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

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Rock´n Roll on the Doubs or getting ready for the worlds

This year it was Simons turn to call me on the second of March with the amazing news that the Doubs river in France near Besançon is flooded and the La Scie Wave is in or even La Malat which would even be greater. So we made the fast decision and met that evening at Simons place with his brother Seppi and Ingrid Schlott to drive to France for a weekend of big wave surfing. Slept somewhere on the way and got there right the next moring when the sun was heating up the chilli night air. First we checked out La Malate but it was even too high for the wave, i.e. the wave has flattened out. Which ment we head to La Scie which should be just perfect at that level. And I don´t have to say much more about the wave there, rather I let the pictures speak themselves for the awesome spot!

The wave is already so famous there was half of the Dutch and French National Team there as well as half of the German, so the eddy was packed ;-)

pictures by Simon Strohmeier

After the session I was so stoked I was even flying when of the water ;-)

pictures by Fabian Krummreich

Well, unfortunately even the best weekend comes to an end and most times it comes to fast. Therefore Ingrid, Fabian Krummreich and myself had to get on the way back on Sunday night in order to work dutyfully on Monday morning. And I really hate those suckers, students and stuff like that, who could stay on and enjoy one of the best waves in Europe a few days longer. And for sure the water droped during the next days and therefore they also got the perect level for La Malate, my all time favorite! The wave with the nice hole next to it which gives you a good beating if you screw up ;-)
Did I already mention that I really despise all those folks who could stay on longer? Well anyways, here is one picture of me from last year when I had the honour to surf La Malate. Sorry but I can´t publish any fotos from it here from this year, because just by the sight the envy would get too big and I would end up in an awfull rage ending in a fit, hitting my head against the wall...
No seriously, isn´t she beautiful!?

picture by Simon Strohmeier