Nollie Jump Start by Florian Scharscher.

As I write this, my muscles are constantly reminding me why I had such an awesome weekend-trip. Jorg and I planned a weekend of extreme sports at Center Parcs at Kempervennen. This particular Center Parcs features both an indoor snowboarding center and an outdoor wakeboarding center. A perfect setting to expand our abilities in snowboarding, getting acquainted further with wakeboarding and challenge ourselves with trying out wakeskating.

The introduction to wakeboarding was already done last year with my bachelor party at Aquabest, which spiked my interest for this sport. Half a year later me, my wife Marieke and Jorg had another session at Center Parcs Kempervennen (Alta CableSki). That session we all got a really good feeling of how the basics of wakeboarding should be and made us urge for more.

The Start

Cable Jumping Dock Start

Cable Jumping Dock Start

This weekend we could dig into the advanced basics of it and the first thing to get out of the way was the jumping start. We had this down last time, but then the cable-guy helped out with counting down to the point you needed to jump. So now it was time to just do it and get that jump start going, as with most things once know it it’s easy; counting down in your head after hearing the click of the cable or seeing the cable curl up to tension makes you get the timing of the jump spot on. Jorg challenged me to trying to Nollie-jump start, so our cable operator explained me how I should do this. He explained it well in good steps, but I did not yet anticipate the fact that these steps would follow each other up within a second. Resulting in hearing the operator say, “Here it comes”, tension coming onto the cable and I was still at the first step of holding the rope at knee height… I slid the board of the start ramp and tumbled over into the water. Thinking to myself: I’ll have to postpone that to another session. I’ve inserted the image from Florian Scharscher, which shows how a nollie jump should be done here.

Riding Switch
To be able to turn the board around on the water, we figured it was better to get a wakeboard from the rack where the fins were not mounted. This way we were able to turn this thing around and ride switch. A little weary at first, only holding on with the left hand only to align our shoulders better, advancing to holding both hands whilst turning in and out of riding switch. I figure the next step will be trying to get round the corner buoys riding switch, but hadn’t gotten to that yet.

Ollie and ollie into switch
Next up was getting the ollie more stable, where the key to success remains that one needs to stay aligned, just as with any other boarding sport. It just needed a bit more exercising it, to get it dialed into your system. After that it was the challenge to ollie-ing into switch, which I got down pretty fast. But overconfident as I had gotten from this I tried to ollie back from switch to regular, where it all ended in a solid face-plant. Lesson learned, fist be able to ollie riding switch, ouch!

Both Jorg and I did not anticipate that we were able to start and standup on the big cable course with a wakeskate. The operator on Saturday challenged Jorg into trying it on the big course. Jorg sat down, started and rode out 2 laps instantly. As with all these things, whatever Jorg gets done the first time, I instantly get challenged to do the same. Turned out we were both able to get this done first try.

After that we got to think that maybe we were able to get a pop-shuv-it in there as well. This proved to be a very hard thing to get down, as you have to pop the board, rotate it underneath you and land it again. Even though we would get it popped and rotated, another variable entered the equation, which was the constant speed at which you were moving with the cable. As the board is not strapped to your feet, we figured we needed to make a speed adjustment, by which the speed becomes variable and leaves you time to do the trick and then the tension increases in the cable again. This proved to be pretty hard and slams were of course; inevitable. Never the less great sessions and almost landed it once, slamming my shin onto the side of the skate, another lesson learned: first get the ollies and speed variation down before trying to land it, Ouch!

Yes I still practice the sport of snowboarding as well. I tend to be distracted from it by skateboarding, because the snowcenter is just a little further away from my home as when I started with this blog. Montana Snowcenter has been working hard on the park the past couple of weeks and after the successful parks for the events from Postland, they reshaped it with a easy and medium-line. This is a welcome addition to the park, as most obstacles were mostly there for the advanced rider. Now we finally could dial in some tricks, which were ready for the next level but did not have a proper obstacle to take it to. Jorg dialed in his FS 50-50 on the rail and I got the BS 50-50’s properly dialed in after about 10 runs. In between we had lots of fun the rest of the park, which also made the snowboard sessions an awesome experience.

Alta Cableski - Kempervennen

YES!!! – Proper weekend filled with extreme sports (both new and familiar to us), laughter, beers, slams, new ticks, watching snowboard & wakeboard videos. So well worth all the body aching, as I’m stoked and energized by it for the time to come. Good memories added to the extreme sport database!