Easter at Plattling – My first freestyle moves

Around easter (23 april) it was finally time for the start of our two week paddling vacation in Slovenia. Slovenia is a long drive from the Netherlands, around 14 hours, but on the way is a nice paddling stop called Plattling. It’s a 9 hour drive from the Netherlands and you can setup your tent almost next to the wave. As the rest of the group we wanted to paddle with arrived on Wednesday in Slovenia we decided to spend 3 days in Plattling for some freestyling and checking out the freestyle moves of the pro’s.

Ivette had won her first selection into the womens national freestyle team of Holland there in 2002 and was anxious to return and see if she could get back into the freestyling after all this time. For me it was the first time in Plattling and the second time for freestyling after hitting the Erft in the winter. As Plattling hosts the World Championships Freestyle this year in June (20-26) I didn’t really know what to expect. I assumed it would be a big feature. Ivette had told me it was just a bit bigger then the Erft, but not like some huge holes like the Terminator in Graz she had been to in 2002.

As we arrived we saw different groups at the campsite all there to prepare for the Worlds. We saw an English team, a lot of Germans, a big Spanish van with almost the whole Spanish team, a team from Andorra and some Dutchies from Umyak. They told us the waterlevel was a bit low and that almost everyone was trying mc-nastys as everything else would hit your boat at the rocks. We checked out the nice carbon boats like gui gui prods, robsons testboat and the carbon all stars and rockstars. After hearing some bumps we could imagine why they didn’t try the bigger moves with the carbon boats. After a show from the Spanish and English we set up camp and decided after the long drive to first sleep and then paddle the next day.

Monday morning the water had risen a bit and now the pro’s were also trying the loops and a few did also cartwheel. You still would get flushed easily from it, so a bit annoying for the pro’s but nice for us as we now didn’t have to wait 15 minutes to get into the wave as well. After an anxious start I did my first surfs in Plattling and after trying a few times managed to get my first flat spins. The first meters from the eddie are wave like, the rest is more hole like. The flatspins were easier in the hole section, but scarier as well. I crashed a lot in between but got some good tips from Tineke from Umyak on how to surf and use my edges to get to the bottom and then to the top again without flushing out.

Ivette worked on her moves and even did two sessions as she couldn’t get enough. Tuesday we did another morning session when the water was at around the same level as sunday. A few flatspins later I tried and failed at a cartwheel and decided that that should wait for better levels. So I am still waiting for my first cartwheel on moving water. After lunch we broke up and drove to Slovenia, in search of good weather and more flowing water.

I’m working on the photos and a small video clip from Plattling, will post them later this week as well as an report on the week in Slovenia.