Sunday, 30 December 2007

Lyon impressions 2007

Last year we had awesome days at Hawaii sur Rhone (Lyon, France). First in the preparation for the worlds in Canada and later just for fun. Unfortunately we didn´t get the wall and wall B on tape, but I´m looking forward to get them on film next year.

A few impressions from our sessions this year:

Happy New Year!

Friday, 21 December 2007

Video of Big-Push Wave (Skamsar rapid, Otta river, Norway)

Finally it is done, my first homemade video is finished ;-)
After promising to publish the footage after the summer trip it took me some time to get the hardwear together. Well, last week I bought a new laptop and got straight to work and although it is just a really simple and rudimental clip, it was huge fun cutting it and spending the first hours with the cutting programm.

Check it out:

Here some information about the feature:
blog post Big-Push wave

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Stop the B.A. Surfboard Ban

in brief:

British Airways has announced that as of 6th November this year it will no longer be carrying surfboards on any flights.

For the sake travelling surfers, windsurfers, canoeists and kayakers worldwide, the British Surfing Association strongly objects, and asks for your support.

online petition


Sunday, 4 November 2007

River access for all: sign online petition

Dear Friends

The Welsh Canoeing Association (WCA) are currently lobbying the Welsh Assembly to introduce a Land Reform Bill for Wales which would give the right of responsible access to the open countryside and inland waters of Wales. The power to introduce such legislation was transferred from Westminster to Cardiff last July, and we are currently in a position where Assembly members are seriously looking at the WCA proposals. If passed the pressure would greatly increase on Westminster to follow suit for England.

Although the law regarding access to the countryside in England and Wales was recently clarified through the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000), this, however, did not include inland waters. As such water sport enthusiasts often face uncertainty as to their legal rights when utilising non-tidal waters. There is no guarantee that a canoeist, for example, will not be committing an act of trespass by simply traveling down a river where they have not obtained permission from all those who own land along the stretch being paddled. Introducing a Land Reform Bill would remove such uncertainties and allow all to enjoy their natural heritage rather than making it the preserve of a privileged few

If you support idea of a Land Reform Bill for Wales, please sign the online petition at The Government of Wales Act (2006) requires the Assembly to act on petitions received if an issue falls within their powers so, if we get enough people to sign, this petition can make a difference .The Welsh Assembly have confirmed that signatures from anywhere in the world are appropriate, so please sign up. It only takes a matter of seconds. Similar lobbying helped in getting the Scottish Parliament to pass the Land Reform Act (2003).

Many thanks for your support. For more information please visit

Best regards

The Canoeing is Not a Crime team

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Reminder for the Open Dutch Championships Freestyle & Boatercross


Saturday 13 October: Dutch Championship Freestyle Kayaking and Boatercross
Location: The Wild Water Complex at Dutch Water Dreams, Zoetermeer.
Subscription fee: Boatercross €15,- Freestyle/Boatercross € 30,-.


The Dutch Open Championships in Freestyle Kayaking and Boatercross will take place at Dutch Water Dreams in Zoetermeer on Saturday, 13 October. The event will be rounded off with some spectacular side events. The Dutch Championships mark the end of the Teva Playboat Cup 2007 and promises to be Holland’s greatest wild water spectacle of the year. BE THERE!

The freestyle competition will be held on the upper wave, while the boatercross goes down the whole course. Training possibilities are on Friday night from 10:00 -12:00 pm followed by a party in Dutch Water Dream’s Beachhouse.

Freestyle prelims start on Saturday morning 10:00 am. After an afternoon break the Teva Skydive Team will officially open the evening schedule, together with dazzling demonstrations by the Go Fast Jetski Team.

In a fully enlightened course the racers of the boatercross will fight their way through to the finals and the freestyle kayakers will amuse the public with their great variety of moves.

From 6.30 pm until midnight the competitors and the crowd will be entertained by the beats and sounds of nightclub DJ Oscar Allgood, while X-treme sports reporter Seb van den Berg (Eurosport) compères the proceedings.The whole evening’s activities are open to the public.

You can find more info about the schedule and subscription on:


The Dutch Championships are organised by Kanoshop in co-operation with Teva, Dutch Water Dreams, Salt Magazine and the Dutch Canoe Association (NKB).

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Save the wave - sign up now!

