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2011/09/22 von Marilou Lavallée

PKRA Germany 2011 Reviewed

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These 10 days in SPO shows best kiteboarders in the world, insane party, crazy weather (Wind-sun-thunderstorms all at once) happy and friendly people, the big family reunited and some hard Core stuff... well, I guess that says it all!

St. Peter-Ording (SPO) in Germany is one of the largest holding sites of the PKRA freestyle and racing competitions of the world tour. People from everywhere come to this event to watch some of the best kiteboarders in the world racing against each other or executing their solid tricks in really strong wind. Other talented riders come to try to have their chance in it, aiming to get a good score in the trials to be able to compete among the pros. Competition is one thing, but the 10 days are filled with a pretty cool schedule (DJ’s at night, various shows, activities etc.) which also brings a lot of non-kitesurfers, tourists, or friends to just have a look around. 

In fact, for those who might have never seen this event... you can count on seeing about thousands of people camping all over the parking lots at night time (and by the way, I have never in my entire life seen that many camper vans reunited in one location, it almost looks unreal!) and during day, people are moving into the site. All the kitesurfing brands are reunited, forming what is called "The Kitelife Village", showing and demonstrating their newest products. There is also some testing area on the beach, food and drinks plus DJ’s at night. Therefore, this charming city gets very active for that one week, with every one eating out at Café Köm and coming back to the site at night time for some dancing.

About the weather... One minute you see girls are walking in bikinis or sun-bathing with tiny-mini-shorts (while the guys turn around, as most of them are still recovering from there last drink of the night, and seem to forget how to act with ‘discretion’) and the next minute you could be holding onto your winter jacket wishing the wind and rain would stop. Hard to believe, but this is the weather I experimented there over the past 3 years. Something like: the unexpected. This year was particularly memorable, with colorful lightning and the big Quicksilver box rolling like there was a tornado coming to catch us. Funny thing, a lot of people come to me saying something like: I should feel like home with this sort of weird and cold weather... Well, yes it’s cold in Canada, but during winter time. Come on, I’ve never worn my winter jacket during the summer (like I did in Germany)!

Saying that, I truly love Germany. People are remarkably friendly and patient. It is the one time in the year I can 100% practice my german skills (which I need a lot of practice). Plus, if you think in a way: Rain and cold are never so bad. It just give us an excuse to be grouping in the tent talking about gear, eating Pop CORE-n and sipping a beer (that doesn’t sound to sportive to me but still a lot of fun!). 

However, when the sun was shining, we went back to the sports. Kiting of course, but a lot of activities where also possible. You could try the Stand up paddle, join in on the beach volley-ball sessions or enjoy watching the various shows. That includes some BMX freestyle tricks or looking at ‘the world high jumper’ using his longboard etc. For myself, the highlight was definitely trying the MINI-RAMP with a skateboard (which is not SO mini if you ask me!). I was totally captivated by it and did not even mind a few scratches on my knees and wrists. Just got a bit worried when my coccyx felt like splitting in 3 pieces because of all those impacts. At the end of the week, I finally learnt  that it’s not at all how to roll on the ramp, you need to know ‘how to fall’ in order to stay in one piece. (Good to know now!). Anyway, I’m pretty thankful to Beany for all his precious lessons cause it was a lot of fun. Now I will need to travel with one more toy in my already oversize and overweight luggage. But that’s ok, I’ll need to practice my giant smile at the airport with the staff (hopefully it works out!).

I should not forget to mention that we found the cutest skateboarder ever. Such a hottie! About only 3 or 5 years old, but totally unbelievable! Doing his show, skateboarding like a little pro. He doesn’t know it yet, but he was already charming all the girls down there. There you go, if you want to catch a girl than just pretend to be the dad and we will all chase after you! 

About the wind... The first  few days the wind started pretty gentle. Racing was taking place, while other riders had the chance to test the Low wind XR2 in 15m, 17m and 19m and the enormous Predator board. Big guys were all smiles coming to the CORE stand and letting us know that they were ACTUALLY riding and having a super good time in only 6 knots. In fact, I was also pretty surprised. I shared their joy (but kept to myself the good session I also had with my 13.5m XR2 in that same wind). This is the good thing about being a girl: We never really have to worry to much about light wind. (Unless I radically change my diet... but that’s not the plan!). The last few days, wind picked up pretty strongly, giving us the chance to have an amazing show. Again, pretty talented riders. To get to know more about results you definitely need to read the articles on Prokitetour.com !

While writing these words , I’m sitting in a café in Montreal, on a rainy day and I feel totally happy. Happy and free. I had an amazing time in Germany, reminding me that kitesurfing is not just about going on the water and doing tricks, but it is a whole spirit living as a whole community. I’ve called a few times, CORE: The CORE family. Not because I think it sounds ‘cool’ (even if it does) but because it is sincerely the energy I feel as soon as I get close to them. Everyone in the team is so different, but in the same way so respectful and encouraging our differences. There is a strong sense of trust. Basically, every time I come to Germany, it represents a time for us all to meet up and it reminds me how happy I am to be part of this, a CORE team rider, member of the family, a world traveler, a kitesurfer living for her search and respecting the soul of the soul surfer!