Thursday, August 25, 2011

too hot to be true...

did anybody complain about the middle european summer this year? you phonies couldn't wait until the end before snaggering, right? and now, that we finally have it hot here, well above 30 degrees celsius, everybody is complaining again...

yes! is kool, man!

as i work alot from my home office, which is directly below the roof in a super small room (where the temperature is probably in the higher fifties right now), i already moved my stuff over to the livingroom, where i have more space and - more important: i can work AND survive!
last couple of days were too much though and i had to think of something else. i have a quite big balcony right in front of the livingroom and i remembered, that i always wanted to get a small wading pool, so i just got a super cheap one from the supermarket (strange though, that they still did have some... can't believe, that nobody else came up with that idea).

i had to pull the garden hose up to the balcony to fill in the water, but now i have my own private pool, just two steps next to my workstation. sick!

swimming laps ain't too easy... you gotta be creative! ;)

Friday, August 12, 2011

big friday

first hit

summer at my second home was waaay to short this year... it might have been three weeks, but it hurts more and more every year to kiss afiartis goodbye and go back home and back to work. i didn't shoot too much this summer, played with the gopro a little bit, but mainly surfed as long as possible every day.

just say no to four-O...

of course, we had one big day again. all stations were closed. proper rescues would have been impossible. it didn't look exceptionally strong in the morning, so we chilled a bit at breakfast. the guys from the station were out already with sails around 4.0
when i saw them coming in again after only one turn, totally exhausted, i started to get a bit nervous. andy was telling me that there was no freakin way and he took the smallest sail he had rigged at the station.

harald, backloop try onefooted... or lets say: blown away

breakfast was history at that moment already. totally hyped, i rigged my 3.5 that i only bought for conditions like this. from the beach, you could already see the gusts ripping water off the surface: whiteout! the rigging was done in record time, still it felt like hours.

looks crowded, but we were the only ones on the water... harald, myself, andy and freddy

when i finally jumped in the water, i started hyperventilating already. i knew that i was gonna be so dead after just a couple of runs. surfing overpowered just takes its toll and has absolutely nothing to do with what you do in 6 or 7 beaufort.

backloop try... almost!

the waves were quite big (well, afiartis is flatwater so it seems kind of blasphemy to speak of 'big waves' here) and in combination with the high wind it was pure insanity: once you hit the lip and the wind catched the board you were only flying. always in mind to keep the center of gravity low.
man, did i fall! i took some really bad beatings that first hour and i couldn't remember to ever have surfed overpowered like this.
after an hour (it might have been way less), i started to get cramps, so before it got dangerous, i went back to the beach.

airjibes are way fun at 9+ beaufort

on the way home

later in the afternoon, we took a quick ride over to the wavespot, but it was super crowded there, so we headed back for another session... tried haralds small waveboard and liked it. definately need a small one like this! :)

and thats how it looked from the masttop :)
klick on the picture to see some motion!

its days like this, that you remember for the rest of your life. even though its not even fun to ride. its just pure survival and the thrill to be out in such conditions. i don't want more of these days, i just want one or two every year.

yes, i love that island! :)

thanks heidi for the shots!

Friday, July 8, 2011

bad brünö

brünö in action...

whistler in summer is already a good old tradition. the perfect mixture to have the opportunity to shoot some last pictures for the upcoming season in a good park combined with a sick village and lots of parties is a blast every year.

world's first 'throwing-stones-at-bears-all-in-one' sequence... :)

throwing sticks and stones shall break your bones...

we rented a big house this year and and schiller and i went there together with marc swoboda, dominik wagner, elias elhardt, benny urban, alex tank, ethan morgan, dani rajcsanyi and ludde lejkner. as you can imagine, 10 guys make alot of trash and there is no garbage collection here in whistler, so we used one bacony to store the growing pile of black plastic bags. the landlord had already warned us about bears searching for trash, so we used the only balcony of the house, that not even black bears are able to climb.

