Our Story

It was winter, 2021, when Derk Kuper sat together with co-member and communication specialist Raimond Hof, to design a logo for Canoepolo Deventer. At that time Derk was the driving force behind the explosive growth of the sport. With his guidance the number of members already doubled over a period of only three years, making it the biggest canoepolo club of the Netherlands. In addition to developing a structure to help the curious to overcome their fear of water, Derk, more importantly, came up with a new, attractive narrative for the sport. A narrative that emphasised the cultural aspects of the canoepolo community as a whole and, in particular, the brotherhood gathering around the bonfire at the club in Deventer. It created the need for actual club wear fitting with that unique club identity:  a branding that contradicted the image of canoeing as an alleviating leisure activity.

Not sure of the approval of the club, governed by slightly conservative touring canoeists, Derk and Raimond persisted and were convinced that they could persuade the board to implement a unique and distinctive logo. From Derk’s perspective, the relatively young playing field of canoepolo in Deventer needed to be challenged to overcome its puberty and grow into an equal party within the club. The club needed to embrace their identity and a unified appearance would strengthen this. A rebellion was called for. Consequently, the logo became a brand and the rebellion became a revolution. Two years later the discipline grew up into maturity, took its responsibility and occupied more than half of the board.

But the rebellion had actually already existed for over 20 years. Derk and Raimond had only boosted it. Around 1999, when talents from all over the country gathered in Deventer to assemble a team to rebel against the ruling Dutch champion, a strong brotherhood was formed. A brotherhood that was chased out of the club canteen for being too noisy. The presence of the group of young fanatics, training on a daily basis, wasn’t supported by a number of influential members at the club. But, despite of the opposition, they persevered. As a result, the brotherhood dominated the world for a decade. Needless to say that this legacy contributed to the narrative, which also became a story of rebellion, companionship and perseverance, resulting in legendary achievements.

The belief that the rebellious nature of a sport contributes to the mining of its potential only grew stronger. Canoepolo, as a spectacular, rough sport with a unique tournament culture, differs from any other sport. On top of that it is the only tactical team sport within the canoeing community. Therefore it is rebellious in every sense of the word. We need to embrace and propagate that identity in order to overcome our infancy and empower our sport. BIGBEARD, born out of the collaboration for Deventer, pursues the ambition to grow and develop our sport by emphasising those unique cultural aspects. And we need everyone from the international canoepolo community to stand with us, to scale up the rebellion and to instigate a worldwide revolution.

Join us in our mission and unleash the rebel.

Skills are built not born


BIGBEARD was founded to promote canoepolo. A spectacular, but unknown team sport in kayaks. We believe in potential of the sport as a culture. Due to the heaviness of the sport, a match only takes 20 minutes. And since there aren’t a lot of clubs offering the sport, teams only compete at tournaments. Travelling from club to club every weekend, teams form brotherhoods at the campsite. Temporarily living in a bubble, disconnected from society. Canoepolo is not just a sport, it has become a culture. Our culture. The BIGBEARD culture.



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Prima shirt. Ben blij verrast over de kwaliteit van de bedrukking.

- Sebastiaan Goorkate