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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Trip to Lyon Part 2

Hi again.
Today I finally have some time to post some more photos and to write a bit about our stay in Lyon.

The surroundings of the wave is really nice. Except for a highway bridge just next to the spot there is really nice nature. Lots of birds flying around, fish in the eddies grasping an insect every other second beautiful island dividing the river etc...
You can camp right at the spot and the locals seem to tolerate it as well as the police.
There is a shop within 15 mins of the spot.( just follow the road upstream, go under the railroad and than follow a steep road that leads you to a small square where you may find a nice shop and a few caf├ęs.
The water is really clear which makes it really interesting to wait in the eddy and watch the fish below you.

Warnings: At the moment you are about to get in the spot check if there isn´t any big log coming from upstream, it can hurt to receive it in the face...
If any of your fellow paddlers is not experienced enough be prepared to rescue the poor fellow. Especially if the water level is high - DO NOT underestimate the situation...
If you flush... try not to swear, cheer up and enjoy the next ride.

Hawaii sur Rhone is a great place to stay... enjoy it if you happen to get there.

More photos to follow, as soon as I get them from my friends...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Kadan- professional close-up photos

Today I received loads of photos of us taken by a local photographer. Great shots, a piece of art definitely.

Dusan working on the cartwheels (notice hhe is wearing a hockey helmet...)

Me cartwheeling (it is difficult to cartwheel a Project 62 though...)

Grazl trying a backloop (this was extremely difficult in that hole)

Jan Bubnik handwheels

Dusan and his helmet

This is how I look right after a roll... nice huh?

And this is how Jakub looks...


Going for a loop.

Destination: Kadan

This weekend we enjoyed sunny weather and a nice spot in Kadan. Kadan is a town located near Prague (1.5 hours drive to the west) where the local rodeo enthusiasts built a really nice hole in place of a former mill.
We arrived on Friday evening and had few beers at a local pub. The Saturday morning was awesome. Sunny weather and high temperatures all the day long. Later quite a few of our friends from Pilsen and from Prague showed up. We had like 4 paddling sessions that day. In the evening we had a barbecue.
Our friends left the spot so we were alone there on Sunday. It was a perfect weekend, lots of fun, nice playspot, nice people...

Video from the spot: (poor quality 20mg- the best I can manage)

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Trip to Lyon Part 1

So I am back after an awesome week at one of the best playspots in Europe. Although the water level wasn´t as good as we hoped it would be, we had a great time.
Me, Jan "BUBU" Bubnik, Dusan Bubnik and Petr "PEPE" Prause left Prague on Sunday morning in Dusan´s van. We arrived on Sunday afternoon. The water level was really low that day. However, there were quite a few paddlers at the spot. We watched them for a while and then we went paddling. It was pretty much the same the whole week: We used to get up around 9 AM and then we had the morning session then lunch and of course we had a long siesta after lunch. We went paddling again usually in the evening after the other paddlers quit the spot. There were various groups of paddlers: our group from Czech Rep., a large group from Sheffield, two friendly Irishmen, Strohmeier bros and their friend Xavier from Germany, Jon and Christine from the UK and many others... A Canadian c-ler Guillaume La Rue also showed up with his friend so it was quite a cosmopolitan spot...

How was the wave:
We experienced waterlevels varying from 0.4m to 0.7m (check here).
The first thing to say about the wave is that it is not reachable from the eddies so you have to paddle to the middle of the river and then try to hit the wave from the upstream... Really exhausting...
The wave has a huge foam pile in the middle and powerful shoulders. It was about 1.5 m high at the best water level we had.

Jan (the yellow boat) and German paddler Xavier enjoying a simultaneous ride on the Hawaii at the best level.

The wave was quite hard to catch because you had to hit the foam pile in the center of the wave. The exact place you needed to hit was actually only like 1.5 m wide at max... So especially for me it was really hard to catch the wave and I had to sustain quite a few flushes... If you don´t have lots of experience with waves like this, be prepared to flush quite often. It is really frustrating.

Trying to catch the wave.

The left shoulder of the wave (facing upstream) was the best place to launch the moves, at this level it was the highest part of the wave. It was really steep and green. It was really easy to flush while trying to line up for a move there though...
The shoulder was also really bouncy. It was really exciting even to frontsurf it.

Bouncing down the green water (I usually almost bit my tongue off)

But if you lined up for a move correctly you always went HUGE and even without any extra effort...

One of my very few successful offside blunts.

PePe launching a left blunt.

The comments on the surroundings, on my personal development during our stay and lots of photos and a video coming soon.