We arrived in Munich, Germany on Monday night and got up early Tuesday to check the rivers. Recent rains had brought good water levels to do some surfing. It was fun traveling through a big city looking for surf on rivers. The first spot we got to was a little tricky. There was a steep concrete embankment that you had to navigate in order to get into the river. Once we were on the slippery launch point we had to project ourselves out into the wave. The local river surfers made it look a lot easier than it really was. After about 10 attempts and a bruised ego (and chin), we went to another wave that could be paddled into.
The second wave looked much easier but still proved difficult to get into with my SUP. After two attempts, I was in the wave. The wave was about thigh-high but had more power than a double overhead ocean wave. The amount of water that is rushing toward you is truly amazing. After a few runs in the wave I was completely hooked!
I started to get into a rhythm with the river and could not wipe the smile off of my face. Surfing a river wave on an SUP is completely different from surfing an ocean wave. After a 5-minute ride your legs start to shake and your body turns to Jell-O. Most ocean waves are less than a minute, so 5 minutes of surfing can be very fatiguing.
After surfing until I could barely stand, we headed back to our friends' apartment to get ready for my pro-clinic the next day. We arrived in Lake Bromachee yesterday morning and later that day I worked with 10 eager standup paddlers from all over Germany. We went over the pro technique tips that I do at all of my clinics and I think that they were able to learn some valuable information from my time with them.
Immediately after the clinic I was hurried away to do a segment for a national German broadcast show. Adding to the excitement, we would be doing the piece live. The reporter and his staff were all extremely nice and excited to film standup paddling for their German audience. The race organizers have done an amazing job of setting up and promoting this event. The level of detail and execution that I have seen is truly impressive. I guess this is German precision at its best. The 5-minute live segment was a lot of fun, despite the cold drizzle that would not disappear. The reporter was great and picked up SUP immediately. Despite my best efforts to make good television, he didn't fall in.
The next 4 days we will be camping next to the race site and enjoying the full slate of activities planned for the event. More to come soon.