Two Munich Newspapers announced on the 15.09.07 that the city is planning to shut down the Munich Eisbach Wave. This wave is an artificial wave in downtown Munich, which has been there since the seventies. And has brought much delight to surfers and kayakers for decades. As well as to Tourists who stop by in huge numbers.

Although I got issues with around 30% of the board surfers at the Eisbach it is worth supporting the rest 70% of them who are cool and easy going guys and girls. Besides it would be a pity to loose that splendid small wave. As it is always good for a late night surf, when the 30% mentioned above are not around.

Therefore I appeal to all of you to go to that website below and put down your names in that online collection of signatures in order to try to prevent that disaster:

Signature collection:

PS: maybe good to include something about kayaking in the "Profession" field [e.g. Manager (passionate kayaker)]. Just to make a statement: Surfers and Kayakers can/should work and have fun together!

Thanks a lot!


Monday, 17 September 2007

Help to improve the protection of eyesight on the water!

The girlfriend of a good friend of mine is doing her masterthesis about the visual situation/correction amongst kayakers/canoeists/rafters in view of specific conditions for water sports.

If you got time please fill out the online-survey. It just takes 3 Minutes and might help to improve products for our vision on the water.


Feel free to forward these links to your friends! ;-)


Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Die krasseste Welle "La Malate" was back!

This time it was their turn and I love the Strohmeier-Bros for giving me a call! "The Doubs is up and probably on Saturday La Scie will be in and on Sunday La Malat..."
Therefore we packed the car and headed for La Scie. Unexpectedly the level for La Scie was already too low when we got there in the morning but knowingly that this would mean La Malate would soon be in, we continued our way downstream. And after approx. 40 km we reached the wave which was still too high, which means too flat. So we chilled and after a couple of ours the perfect wave was in. As well as the Swiss friends Simon, Luc, Flo, some Dutchies, and Marco from Freiburg. As well the legendary two parts of the 3 French Riders, Stephane aka Daron and Romain.
All in all, we had a blast of a time and will be back for the next La Malate session, period!

The hole was big as usual ;-)

On Sunday the waterlevel has dropped and I had my premiere at LaMalate with entering the wave via the eddy and through the hole. And as another friend would say "Easy"! At lower levels the wave is not so high and steep anymore but on the other hand you got nice eadyservice.
I also tried the big Astro 58 of Arnd for the first time and I really liked its fastness on the wave. But nevertheless it is too big for me (173 cm, 67kg) and I prefer the Astro 54.

all pictures by Marco Schlink

picture by Simon Hirter

for a short video check this out: Big Wave Hunting

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Big Wave Surfing in Norway

Normally if you think about Norway things like big time creeking, waterfalls, slides, drops, big volume rapids you name it come to your mind. Although it was always nice to have the playboat with you for a sweet session on Skjak or on the numerous small waves on the playrun on the Sjoa. But this year on my short Norway trip (I´m trying to make a short wrap up about that next week) I was really surprised when I was told that there might be a huge wave upstream of the Skjak wave on the Otta. Fore sure we had to check it out. So you drive two bridges upstream from Skjak and just before the bridge you turn right into a smaller road. There you park between 100-200m on the left. From there you walk to the river and maybe a little more upstream and you should see it, the mighty Big-Push wave in the Skamsar rapid.
When does it run? It runs when Skjak is too high and washed out.
It´s Charakter: big, trashy, bouncy and fast. Easier on surfers right shoulder. Avoid getting trashed in the middle foam pile!
To cut a long story short, here the pictures:


Enter the wave on the fly from upstream. Paddle quite hard to the middle as the diagonal of the wave above pushes you way to the left and you´ll miss the wave. Best is to hit the foam pile near to the middle.

And the hole in the middle is big!

Ready for take-off:
If you go high you go deep:

If you are lucky you convert the landing into a nice backsurf:

If not, the trashing migh start:

I´m in there really. Actually there were 3 more pics like that where there is no sign of me. But I even got it back in control after several loops and cartwheels under water got back into a frontsurf, showed the victory-sign to the friends on shore, enjoyed the surf for a while and suddenly got swollowed by the wave again. So far so good until I suddenly saw my beachball (my overthruster) surfing in the pile next to me and it suddenly became quite wet. What happened? Well the ball prevented an implosion of the spraydeck but when I was totally swallowed the pressure on the whole boat was apparently so big that the spraydeck exploded and I had to take my first swim since 1999. Let´s see if I can beat the 8 years again ;-)
Anyway, it wasn´t pleasant but I rather swim while playboating than on a creek and it makes you humble as you realize how powerful the water is when you are swimming. A thought not too bad for keeping in mind. (I´ll try to put up a small video clip on the blog about this episode in the next weeks)

Real friends, having a laugh on the shore while you are swimming ;-)
Just kidding, this picture is not in order. They did a great job and big thanks again for the rescue of my boat and the beachball!

