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Published on August 5th, 2013 | by RB Team

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Review: The First Austrian Riversurf Camp, 2013

Last weekend, the Riverbreak-Team followed an invitation by Austrian riversurfer and wave builder Sepp Bauer to Bratislava, Slovakia. Sepp hosted his first “Austrian River Surf Camp” there, and we were all pretty excited to see it all unfold.

After leaving Graz at the ungodly hour of 8 in the morning (the things we do for the sports we love), and 3 hours drive to Slovakia, we arrived just in time for lunch. Here we met up with Sepp and the other participants of our little adventure. We were a well mixed group from all over Austria, people coming from Vienna, Graz, Tyrolia, Burgenland and Lower Austria, eleven in total.

After a nice meal we got ready for our first afternoon of surfing the famous Cunovo Wave. The “Areal Divoka Voda” as it is officially called, is a whitewater park, built in the 80s, regularly hosting kayak and rafting events. In 2012, officials decided to add a riversurfing wave to the mix, and Sepp was asked to carry out the planning and supervise construction.

The amount of water seemed a bit intimidating at first.

Every participant received an impact vest, helmet, and off we went down to the wave. Only a 3 minute walk from the huts we were housed in. The groups first impression of the wave was probably one of cautious anticipation. Closeup, the amount of water being funneled down the ramp and up another one to create the wave seemed a bit intimidating at first. Luckily, none of us were completely new to surfing, so after Sepp showed us the basics of how to get into the wave, and couple tips on wiping out safely, we were ready for our first cautious tries.

And cautious they were. Sepp promised free beer to the first person able to ride the wave in its entire width which made us push our limits very soon resulting in harsh nose-dives or almost slow-motion wipeouts over the green top of the wave.

Everyone’s skills improved ride after ride: Some were shorter than others and in the beginning two people were simultaneously on the wave mainly figuring out how to get the balance right. Later on – especially on the second day – everyone was keen on riding the wave alone. Sepp let everybody learn at their individual pace while helping out with good advice to improve our river surfing technique.

We surfed and surfed and surfed and we just couldn’t stop until the second day was over. Only occasionally our fun rides were interrupted by rafts carrying 6 to 10 people, laughing and screaming as their boats sped past us, happily waving and cheering at us. Everyone in and out of the water was in a good mood: Sunshine, a perfect green wave, adrenaline and friendly surf mates, what more can you wish for?

Finally we had “late lunch” at 4 p.m. and after some chit chat, river surfing gossip and various spots around the world we exchanged addresses, posed for the team photo and then drove home, exhausted but extremely satisfied.

What the Organiser Says

Well, let’s see what Sepp, the mastermind behind the ARS-Camp, says about the premiere:

“The first official river surf camp has been a huge success. The most important thing is that there were no injuries except of minor dings, which has to be taken into account when surfing on plywood, steel and concrete. The weather was absolutely perfect and so was the commitment of the participants. Everyone was focused on pushing his abilities and I was really surprised about the rapid progression. On the second day everybody was able to surf the wave like it is supposed to using its full width and placing smooth turns into the water. However the downside of the improved surfing skills was the steady increasing waiting period but that was no big deal. To me as organiser the first camp showed that the wave can handle up to 12-14 committed surfers and that’s why we will limit the number of participants in the future. For the camp on the 10-11 of August we still have some places left so don’t hesitate to get in touch.” Register at: wellenbau@gmail.com

Two More Camps to Come this Year

There are two more Austrian River Surf Camps this year. Be quick and register for the 2nd camp in August and the 3rd one in October:

ARS-Camp 2: Augsut 10-11, 2013
ARS-Camp 3: October 5-6, 2013

Some helpful advice: expect some sore muscles and bruises the day after — it’s surfing guys, not chess. And if you want to bring your own board, cut your fins short or try to get some small, flexible ones. This wave, albeit being a pleasure to surf, is a real fin killer.

More on the Camp

The ARS-Camp on Facebook: facebook.com/pages/ARS-Camp
The ARS-Camp on Riverbreak: http://riverbreak.com/news/events/austrian-river-surf-camp/
Contact and Registrations: wellenbau@gmail.com

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RB Team

The editorial team of Riverbreak is a loose connection of passionate river surfers. As a group, we strive to give the larger community a voice on an international level. Our mission is to connect river surfer around the globe.



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