kayaking in the Netherlands?

For white water kayaking you can go to Zoetermeer, which is not far from The Hague: Also in Hardenberg (near the German border) there's white water kayaking:


Dutch touristic canoe union.


British Canoe Union.