After that we decided to make a break, eat something, chill out and get warm again to get ready for the second session. Luckily no other swim in the second session, just huge adrenalin rushs and smiles all over the faces.

all pictures by Ralph Rhein

Thursday, 28 June 2007

back to the roots: i.e. plug hole on the eisbach

As mentioned in an earlier post the isar renaturation has destroyed all our playspots on the isar for most waterlevels. Besides that the summer temperature has awakened all the surfers in Munich as well and they are queuing up on the shore of the eisbach wave in huge numbers. After at least two known physical attacks on paddlers it is time to retreat to safer waters.
Which means, plug hole we are back! (not too easy after months of wave paddling in preparation for the worlds... but anyway a lot of fun)
Here some impressions from two of my first sessions there this year. It´s is not too often that you´re in a "real" spotlight as a paddler like at the first session ;-)

I like the spray:pictures by Simon Strohmeier

Luckily we´re not swimming there:

Well I still prefer waves, but holes got more fun again with all those new moves and especially combos which made me even smile a bit.

pictures by Ralf Schaberg

Monday, 11 June 2007

Big Wave Surfing in Munich: R.I.P.

What a sad day. On Wednesday the 30th of May 2007 the Isar river had 2.10 m but where once was the famous Wittelsbacher Wave in Munich, one of the best waves in the Alps, there was just nothing!

How is that possible? Well, the city is renaturating the whole riverbanks of the Isar in Munich. And although they haven’t yet reached the wave, the work upstream was already enough to “destroy” the wave.
Either the flow and pressure is different or there has been a major shift of gravel d
ownstream into the wave. Whatever it is, it is sad very sad! Especially as the efforts of Markus Gruber who wanted to preserve a wave in Munich via building Tube6 (, an artificial wave in the Isar, where blocked so far from the city and official departments.
Below you can see the fabulous past and the fuc…. status quo:

I like:Photo: Nico Langner

I get sick:

Photo: Seppi Strohmeier

No words:Photo: Simon Strohmeier

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

wrap-up worlds `07: buseater - very nice, I like!

Time flies and the worlds are already over again. All in all it was an awesome event on a marvellous buseater wave. It was great to see some old friends again and to make new ones.
Competitionwise I was just happy that I could compete at all. After my injury of the eardrum on the second session in Canada I took a 10 days rest of paddling and just got back in the boat before the competition.
There I came 28. in the prelims with 8 points from the 20. place, therefore just missing the cut to the quaterfinals with that small margin.
Anyway I love that wave and definitely want to come back asap to collect more airmiles, with less people in the eddy.
Besides cu all in Thun (Switzerland) 2009! I´ll give my best to be there, this time with individually made ear-plugs!

Opening ceremony (I need a sunglass-sponsor, as I had to return the nice glasses to Fabian before marching in ;-)
picture by Fabian Krummreich

One of my favorites moves: The clean arial backstab

picture by Jiri Langer

Blunt with initiation:
pictures by Fabian Krummreich

Finding the right moment to blunt on the left shoulder wasn´t that easy:

picture by Jiri Langer

It was so fun. Sometimes the wave built up so steep, that when you made the bounce there were 2m air below you and you just thought "What the heck?". But most times it happened so fast that you didn´t have time to initiate the move and therefore were bound to just enjoy the air:

Helix set-up: (I think it ended in a flip turn. I wonder if the helix would have been enough to advance to the quaters? You see I´m bad with the points...)
End of pan-am:
Checking the competition from the sunny shore:

pictures by Fabian Krummreich

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Chambly in, Eardrum burst, Bussi on hold...

