Cold wave in the land of Trolls

At the end of the Eurocup’s me, Katya & Masha were trying to find some place with a wave that would be ideal training for Thun as they are both doing very well but needed a Wave to keep progressing with their training and although I can’t compete due to not being able to get to our team selection event with being in Uganda I would still like to train as if I am as practice for the future. Masha suggested the Skjak Wave in Norway as she had been here in the past and liked it and after  talking with Mariann and Tyler on facebook it seemed like a great place for this training with easy camping and other waves in the area. Over to Katya…

After our competition in Russia, me and Masha went to get a new Visa for our next europe trip, for this we got a Norway Visa rather than Switzerland as this Embassy was much easier for us to get a visa. We got a 70days visa which is good but also means we need lots of money to make this long trip happen and we decide to try to find the cheapest way to get to Norway ever so we sent our Kayaks over with one Russian guy and bought a cheap flight for ourselves from St Petersburg to Riga in Latvia. From Riga we flew to Stockholm for 17euros for 2 persons! Once in Stockholm our real adventure starts as we didn’t have any real plan of how to get from here to Skjak.

We spent 1 night in the airport then at 6am we start hitch hiking in the direction of Oslo. In the beginning it went slowly because people only took us for a few kilometers. This continued until one guy from Iran picked us up and took us 250km on our way almost to the border for Norway. He could speak only Norwegian and Iranian but he understood in the right way where we wanted to go and was very nice to us all this way. Day was turning to evening and our hitch hiking was going quicker and quicker, we didn’t expect we’d make all this 800km in one day. The last guy who gave us a ride was  the bass guitarist from TurboNegro band, the most famous band in Norway which was pretty amazing even if we didn’t know this band before and he gave us TurboNegro T-shirts to make sure we don’t forget this band. After this last ride Tyler Curtis picked us up from Otta at 12 at night and brought us to his house which was great finish of our long day.

The next day we went kayaking on the Skjak wave with Tyler which came up only this day for the first time in a while. We found the wave pretty amazing, much better than we were expecting. It look s a little bit like mini Nile Special with eddie from the same side but water much colder and cleaner 😉 Tyler and Mariann show us that pretty much all moves can be landed on this wave and we enjoyed this first day of being on a wave in a long time A LOT! The landscape here is very beautiful with mountain everywhere and clean air but only one thing which we aren’t used to yet is a lot of the time its very cold here especially in the nights. back to Pringle…

With the girls sending me messages of how sick the wave was and how nice Norway is I was itching to get out of the UK and on the road again. So last Monday I set off from England with the heading of Skjak, Norway programmed into my Sat Nav which was telling me i had a 2500km journey…Quite a long way. It was early Wednesday morning at 02:30 I arrived in Skjak after 33 hours of driving and 4 hours of sleep I was very happy to arrive. The route I came through was up through, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany to Denmark then across to Sweden over two bridges then up through Sweden into Norway. Quite an interesting journey, although not nearly as much so as the girls Adventure.

Next day after a very big sleep I got on the water for the first time. Great wave where any move is possible, very clean cold water and beautiful surroundings with an awesome campsite right next to the wave is a kayakers paradise here.

On the way here I was expecting the wave not to nearly be as good as it is. Is left sided mainly but both directions work here. Its quite fast and steep and when its the right level and you hit it right you can throw pretty big moves. For me I have been getting nice rides with some good back Panams, Cleans & Airscrews and my paddling here getting better and better as I get more used to the wave and more used to surfing a wave again after my small break from waves since Uganda. Peter actually says this wave is too good for Thun. Now level is lower and more similar with a tiny Thun wave 😉

Since then we’ve been paddling hard with everyone doing well and enjoying our lovely campsite even having nice little dinner with Kayak friends who are here and Jan, nice guy who owns Camp.

Now more and more people are arriving for Thun training with Polish team and Peter/ Nina here is nice little community. At the moment we are trying to make a small fun competition on the wave soon since there are a lot of good paddlers here now and can be good opportunity to all get together go paddle and have a nice time.

Now we are heading back to the wave so unit our next post check out the videos below…

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James & Katya


About James Bebbington

2011 ICF World Freestyle Kayak Champion & 2011 ICF World Cup Freestyle Kayak Champion Passionate about Kayaking, Travel, Nature, Dreams, Raw Food & the Beauty of Life. Don't give up on your dreams, listen to your heart!
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