"Poorly Planned... Badly Executed"

Friday, 26 June 2009

Yah I'm Extreme Racist

Mikey on route to the top qualifying time

So I'm back in Voss for another Esktremsport Veko, my second to date and so far it has been just as good as the last. The sun is blazing, the water levels are up (maybe a little too much), and there are crazy people trying to kill themselves left right and centre!! Even at the kayak downhill competition we were 'swooped' by some sky divers... it seems even on the river people keep dropping out of the sky?!?.

The water fall in the middle of the course... not always so easy to get a fast line on

Base thumping looks awesome but they weren't running a try it and see if you like it program so I didn't 'give it a shot' and same for sky dying. Maybe I'll do a course some time... they don't really seem like the sort of sports that one can purchase the gear and just have nudge at. Something about the laws of gravity being the same for beginners and experts alike... some guy tried to explain it to me but I didn't really follow what he was on about. Oh and most of the other sports have races to see who can get down the fastest (like kayaking - fastest down wins) so why is there not a similar competition in sky dying?!? The rules would be quite simple - first guy to make it inside the finishing circle (alive) wins... I think it really has some spectator potential.

I'm not convinced... rock splats are not usually quickest way to get through a rapid

Anyway moving on to the kayaking as that is what all the pictures are of. Yes I did make up the numbers (can't claim to have competed) with a mid field finish from a rather average run. Eddying out is my secret to a slow time although it is not as glamourous as the tricks of others such as sliding backwards in the slot at the end. I did try that one two years ago though and it is a good wee time taker. You could really tell some people had put some effort into there slow times though, maybe even some practising. I think eddying out and rolling just above the waterfall was the most creative way I saw to add seconds to the clock... maybe I'll give that a shot next year. The real key to an outstandingly average time however is not practising combined with heavy partying the night before!! Works a charm

Some holes that just love to stall you or push you into an eddy

The race turned out to be a good one for the kiwi's with Sam and Mikey both on the podium and Sam had the fastest run of the day by a couple of seconds but just got piped on combined times. Top work fellows and don't worry I'll be 'not' practising for next year.

Probably the funnest rapid in the race section... yeehaa

Sunday, 14 June 2009


There goes that crazy french man... look out!!

My buddy Luc, or the crazy french man as he is known in our circle of friends, is back in France and seeing as I have not been to France before I figured that he would be the perfect person to introduce me to a country I have heard many stereotypes about.

Krzysztof on line to glory

In standard fashion I didn't really organise any of the finer details like the address of the house we were staying or how I was going to get there. I took a train to Grenoble and figured I would text Luc when I got arrived and magically it would all be all right... quick bit of advice for the future - make sure that your phone is going to work before you attempt this approach. After that hiccup was straightened out we had a few beers, a nights sleep and headed up into the French Alps for a weekend boating mission.

Wood anyone?!?

Krzysztof, our guide for the weekend found us some sweet wee class 3-4 luge runs. Nothing stressful, just quality white water and beautiful scenery... perfect. That night I got to practice my French (well... my French laugh that is) while hanging out with the Grenoble kayak club who despite no one really speaking English made rather good company... or perhaps I was just drunk and having my own fun (the beers were very much cold and the G&T's very much G).

The French Alps are a beautiful place

Three runs the first day, two runs the second, one swim (don't worry Luc I wont mention any names), and good times all round. I finished off my flying trip to France by visiting the other crazy french man I know, Franck who fed me like a king. That is one stereotype that is very much true about France: the food is great and the cheese amazing.

Luc showing a bit of... dry top... hmmm

Cheers for the adventures guys, vous voir la prochaine fois

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Does Kayaking Get More Unusual Than This?!?

Looking up to the Jungfrau... pretty sweet mountain to be kayaking in the shadow of

Right now I'm hanging out in picturesque mountains of Switzerland. Work is over for another month and it is play time and what better place to start than crashing on Fraenzi's couch in the adventure tourist hot spot that is Interlaken. Balmers provided the entertainment by night and the days were filled with 'whatever' and that sometimes included kayaking on the Weisse Lutschine.

Oh my god it's thee Eden Sinclair... he's a pretty big deal around here!!

Eden and I managed to drag Stu away from his womanising long enough to go boating and through some inventive borrowing of gear we had enough kit and a crew to make it happen. First step... catch the train. It certainly is the first time that I have taken the train to go boating but they have them everywhere in this country so it makes sense... I guess. The train stops at Lauterbrunnen about 200m form our put in - a luge track!!

Eden making himself streamlined... maybe stupid fast wasn't fast enough for him!!

It is I... and dam I make this shit look good

Step two: put on. Doesn't sound so unusual... until you relies that the put-in is a water race complete with turns, low hanging branches, and even a small drop!! I took Eden's word for it that it was "sweet as bro" and heeded his advice that it would be unwise to roll - "just don't flip", cheers for the heads up. One question was nagging in the back of my mind though, "how do I steer" but apparently that is easy - "you just bounce off the walls"... glad I asked!!

Styling the boof -stomp... but hey I'm a pretty big deal around here

Step three: paddle the river. Finally some normality... by this stage I was half expecting to be told that we actually paddle this one up stream... fortunately the river was just good quality white water. Until the catch that is... you have to walk a section because it is illegal to paddle it. Well I guess I shouldn't have expected anything less on this trip!!

The level was kind and the stupid hole that I saw here two years ago was nothing but a playful pussy cat

Step five: paddle out. Yes I know I skipped step four but it was just some running, some good luck to get our boat shuttled for us, and some annoyance that a bunch of fisherman had prevented us paddling a sweet looking rapid. Moving on - the paddle out is just that a paddle out but it finishes 50m from Fraenzi's place so I can't complain. Another first for me, to paddle back to the house I'm staying at... like I said not your average trip but great fun all the same. The photos are from a few days later and they tell the same story... I have to apologise though as I have forgotten the name of the person who took the pictures, cheers for the effort though. Ka kite :-)

The rapids below the weir drop... not too shabby