I think this is the first time that kayaks have been allowed on this sort of wave. Big thanks to Andi at the Jochen Schweizer Arena for trusting us not to break this expensive toy.
Jochen Schweizer started out as a kayaker. From there he created several companies under his name, made some movies (check out Fire, Ice and Dynamite), broke some records and now has an arena named after him in Munich. In that arena, amongst indoor sky diving and virtual reality rooms there is an epic little surf wave. I watched some clips of my mate Alina Shalin ripping on this thing on a board and dreamed of getting onto it on my kayak.
When the head of sports offered us the chance to come down and shred there I literally jumped over myself. Good river waves are hard to come by, with travel restrictions and climate change over the last few years I have had very little wave time.
That first ride on the wave reminded me why I love surfing waves in my kayaks. The water whizzing underneath, the kayak planing up and getting light and loose and being able to spin and carve was just magic. I didn’t think the wave would allow other tricks to be thrown but on one of my first passes down the wave it just felt right and I threw an airscrew. I flushed and we spent a while figuring out the wave. This was another really cool lesson on how water works. I could manipulate the wave by carving around and get it to break in the middle for a few seconds which would then be enough foam pile pushing me back down the wave to stick the trick!
The hole behind it was definitely sticky and if you’re not confident at working your way out of holes you can definitely get locked in there. Like everything, there’s a technique to it and once I figured it out I could get out or not get stuck in the first place pretty easily. I threw one or two tricks in the hole but the main attraction for me was the wave. I just couldn’t get enough of it!
One important thing to note here is I normally always wear a PFD – but not indoors, in a swimming pool, that is barely a metre deep and with an emergency stop button that drains the pool in seconds.
Looking forwards to hopefully getting more time on some waves soon! – Bren
All photos by Andi Hoffer / bungee.de