Friday, 25 January 2008

Surf étiquette at the Eisbach-Wave in Munich

When I first posted the story about the plans of the city of Munich to close down the Eisbach-Wave I got a lot of positive feedback out of the paddling world. But nonetheless there were also a few negative responses about helping those surfers to protect the wave they claim for themselves and don´t want to share with others. In addition I got loads of questions about the status of the situation between the surfers and kayakers at the wave and on how to prevent trouble at the wave.
First of all I have to state that I think there are mostly cool surfers at the wave or at least most surfers would tolerate kayakers. But although the percentage of intolerante surfers is quite low it often is enough if one surfer is stubborn and denies you the entry. Probably I should shortly explain here that in order to enter the wave paddlers have to push themselves over two wooden planks (see in following video clip). The same planks where the surfers await their turn and if they leave no space for you on the plank you can´t get yourselve over the wood.
As you see in the clip you can be lucky and there are up to 10 surfers present who are not complaining and let you enter when it is your turn. But the climate can change immediately if just one kusipää enters the sceene. Other surfers might follow his example and you wont get the chance anymore to enter the wave. In general I would
suggest to not go there with a kayak if there are more than 3 surfers. On the day of filming I just got into the boat because a friend of mine needed to
make a short movie for his studies. Well I got lucky, just cool surfers around. But for sure the possibility of one black sheep increases with more surfers
on the water. One of the arguments of some surfers is that the kayakers destroy the wave when they hit the wood ramps on the bottom of the wave while doing blunts etc. And thereby induce more adjustment work of the wave and even the wearout of the ropes (the wood ramps are attached to ropes) is higher. Well I think most of the kayakers would be more than happy to contribute to the material cash box or help hands on keeping the wave in good shape if the result would be a friendly coexistence.

Very important are a few rules which should be followed when going to surf at the Eisbach:

1. with a kayak, never pull yourself in the wave alongside the wooden planks. As it takes ages and during that time no other surfer can enter the wave and all have to wait for you.

2. Always keep in line and just enter the wave when it is your turn.

3. Don´t stay in the wave for ages. Do a few moves and then go for a big exit move. Try to keep the wave-time similar to the time the surfers take.

4. Don´t practice flatwater stuff in the area where the surfers swim back to the shore, as they are apprehensive of paddles and boat-ends.

5. If you do vertical moves, do them airial and don´t go deep. As otherwise you might touch the wooden planks on the ground which in turn may change the wave to the worse, i.e. it starts to break the whole way and there´s no green part left. No good for wave moves and certainly not appreciated by the surfers.

How to enter the wave:

Happy Surfing and Oh, Behave - together for one cause!

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Tribute to la Malate: One of the greatest River Waves

Last year I was with friends twice at the la Malate wave and we had loads of fun.
Because of the news that the wave is endangered I cut a small video clip:

Please take a few minutes, read the news, send the letter and spread the word to your friends!

French Information:

English Information:

Thanks a lot for your help!

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Save the Malate-Wave in France!

Hi Friends,

I just got an eMail from my friend Stephane Pion out of France with the disturbing news that the awesome la malate wave is in danger.
Therefore please have a look at his letter (below) and support the cause in every way you can.

Here the official letter to print out in English:
English Version

Here the French Version:
French Version


Please help us defend the wave of "la Malate".

For the last years, a lot of kayakers (slalom paddlers and freestylers) have been paddling on this wave, probably one of the biggest in the world (I believe so ! J)

But now, this spot is threatened by a micropower station project which will destroy the wave !!

That's why I ask for your help by sending the letter attached to this email to the city hall of Besancon in order to have an international support with a maximum of letters against this project ASAP.

We have an association and a web site:

Sorry but for the moment it's in French only. ( you can translate the web site with google of course)

Please send this email to all the Presidents of the kayak club you know, all the professional kayakers and to the different forums in the world.

We need your help !!

Thank you very much in advance.

Best regards

Stephane pion

ps: happy new year my friends ;)