Before I even get started into our Germany trip, let me get you into the mind frame I was in going into this adventure.
So the Box of Fun (BOF) premiere is the night before we leave for Germany, which basically means I wouldn’t be sleeping much before it. Lets start Saturday, April 25. I woke up at 6am after sleeping for 4 hours and got straight to work on BOF. This was pretty much my sleep schedule for the 2 weeks prior. I took a brake around 3pm to go up to wake games to see everyone and pass out flyers for the premiere. I hung out there a bit then went home and edited for another couple hours before heading to the Out of the Pond premiere. Good movie. I went out to the after party till midnight and figured it was tine to get back to work. I went home and got back to editing. Brett Brinkerhoff came over at 2am and brought the final intro animation he did and we fit that in. At 4am he left. We walked outside and heard my neighbor say something about being jumped and robbed on his way home from downtown. Apparently the cab driver pulled over in a bad part of town and told him to get out of the car. Four guys beat him up and took his money. Close to our neighborhood is a pretty bad part of town. Didn’t expect that one. So back to editing. I finished the premiere version of BOF at 12:30pm. Of course things couldn’t work right and the movie would not export. It would go for about 30 minutes and then stop. After many calls to Justin Stephens and a bit of stressing, I finally got it exported and was ready to burn the DVD around 6:30pm. Since I am learning everything about movie making as I go with this project and I didn’t know exactly how to use DVD studio pro to burn the movie the right way, Justin jumped on Ichat and did a screen share and basically set up the video to burn for me. Thanks again Justin. Justin saved the day. It finished burning at 7:30pm. I jumped in the car and drove straight to the Social, which is where the premiere was, and started to setup the banners and do some video test to make sure it all worked. The band, Lower Class Citizens, were doing sound checks as well. We had everything ready by 8:45pm and the doors opened at 9pm. It always goes to the last minute. So we did the premiere, it went off, partied till 4am. So after being awake for 46 hours, I slept for 3 hours, woke up and Watson and I jumped on a plane to Chicago, sat there for 5 hours and then finally got on our plane to Germany which was 9 hours. Luckily our plane was fairly empty and I got a full 4 seat middle row to myself. Two Tylenol pm’s and it was good night for me.
We get there at morning on Tuesday since we go 7 hours ahead of east coast time. Benni Suess picked us up and we went straight to Wasserski Langenfeld, which is one of the best cables I have ever been to. Benni’s family runs and owns it. They have 4 separate cable lakes, a restaurant and plenty of space for people to hang out and do some bronzing in the sun. So straight off the plane we went to the cable and hung out for the day. We did some shredding on the many rails they have. There was 3 kickers, two flat bars, a flat table, a transfer box that also has a angle bar on the side, an S box and a big LF rail.
I had checked the weather before we went and saw that it was gonna be cold a couple days so I brought clothes for it. Watson on the other had assumed it would be warm. Here is a travel tip for everyone. When packing for a trip no matter where you are going, check the weather. The first day was cold and raining. I ended up borrowing a full suit for the whole trip. The first day was cold enough that your feet, hands and head hurt when you rode. It didn’t help that the few days before we left were the first days that really felt like a hot Orlando summer day. We took a few laps and got used to the rails and decided to call it a day. The remainder of the day was using their wireless internet and drinking a few more cappuccino’s. Tonight’s agenda: sleep!!! Of course with the jetlag I woke up at 4:30am. I tried to go back to sleep but Watson’s snoring prevented that from happening. He can really cut some zzzzzzzz’s.
Parks Bonifay flew in Wednesday morning. It was another hangout and shred day at Langenfeld cable. Thank goodness the weather was a bit better. No rain and a bit warmer.