Now nearly one and a half weeks ago we arrived in Montreal and after two days of sightseeing and getting the boats from Riot we headed for the first session on Canadian soil this year. We even went for a new spot concerning myself, which was the Chambly Wave approx. one hour from Montreal depending on the traffic.
Really an awesome spot where all wave moves can be done and sticked. Altough the first session was quite cold. Imagine that, we left Munich with 26 degrees celcius and the first day we arrived in Montreal is started snowing! So it was time for gloves and neoprene hoods on the water... Luckily the weather god had mercy with us and the summer was showing up in Canada as well... Most of the German Team headed to Ottawa to check out the waves there but I decided to stay a few more days in Montreal as the level of the Ottawa was low and apparently the Chambly wave was much better for training and having fun... I was lucky, as I could team up with part of the French team (Stephane, Mathieu, Jules and Mat) as they had a car which is quite a necessity for Canada. Well, there the luck ended. On the second session on Chambly I blew my eardrum. I'm not quite sure if it happened on my slow cali roll or just while taking out the earplug. Anyway the plug was bloody and blood was coming out of the ear. Quite scary I must say if you have never experienced it before... So it meant heading for a doctor to check it out. Meaning in Canada the fastest way - go to the hospital emergency. Interestingly they charge foreigners straight up front for 850 bucks where you might get back something if the treatment doesn't sum up to that...
The docs bottom line was the eardrum is broken and I should rest until it is healed whenever that might be...
So from then on it just meant filming, taking photos and not getting too pissed about not beeing able to paddle. Meanwhile we arrived also at the Ottawa at Wilderness Tours where I have to say the food is quite nice and eating it three times a day and not yet paddling might result that I swop the Astro 54 with the 58... Anyhow the waterlevel is still too low on the Ottawa and therefore Busseater is not running which is the only consolation for me beeing an "invalid". Nevertheless it sucks not beeing able to get on the water.
Well, during the next two days it should be decided on which wave the competiton will be held and if my ear heals nicely I might get one or two rides before the competiton.
Below a few shots from Chambly, quite crappy but I was already condemned to the shore when the big photo-sessions were going down... but on the other hand I got a few nice shots of whater for a change ;-)

pictures by Fabian Krummreich

Friday, 13 April 2007

Easterweekend in Kuchl - Sun and loads of airtime

the countdown for the teparture for Montreal is on. Tomorrow this time I´ll already be in the air flying towards beloved Canada. Hopefully we´ll take some warmth of the 26 degrees Celcius from here with us. Well, if not and it is still snowing or freezing in Ottawa, I nearly don´t care if only Buseater is running!
So back to the easter-story. Prolonged weekend with 5 days of powerpaddling. Actually I was so knackered after the 5 marathon days that I needed a whole week to recover ;-)
For the people who don´t know Kuchl. There are two waves. -1 Wave (running at low water level) and the main wave (running at medium water level) and no wave at normal summer snow melt waterlevels. So the river is pretty much dependent on powerplants and snow melt. Normally Kuchl wouldn´t be running any more no because of the snow melt, but as we havn´t got so much snow this year it is still running. Normally during the week and on weekends it was then most times too low for the mainwave which is the steeper, bigger and greater one. Which means so far the weekend was the time of -1, a really small but nice wave.
Luckily it was really warm during easter and that brought as some water from the mountains which would normally already flood the river and flatten out the waves but this year the amount of water was so moderate that it was just perfect for 3-6 hours a day for the mainwave.
Enough backgroundinformation. Who showed up and what was the performance level?
Well again as nearly every time I go paddling the Dutchies showed up. Actually I think they are following me, but at least I was able to learn some training tricks from their mastermind and coach René Boom. But I can´t disclose them here, as the world would be too stunned or maybe is not even ready for it yet ;-)
But this time not enough that the whole Dutch team was present there was also nearly the complete Slovak and Czech team around. All in all we had great bonfires every night and always enough paddlers in the eddy for small talk...
Level of paddling: To put it bluntly I think the North Americans have to look out, although they are on home turf ;-)
Some Europeans are in top condition and they will put up a good "fight".

e.g. Peter Csonka is throwing every move possible in his rides and sticks them on a amazingly constant level... and Casper van Kalmthout was although ripping the wave...
So let´s see what the worlds bring on. Actually I reckon we all just hope that a huge wave is in and we can all get awesome rides, massive air and have a lot of fun!

Here some pics from the weekend, unfortunately just from the -1 wave as when the mainwave was running we were all too busy catching air and therefore nobody was willing to sacrificy preccious airtime for getting out of the boat and behind the lens...

pictures by Casper van Kalmthout