Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Area 47 Freestyle Ramp

Claire O prepares at the top of the 45 foot ramp
As part of our Europe tour we were invited to test out the new kayak ramp at Area 47, an ultimate adventure and extreme sports centre in the heart of Austria. Area 47 has been a base for people to come and take part in many extreme and adventure sports for the last few years and now hosts a 45 foot high, custom built, kayak ramp amidst its impressive water park.

Den goes huge
When we were first asked to test out the ramp I was a little bit dubious about how sensible it was to launch of a high ramp into a glassy green lake midway through the main competition season. But I needn't have worried, we arrived to find a custom built kayak ramp running alongside the traditional freestyle ramp. Running out level onto the water, instead of launching you of an 8 foot + high kicker ramp we could fly off the kayak ramp and create our own bounce, as on a wave. Transferring the energy from the ramp, all 35mph+ of it, into a bounce to launch the boat into the air without the worry of landing (every time) hard onto a pool of green water.

Claire O flys
We spent 3 days playing on the ramp trying to master the bounce and figure out its potential to get big moves. Den dialled it in quickly getting some massive air screws and pan ams from day one. I took a little longer to get used to the timing and technique getting some massive wipe outs and big air bounces, distracted by the excitement of just flying down the ramp at such speeds. By the end of the last session I finally had it dialled and it was amazing being able to throw air moves left and right, front and back without having to have the perfect levels on the perfect wave. The ramp was exhausting with a 45 foot vertical climb back to the top for every ride, but so much fun.

Here is a video and slideshow of photos from our action filled Area 47 days...   

Thanks to Arnd and Area 47 for giving us this great opportunity I am looking forward to going back.