Around 3 they had qualifying for the Red Bull wake-the-line rail event that we were all there for. That went on for the rest of the day so we just hung out and got prepped up for the Box of Fun premiere later in the night. Since Parks was now jetlagged, it was his turn to snore himself into oblivion. Parks and Watson should have a snore off. I will have the clip of Parks snoring in Box of Fun. Its sounds really funny in fast forward. After dark they cooked some food on the grill and had plenty of good German beer. They announced the qualifiers, Jan Jan Kissmann (wakeskate) and Freddy von Osten (wakeboard) and then it was on to the Germany Box of Fun premiere. Everyone loved it. There was lots of laughing going on which was my main goal from the very beginning of making the movie. It got everyone so fired up that a big arm wrestling match started after the movie. My first match up was against a girl that was looking pretty tough. I took her down. I couldn’t let her win. Watson and I had a go at it and I will be honest here, Watson beat me fair and square. The good times carried on into the night until around midnight when our bus was there to bring us back to our hotel. It was a black painted school bus, which was our ride for the next few days to and from the contest. A few locals decided it was a great idea to have a slap off on the ride home. They definitely were not holding back.
The next morning we caught the bus to the contest for our practice day. Keith Lidberg flew in this morning as well. There was about 20 or so of us riding the bus everyday. The event is called the Red Bull wake-the-line. This was the second annual. The setup runs through 4 olympic size swimming pools that are connected by cement separators, which are all different size and have multiple rails over each section. This was all towed with the Sesitec System 2.0, which is the best thing to happen to wakeboarding in a very long time. This also has stadium seating along both sides of the pool area. We only used 3 of the pools due to the fact that at the end of the third there was a 12’ quarter pipe (QP). This ended up being the best quarter pipe ever built for wake so far. It had a little ollie on which allowed for a smooth exit along with perfect transition. It also had a 1ft wide angle at the top so you could stall on it. The system 2.0 operator had the most important job in order to ride away from the QP. Doing so is only possible with the System 2.0. The rest of the setup has a-frames, transfers, up rails, down rails, other rails and ended with your choice of 2 kickers. If you haven’t been to Europe before, kickers are very popular. Personally I am not that into them. They are fun to hit but it makes my body hurt just watching some of the people charge off them. Overall it was a fun setup. Everyone got a lot of shred time in. That night we hung out at a local shop which supplied pizza and beer. That combo usually satisfies many people. Back on the bus around 11:30pm and back to the hotel.
Next day was game time. The place that the event is held is at a major park, which has soccer stadiums and other sport arenas around it. We got another practice in before the gates opened to the public. There were supposedly around 7000 spectators that came through the gate. This day, May 1st, is a national holiday there. I’m not sure if there is a name for it. It’s basically just a day that everyone gets off work and parties. This was the nicest day of the trip so the locals were out in full force. Keith, Watson, Bernard Hinterberger and myself all made the finals. Bernard just beat Parks in the semi-finals. Kickers were a big part of the scores so it basically came down to Parks doing a whirly bird off the kicker vs. Bernard doing a crow 5. Parks was killing it throughout the event so it was a bummer to see him miss the final. The final was a 20-minute jam session. I banged my knee and wrist up second run of the final on a hard landing, so I opted not to hit the kicker for my last few runs. I’m fine now but I didn’t want to risk it off a big kicker. Lidberg got 1st, Bernard got 2nd, Watson got 3rd and I rounded out the heat with a 4th. After this we went straight into a best trick on the quarter pipe. There were 8 of us and we got 3 hits each. I had a good tail poke to fakie, Nico von Lerchenfeld was steezing it out, Parks about killed himself, Bernard tried a back flip and might have broke his collar bone and Watson did a grabbed 18 air and won. So all in all, it was a good day for team America.
Just so everyone knows this, Nico von Lerchenfeld, the son of Christian who makes sesitec ( system 2.0 ), absolutely shreds. Everything he does is shiftied, poked or pressed. You will see shots of him around in the future for sure. The night was followed up with a late night party in the town of Cologne.
The next day we went and checked out the Cologne cathedral, (Dome of Cologne). It’s a very very old church. It was built in the time period of 1248 – 1880. That’s old! We get to see some pretty cool things through out our travels. After playing tourist for a while we went back to Wasserski Langenfeld and just took it easy and rested up for part 2 of our adventure. The Liquid Force trip across Germany.
Go to http://www.alliancewake.com/video_details.php?id=5010 to watch this video now or check out www.LiquidForceFilms.com for the full video of this and other LF trips.
-Part 2 includes:
– surfing the Eisbach river wave
– Watson getting sick while hearing about the Swine flu outbreak in the US
– boat riding at a true gypsy town
– cable shredding
– and the coldest day of the trip