Thursday, 8 October 2009

Kuchl Season Opening with a Test of the Fluid Element

Fluid Element = Extreme Speed = Extreme Fun!
Last weekend we started our autumn Kuchl-season and we had perfect weather for three days.
I also had my first goes in the Fluid Element. It is such a fast boat, unbelievable. The perfect choice for Kuchl if the level is too high and the wave is green, i.e. too flushy for "normal" playboats. Therefore in my opinion not just an ocean kayak but the right boat if your regular freestyle boat is too slow for a river-wave. I never had so much fun carving a wave and the sidekicks and flipturns were so dynamic that I was superstoked and couldn´t get the grin out of my face.


Maori playing with his miniature kayaker

Spray bigtime

Toby going fot the tow-in on the surf-board

Another Sidekick

All pics by Maria Stelzig

Cu on the river,

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Help save the last 30% of free flowing rivers in Austria!

70% of the rivers in Austria are already influenced by power companies and are not flowing naturally anymore. And because of the growing energy demand the big energy corporations rather want to get hold of the remaining 30% instead of using the existing stations more efficiently or push renewable energy sources.
To oppose this madness please visit this Austrian Website and leave your electronic signature on this online petition for the preservation of the last natural flowing rivers in Austria. The site is in German but it is quite simple to fill out the form at the bottom. The fields are as follows:

Post Code
Year of birth

[] The checkbox is not mandatory. Just tick it if you want the Newsletter of the WWF.

Go to the online petition here:

cu on the river,

Saturday, 26 September 2009

1st Munich International Kayak-Freestyle Championchips

The day after the canoe trade show in Nuernberg the first int. Munich kayak-freestyle championships were held in Munich at the Flosslaende, a small artificial canal in Munich which has two small holes for just two weeks every year when there is a slalom competition as well.
The organizers were expecting around 30 participants for the premiere and were quite surprised when over 50 competitors showed up. As many things were improvised (no PC was used, just a original calculator) the awesome atmosphere was guaranteed by the many volunteers who helped the organizers (Maria being injured and not able to paddle had her first job at a comp as a scribe and liked it). All in all it was a spirit like in old times when the comps were still called Rodeo. I.e. food and drinks were spread under the participants and a fun-race was held for everyone, in which the prizes (Paddles, Kober Paddle-bags, Teva-Shoes etc.) were given to the paddlers, guaranteeing that not just the sponsored paddlers take something home. So I really hope the comp will be held again next year and they will preserve the perfect atmosphere of the event! The comp was held in a session format (2 minutes per paddler --> normally 10 min. heats with 5 paddlers) which was well perceived by all participants and spectators as pauses were held to a minimum.
In summary I was really happy to have made the final of the best 5 (final result K1 Men: 1. Seppi Strohmeier, 2. Martin Koll, 3. Val Grollemund, 4. Olli Grau, 5. Me). But my McNastys and Phoenix-Monkeys were just too inconsistent or rather the landing was too often not straight enough so I couldn´t compete with the points of Seppi or Martin. But well considering that I just had 3 hole-sessions this year I`m really content with my paddling and might reconsider my aspiration for the qualifications for the next worlds in Plattling ;-)
Below some pics and check out the official website of the event for the full results:

Going for the Fisherking entry move

Super Cleaning it

Here a nice Loop-Sequence:

Going deep for the Loop 1

Loop 2

Loop 3

Loop 4

Loop 5

Phoenix-Monkey Initiation

Phoenix-Monkey Second Step

Going for the Space Godzilla

Fun Race

Fun Race

One of the organizers Julian Mihé going for the loop

Julian Mihé doing his speaker job

The fun race started with a mass start on the shore and as I saw Olli Grau taking off wihtout closing his spraydeck I thought, shit I´ll have to do the same and hurry to get one of the limited plastic ducks which functioned as the ticket to the prizes. Well it worked out to the extent that I got one of the first ducks in a eddy downstream but after a few other racers torpedoed my boat it started to sink ;-)

Throwing the duck into the crowds

Finally another Fisherking entry move as exit move for this blogpost

All pics by Andy Klotz, Christian Handtke, Maria Stelzig & Manuela Stockinger

cu on the river!