marc did some bad ass screaming
when it was time to clean the house, we were planing to load all the trash in the car and drive to the grabage disposal in fuction junction, about 10 k from whistler. marc had already brought the bags down to the car some minutes before we wanted to start.

walking up to the car, there was a big black bear already starting to make big mess... ludde had cooked two lobsters and a massive king crab past week and buddy bear obviously was after the remains of them.

bröno finally fucked off

i wanted to scare him off, so i ran towards him, screaming and waving my arms. he did exactly the same and i had to chicken out and run up the veranda. we started throwing rocks at him and after a couple of minutes, he was so pissed off that he fucked off.
he had made a big mess at the car parking, took us almost half an hour to clean up.
luckily, wögna had his camera with him. thanks, buddy for the footage!

as you can see, brünö is definalely a troublemaker (sticking out his tongue)
brünö then was checking our garden, he had already stolen elias' backpack a couple of days ago and elias, marc and wögna had to search it in the woods (and found it with only some granolabars missing and a chewed pack of sunscreen). luckily, the backdoor was locked :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

threee deee!

i've been experimenting with my gopro cams alot in the past 2 years, so i was pretty stoked, when gopro finally released their 3d housing a couple of weeks ago. the setup is quite simple (gopro style): you just pop two seperate gopro HDs into the housing, connect them with a small cable and you are good to go.

helmet mount followcam

the two cams need the latest firmware update of course and its recommended to use similar SD cards. the settings of the left cam override the settings of the right cam (both cams need to be set to the same program however), so you always get a useable pair of stills or mp4 videos.

i couldn't shoot very much with this new toy when i was on the road for pleasure mag this spring, so i was pretty excited when we went down to karpathos this week for a short vacation. i have been shooting windsurfing with the gopro already last season, but never tried the photo burst function (which takes a 5MP photo every X seconds).
also, i was quite curious, how the 3d effect would look like in stills and movies.

mast mount
the wind was quite low this week, which is unusual for karpathos at that time of the year, so i couldn't shoot in real high wind, but at least i could try two of the basic mounts: mast top and helmet cam. worked pretty good. i feared, that the cam setup might be a bit too heavy especially for the helmet mount, but it was quite okay. the weight even helps keeping the cam more steady.
mounted on the mast, things get a bit shaky up there, but i guess, it will be good for some additional footage.

came across this full grown walrus... ;)

some friend of mine had his 3d laptop with active shutter glasses with him, so we could have a look in 'real' 3d. for now, i decided to use red/cyan anaglyph mode however, because this type of 3d glasses are still more common than the new active or passiv shutter versions.

made a small demo movie to showcase the possibilities... more to come this summer! ;)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

short trip to lofoten

nice sunset at one of the most scenic surf beaches in the world!

shooting in riks is very productive, yet the weather is a bit unpredictable. as the forecast looked super shitty for friday and saturday, we decided to do a spontaneous short trip to lofoten! everybody was up for a change in the daily schedule, so michi and I got up early morning and took the train to narvik (which is only a 45 minutes ride), got a small rental car there, picked up botner an justin (we barely could fit in all the gear) and drove down to lofoten 5 hours straight!

goPro fun during the drive!
arriving in unstad (the most famous surf spot), we booked us into a nice and spacious cabin (it even had a small sauna!) and went straight for the beach. waves were a bit chaotic, but erik, justin and michi tried anyway. i knew that erik & justin were good surfers and still they were struggeling with the changing conditions. michi impressed me, he didn't surf too much in his life before and just went for it... he even managed some stand ups after justin gave him some tips... stoked!

cabin #05... that's what's up!

of course, we needed some fitting dinner that evening, so we went to leknes (to the biggest supermarket north of oslo i guess) and bought some nice salmon and pasta... fatøl for sure! :)

Erik, checking the surf

yummy lofoten fish!
the day was topped off by a relaxing sauna session and due to the never ending light, it was once again well beyond 2 a.m. before we went to bed...

next morning, the waves looked much cleaner, so michi and justin went to the beach to get some shots... erik and I had other plans: we had spotted a small patch of snow right behing unstad that looked like a giant banana and I asked eric, if he could hike it and do one spray on it... 
didn't work out perfect, as the snow was crusty and frozen on the top layer, but we got a shot anyways.

