Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Short Wrap-up of 06 - start 07 in Galicia…

... and again one more first timer in 2006. My premiere with paddling in Galicia between Christmas and NewYears. And what can I say, it really is worth it! Besides this year the winter was lousy at home, which meant very little snow on the slopes and even less snow backcountry. Therefore the decision between no powder runs at home and getting frustrated with the weather or driving south towards Spain and Portugal was easy. Altough the signs were not in favour of the trip. It all stated out well as the big plan in autuum. Around 15-20 paddlers claimed their interrest and goal of spending the dawn of the new year in Galicia. But in the end all bailed out and the trip was cancelled. Girlfriends to take care of, family gatherings, probably too low water... you name it... ;-)
So what happened? Nils Heine from Hamburg gave me a call and said Sebi Gründler and himself would be up to go for the Galicia-Trip nonetheless. OK, sweet and when would that be? Be spontanious, this evening! Nils jumped in the train and after the 8 hour trip to Munich we met, packed up Sebis car and hit the road. Taking turns driving and stopping only to get some gas we arrived thirty something hours later. Put up the tent slept a few ours and got on the first river the next morning... In the next 8 days we "hucked" the following rivers and I found a new river to ad to my favourite list: The Almofrei! Technical hard but fair and really continuous... simply awesome...

Here some impressions and of course we had to check out the waterlevel first ;-)

pictures by Nils Heine

pictures by Sebastian Gründler

Yes, the drive was long, but so worth it! Thanks guys for the splendid trip. And I´ll definitely go there again...

picture by Nils Heine

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Short Wrap-up of 2006 part III…

…oh yes and there was the great invitational Wellerbrücke Sickline-Extreme-Race on the Ötztaler Ache in Austria last fall organised by Mastermind Big-O-Productions aka Olaf Obsommer and Bernhard Mauracher. Located on the famous class 5 section of the river named Wellerbrücke it was destined to show some awesome action and nasty carnage (actually the safety-issue was really prioritized and all tricky sections were secured with rescue persons. Therefore the race just produced two swimmers which didn´t suffer any harm!).

Well, if I wouldn’t have got of balance and rolled twice (shame on me) I could have had the chance to get some more fame but as it was, I got 13th, the Slalom Paddlers dominated the race and Klausi Suchanek took first place closely followed by his former German Slalom-Team colleagues Thilo Schmitt and Michael Herde. Anyway it was one of the coolest Extreme Races I’ve been to, with a great atmosphere, in one league with the famous TEVA Extrem Mountain Games in Val Sesia (Italy) and I’ll be back for sure this year to kick some Slalompaddler-Ass!
pictures by Simon Strohmeier

As we got the worst winter this year as far as I can remember we even got back there to the same riversection to shoot some photos for the university project of a friend. Well, I´ve never seen the river with so little water until then...

My first contact with snow while paddling (oh, except that one year I studied in Loughborough, UK):

Behind the big rock in the pool there was another rock in the landing zone and the tricky part was to get far enough left on the slide to avoid it. Which wasn´t easy as very little water went over the slide ;-)

Happy I made it without impact:

The last drop on the race course, normally with a big hole at the end. Here racing Stefan Haderer aka Maus:

Rehearsing the victory scene for this year ;-)

pictures by Simon Strohmeier

Monday, 19 March 2007

Short Wrap-up of 2006 part II…

…not to forget a nice late summer trip to good old Norway.

The Bottom line:
1. The Astro really loops like hell. Here some shots from the Skjak Wave on the Sjoa:

pictures by Sebastian Wallner

picture by Christian Zicke

2. And I enjoyed my first time in Norway with the Magnum. Fast, enough volume, good resurfacing, excellent boofability, all in all a superb package!

pictures by Lenja Sorokin & Frank Schmaus

3. Frank really enjoying it to take different angels.

picture by Lenja Sorokin

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Short Wrap-up of 2006…

…so what happened in 2006 kayaking wise from my perspective?

I had my competitive freestyle comeback ;-) After a few years of absence on the competition scene due to finishing my university studies and getting settled down in ordinary working life, I put up all my courage and entered the Eurocup-Final in Thun Switzerland. As Thun has always been a great wave comp we were all expecting to get some big air time. Well, it turned out to be not quite as good as the years before as the water level of the lake upstream was lower than normal which produced a less steep and less retentive wave. Still big moves could be pulled but most times resulted in a flush. Therefore the maxima for the comp were not to risk everything and stay in the wave.

picture by Seppi Strohmeier

Some said it was a wave for the old stagers ;-) Well, I got lucky and in the end after a once again nerve-racking head to head placed second after Casper Van Kalmthout from the Netherlands and in front of Nico Langner from Germany.

picture by Seppi Strohmeier

Still Thun has provided once more one of the best loser parties and a great event. Thanks to Simon Hirter and his crew!
Hope to see you all in Thun at the Kayak Freestyle Worlds in 2009!

picture by Ralf Schaberg

After that I also entered the qualifications for the German Team for the Kayak Freestyle Worlds in 2007 in Canada. The famous Buseater Wave on the Ottawa (which will be the place of the worlds) being the main motivator for trying to make the team. The qualification was held at the Kuchl wave in Austria and we had some nice sessions there as you can see. The Riot Astro really takes off well, is fast and has a good grip for grabs ;-)

pictures by Ralf Schaberg

And what should I say I also got lucky and made the team. Buseater watch out we’re coming! ;o)

Tuesday, 13 March 2007


...I also joined the blogging community. As I reckoned it would be a faster way than updating a homepage. So stay tuned for updates from the south of Germany...