What a week, what a project! Wakeboard-pro Dominik Hernler packed his winch, a photographer, a crew of cameramen and went on a search for unique wakeboarding spots in Austria. The 24-year-old wanted to take wakeboarding to places, where it has never been seen before and with a lot of commitment, motivation and a strong will he made it happen.

Last year Dominik Hernler (http://www.redbull.com/at/de/athletes/1331592225359/dominik-hernler) had to face a torn meniscus and fractured tibia, but after months out of the water, he came back with this exceptional project. Pinned to his couch he spent hours on Google Maps to search Austria for rideable spots and just a few weeks after he had the “ok” from his doctor he hit the road. His long-time friend and photographer Sam Strauss (http://www.sam-strauss.com ) joined him and together they tackled Dom’s plan – from heavy drops to head-high concrete ledges they found everything – as the Grande finale Dom chose a beautiful lake in the spectacular scenery of the Grossglockner, Austria’s highest mountain.

The tour started in Vorchdorf, where Dom had spotted a perfect concrete ledge – being on his own, he had to face lots of tough decisions, which in certain situations was very tricky. Especially if you want to assess if a spot is even rideable or not, but his expertise, huge amount of experience and a fair amount of recklessness allow him to make the right choices and get the most out of any spot. Next destination was Neuhofen an der Krems with it’s drop and massive wallride. After sending that spot for a couple of hours, Dom received a call from his friend Fabian Ortler, who had found another decent and interesting looking water barrage not far away. Without any hesitation they packed up and went to Enns to ride another session at this mellow drop. The weather on day three forced the crew to lay back and take a little break from wakeboarding, but Dom just can’t keep his feet still and they went for a late night skate jam at the Skatepark Pichling. On the next day the 24-year-old was back in the water and after tiring discussions with local authorities they got the permit to hit the weir at Steinbach an der Steyr, where Dom had to fully commit to gap blindly over a ledge to get into the landing. Spot number five, besides the forthcoming stop at the Grossglockner mountain lake, was Hernler’s favourite destination. Purgstall an der Erlauf had a huge, six meter high drop on offer, and Dom didn’t hold back. Impact after impact shook his bones, but he pulled through until they had collected all the possible shots. After that bone-crushing affair he wanted more. So they went to Scheibbs for a couple of relaxing carves to limber up again. Five days, five unique spots and the big finale was still ahead – the Grossglockner.

The weather was perfect and everyone was amped for the finish up in the mountains, where no one else has ever wakeboarded before. The picturesque scenery with its greenishly gleaming lake and the big smiles of the crewmembers gave Dom the extra push and energy, to finish the tour with a bang. After a few carves, they set up a wooden kicker and started going for it. The cold water and height didn’t make it easy on Dom, but with this unique opportunity in his hands there was no lack of motivation – after a few tweaked-out grabs and warm-up spins to get used to the spot, Dom sticked a tantrum to blind over this intimidating rocky gap. The crew was super stoked about the outcome of the whole tour and is already making plans for next year.

“I’m absolutely blown away by how well the whole tour went and it just feels great to have hit all these different spots in just one week. There are so many opportunities out there and with a little bit of luck, we will be back next year, to push the limits a bit further. I just want to say thank you to everyone who made this project possible!”

Photo Credit: Sam Strauss (http://www.sam-strauss.com)

Winchelroute: http://www.redbull.com/winchelroute

Photo Credit: Sam Strauss (http://www.sam-strauss.com)