Erik on the way back from 'the banana'...

we left erik and justin behind, they wanted to get some more surfing days. michi and I drove back up to narvik again, where we met arthur, who was taking a day off as well and he also had to take care of a small infection in his eye.

so now, the last days in riks have come. we were able to do two more spots with arthur. two gnarly rock landings, but being a brave frenchman, he killed both spots!

after some victory beers, our ways finally parted, as flo and arthur were already leaving a day before us. 

big shout out to the pirates (especially flo)... it was a pleasure working with you! what a nice & productive trip!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


riks train station (pic: michi lehmann)
my last 'real snow' trip for this season is bringing me up high above the arctic circle. michi an i flew to stockholm and took the night train from there to riksgränsen. i never been up here, so i'm super stoked on that trip. its also our first trip with the pirates crew!

the train ride was easy, we slept very well in our bunk beds. its for sure a nice way to travel. we arrived relaxed in riksgränsen. flo had already checked a room for us, nice!

the first night was a bit strange, as the sun goes down at 10:30 and rises again at 3:30, but it never gets dark. of course, we didn't bring sleeping masks, but a black beanie is doing a great job, too! :)

we were shooting alot now the first couple of days, as the weather was almost perfect and we tried to catch every possible minute.

we started shooting on friday 13th. not the best omen for the first day in the backcountry on sleds again, especially whan you have to cross several water ponds that grow bigger and bigger every day from the melting snow. the guys had found a nice spot for a quarterpipe and we were able to do a complete tooltime feature that very first day with danny larsen and arthur longo!

michi, finetuning the quarter...

the next couple of days were a mix of good and bad luck, but we can not complain, as we got shots every day and the crew is really motivated to be as productive as possible.

walking on water... :)

one highlight for sure was a quarterpipe session, that gigi rüf and björn lindgren organized. the spot was close to ingemar's quarter at the border right on the backside of the resort. we got some BBQ stuff and took the last chair only to find a big crew already waiting for us. the nike crew had already been shooting in riks for a couple of days with gigi, nicolas and justin bennee. danny kass also brought his posse with eddie wall, eero niemela and dustin craven!

gigi testing the quarter, while we fired up the grill!

we had a nice session up on the mountain with a tasty barbecue (bennee, the name of the cheese is 'haloumi' :D). 

what a crew!

as we came back late and the bar aready closed due to sweden loosing the hockey finals, we went to a small secret bar in a cave. 12 guys, 2 bottles of whiskey, eddie wall and his guitar. what a night!

the sickest location for a bar!

yesterday, erik botner joined the crew and danny had to leave us. we did a nice kicker to rocklanding spot in the resort. gnarly shizzle, arthur backflipped it!

sick shit!

stay tuned for mor coming up the next couple of days!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

bella italia - part 1

hotel pier - beautiful morning view from in front of the room :)
seems like italy is gonna be my favourite place for the next weeks... after a really successful shoot in val senales last weekend, i went down to lago di garda this weekend to start the windsurf season. the lake is still bitter cold (around 10°C), but the wind was excellent! what a nice start!

beautiful riva del garda...

i really love the way of life in the northern part of lago di garda... steep rock faces, falling almost vertical into the lake, nice architecture and - of course - great food!
so we were strolling through limone, riva del garda and torbole, went shopping alot and had a really relaxed weekend in our favourite hotel down there.

windsurfing was great, best 4 days in a row since quite a while! its always inspiring to watch all the italian riders throwing their moves right in front of the hotel like 20 year old Mattia Fabrizi in the short clip below... 

now its time again for another shoot in val senales before i go back down to the lake!