Friday, 4 September 2009

Uganda Episode II

Episode II is just a pure kayak freestyle-porn clip!
Do you spot the move I worked on? To give you a hint, it starts with clean and ends with air blunt ;-)
Nile Special, looking forward to see you again.
Check it out:

cu on the river!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Lipno WhiteWater-Festival 2009 & Uganda Episode I

After many years of waiting and an endless count of legendary stories people told me, I finally made it to Lipno this year. For everybody who does not know what I´m talking about, once every year the dam on the river Moldau near Lipno (Czech republic) is opened for two days for a whitewater festifval. There are a slalom-, downriver- and raft-race. Since a few years there is as well the Devils Extreme Race which is comprised of a Extreme Slalom, Boater Cross and Team-Race. And what can I say, everything I heard in advance was true. First of all there are huge amounts of paddlers and rafters on and besides the river. Competitors but many recreational folks as well.
We left Munich on Friday night after work and after 3,5 h of driving arrived in VisyBrod which is the take out village and has one camp site, where we met 3 other fellow paddlers (Sebastian Striebl, Klausi Süssmuth and Simon Seeberger) for a good night beer at the happening pre-competition-party. The next morning the group was finalised by Jan Haluzka and Lars Hilleke. After a nice breakfast at a hotel (the prices are really cheap compared to Germany, therefore eating out is a really good alternative to the common kayak outdoor cuisine) we left for our first run. Originally I wanted to take part at the Devils Extreme Race ( but as all other friends opted for the relax-version of the weekend I gave in and concentrated on trying to make Marias first whitewater river run a memorable event. A really good premise for that is the temperature of the water of the river. It is really warm as it has had time to warm up in the dam-lake. I almost felt like in Uganda ;-) The river is really nice, nothing too difficult and every hard rapid can be easily portaged. The hardes rapid being "die blutige Hand" (bloody hand) and I really have never seen so many bloody hands during one day. Well on the first day I managed unharmed twice through the rapid but on Sunday I omitted the bloody hand as I wanted to secure an unharmed hand. Sometimes it is better to take no chances. In the evening after a long and extensive dinner (make sure to eat the Palatschinken with ice cream for dessert!) there was the big party of the Devils Extreme Race with a sweet live concert of a Czech Ska-Band. Rock`n Roll baby! On Sunday you can follow the same procedure as the day before if your head is up for it ;-)
Check out some pics of the weekend below:

Jan preparing the boat for Lars

Last small boof on one of the main cataracts

Eddying out after the boof and you can see the river banks are always lined with paddlers the whole river

Bus-Crew on the way to the second run

Hang loose! Happy days!

fighting dehydrogenation before the Devils Extreme Race Party (at the party half a litre beer cost around 1,-€!)

Cu there next year!

As we´ve just booked the flight to Uganda for this winter again I thought it would be time to cut the footage from last year ;-)
Here the first Episode:

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Eiskanal Boatercross, Outdoorshow Catwalk and Lahn Touring

Two weeks ago the first invitational boatercross race at the Eiskanal took place in Augsburg as part of the slalom world-cup program. Organized by Arnd Schaeftlein and Jakobus Stenglein, strong boatercross paddlers like Mike Dawson (NZ; winner of the creek race at the Teva Mountaingames 2009 in the USA), Dejan Kralj (SLO; winner of the Teva Extreme Outdoor Games 2009 in Italy) and Thilo Schmidt (GER; winner of the Sickline-World-Championchips 2008) took part and fought for the 1st place! In the end, it was taken home by slalom local Hannes Aigner, who had a stunning final. Second came Dejan Kralj (SLO) and third Jokobus Stenglein (GER). In the womens category Mira Louen won, second came Jessy Decker and third Katja Frauenrath (all GER). I myself had a really bad start and after that couldn´t fight my way back to the first two places to make the cut to the next round. So I enjoyed watching the finals - just like 1000 (!) other spectators. All in all the race was really a lot of fun and I´m looking forward to more of these races at the Eiskanal! Here are a couple of shots:

Getting ready before the race

Really bad start

The ramp was fun anyway

Charging full on but in vain

Last weekend we first made a short stopover at the Outdoorshow in Friedrichshafen (see below) and after that headed to the Lahn River for a two-day long kayak/canoe-touring trip.
The Lahn River is a 245.6-kilometer-long, eastern tributary of the Rhine River. Its course passes through the federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia (23.0 km), Hesse (165.6 km), and Rhineland-Palatinate (57.0 km). It has its source in the Rothaargebirge, the highest part of the Sauerland. It meets the Rhine at Lahnstein, near Koblenz. Important cities along the Lahn include Marburg, Gießen, Wetzlar, Limburg an der Lahn, Weilburg and Bad Ems.
Our first day stretch started in Löhnberg and went for 12 km until Gräveneck where we stayed at a campsite straight by the river. On the second day we continued from Gräveneck for about 14 km until Runkel. On the first day we paddled with our freestyle boats to have some fun doing flatwater tricks but as the other paddled open canoes their speed was quite tireing in the short boats ;-) Therefore on the second day we switched to a canoe as well, which was my first open canoe paddling I´ve done so far. If you like really beautiful nature, natural riverbanks, no white-water and don´t mind to meet other paddlers the Lahn is an awesome paddle destination. Check out some pics below:

One of the many sluices on the Lahn

Maybe we did first descents over many rocky weirs as normally
all the other paddlers go through the sluices ;-)

The city of Weilburg is wrapped by a marked loop of the river. The neck of this noose is traversed by a boat tunnel, unique in Germany.

Two ladies helping Maria and me conquer the furious Lahn River on the second day

In the evening Maria had her first three kayak-pupils. Celina (9 years), Marie (11) and Lea (15) wanted to try to do the eskimo-roll. Once again I was astound how fast young people can learn. If we would have had a few more hours time I bet they all would have learnt the roll.




Befor we headed to the Lahn last weekend we made a quick detour to the Lake of Konstanz to help out Arnd Schäftlein and Teva at a athlete-based runway show. In short: it was really fun to showcase the new shoe-models.

Seppi put on the most extrovert show of us all



Hanna in the focus of her boyfriend paparazzi Jared



Me myself and I

David Arnaud on a flying visit to the Teva booth

Pics by: Arnd Schäftlein, Maria Stelzig and me

cu on the river,

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Status of the Brudermühl-Bridge Wave on the Isar (Munich)

Over the last weekend we had finally enough water in the isar for the fist time in 2009. Unfortunately the waves at the Wittelsbacher- and Reichenbacherbrücke are still gone. Either from the renaturation of the riverbanks or because of the construction site in the water by the Reichenbacher, which dams up the water and even might dam it back up to the Wittelsbacherbrücke. But instead over the period of three days we could paddle the wave/holes at the Brudermühlbrücke at three different water levels. Each level caused different features. Check them out below.

First (highest) level: 230 - 240 cm

First wave is too flat for a playboat. The second wave is catchable from the eddy and turns into a wave-hole. The further surfers right you go the meatier it gets.

Especially surfers with oldschool longboards were enjoying the first wave

Meaty foam-wave

200m downstream there is another wave which you can just catch on the fly

Second level: 180 - 200 cm
At this level the first waves breaks at the surfers right and holds a paddler as well. The second wave opens up more and it gets more wavy. Whereas the third wave turns into a river wide hole which is not too retentive.

Blunt setup

Blunt initiation

Do it


Relaxing or queing in the eddy

Maria carves up the second wave

Third level: 150 - 160 cm
At this level the first wave breaks even more and is the most retentive. The second wave is nearly gone as it has flattened out in the middle. Just the surfers left shoulder is still working. And the third feature has become a quite sticky hole where McNastys are possible, so probably all moves.

Left shoulder of the second wave

Urban put-in

First wave

Double surf in the first wave

Pictures by Mathias Blitz, Maria & Ellen Stelzig

Greetings from:
the Jolly Paddlers of the "Happy-Nookie-Van"

PS: We went to the Eisbach two days ago and Maria made it over the wooden planks by her own on her first session really fast, awesome stuff!