My first whitewater kayak was a Riot Glide, which I bought in 2001. After some years I wanted something else, but with my long legs and large feet I always believed that a freestyle boat was out of the question. After a nice summer trip to Spain last year and a lot of people saying I should get another boat, I tried some models and was amazed by how roomy some of them were. Long story short (more about my boat buying in a future post) I bought a Jackson 4Fun and have been really happy with it.
It’s a nice boat to catch some ocean waves and can even be used to try some tricks on flatwater, like I described in my cartwheeling post. As Jackson describes the Fun as a riverplayer with playboating features, some freestyling along the river and maybe even some Park n’ Play would now be possible. As my Glide didn’t offer much in the Freestyling realm (maybe a sidesurf or 360 with a long wave), my experience with Park and Play is zero. So now that the boat is not the problem, but the boater is, it was time for my first Park n Play and what better place then the Wiesenwehr at the Erft in Germany to do it.
Together with Raoul, Lizzy and Ivette, we drove 3 hours to Neuss, and found it at perfect levels with only 3 other boaters at the spot. After some warming up and a bit anxious if I would like it, because with river running you avoid those holes, I got in. A couple sidesurfs later, I did my first 360 and some upside down moves. Cool!
After the lunch we were joined by Johan and I decided to shoot some photos and video of the others doing their stuff in the wave. Johan and Raoul showed some nice loops and other impressive trics, while the ladies did some cool surfs. Getting cold I decided to not get into the boat anymore, so I don’t have pictures from myself, but we’re looking for next weekend for another session, maybe with some first cartwheel tryouts. I will put some photos up in the near future, for now you can checkout Raouls post or Ivette’s post for their story, more photos and a video that I clicked away.
UPDATE: Photos are now available on my flickr stream