(Blo)karting in IJmuiden aan Zee

For all of you who had not heard of blokarting before, yes, it's a thing. In fact, it's a thing that's catching on quickly as one of the world's newest competitive hobbies.  In case you haven't heard of blokarting before, it is a very much real sport by anybody's standards. It is a land-based sailing sport that allows you to "sail" with a compact land yacht, and has only increased in popularity since its invention in 1999 by New Zealander Paul "Guru" Beckett. Basically, think go-kart meets sailing boat. As a Canadian, I have to admit I had never heard mention of blokarting (although I'm sure it exists there too!) until I came to Europe, which isn't surprising considering of the 10,000 blokarts made annually, almost half are sold in Europe where chilly beaches and bracing winds are aplenty.

A blokart in action

Anatomically, a blokart consists of wheels, a mast and sail, and weighs around 30kg. Most importantly, it is easily dismantled in just a few minutes without the need for tools, and travels in a carry-case meaning you can throw it in your car, take it with you on a train, and check it in as luggage when on a plane should you decide to purchase your own. Unlike other landyachts (apparently, there are not one but several types of land yachts - who knew??), you can actually steer your blokart as it comes with a steering wheel. This makes it easy to use in urban and suburban areas, as well as all other areas where there aren't huge expanses of nature around you - car parks, tennis courts, football pitches, and narrow beaches.

Which is exactly why blokarting has become a favourite past time of the Dutch seaside resort town of IJmuiden aan Zee. Cashing in at a respectable 55 euro per person for a full 2 hours of blokarting (including a brief tutorial), blokarting at IJmuiden is the perfect outdoorsy activity in a country short on mountains and nature reserves. It's a great way to get the adrenaline pumping in a safe an controlled environment.

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