In this extraordinary Corona summer, it was always a matter of reinventing yourself. Such as meeting friends without hugging and doing individual sports in the great outdoors without getting too close.
I always enjoy renting a surfboard (this is inexpensive, approx. EURO 12.- to 15.- per hour). No matter if the usual hard version or the inflatable soft version, the boards offer many possibilities. Together with a sail the board is suitable for windsurfing, without a sail for wave surfing, with a stick for (stand-up) paddling and without any tool simply as an “air mattress” for sunbathing or lounging. I simply like it to have a place just for myself, especially when the beach is crowdy.
However, if the wind blows a bit stronger, I sometimes rent a small catamaran. Maneuvering a so-called „Hobycat“ is not too difficult and after a short briefing and you may usually rent this type of sailing-boat without presenting a sailing license. Depending on the location, the costs per hour range from EUR 35.- to EURO 70.-
But, sometimes I need something new. So I decided for a small SEASCOOTER at the beginning of June. Depending on its horsepower (operated by battery), such a device can reach speeds between 5 and 30 kilometers per hour. You just grab the two handles that are connected to the throttle cable and you start sliding away. So you can quickly move through the water from one shore to another, while the operating noise is pleasantly silent. However, it also works perfectly under water. So put on your googles, install a snorkel and start off diving. Watch out for fish – or – what else to see on the ground of the lake or the bottom of the Sea.
But attention: apart from some technical measures which have to be taken before the first watering (such as greasing the sealing rings and charging the battery) you should also do some trimming of the device (lenghts around 70 centimeters, weight approx. eight kilos depending on the model and manufacturer). This means to ensure that some water or stones are added to the head part, otherwise an independent floating or buoyancy is not guaranteed. If the device is too light, it is difficult to push it under water and vice versa. In the event of a breakdown or loss of battery power, you take the risk of sinking and even loss. For you as a swimmer, it becomes difficult to return it to the shore respecticvely the starting point.
With the appropriate driving power such a seascooter can even push forward two people or the propeller power can be used to drive a small surfboard. Nevertheless the pleasure is not that cheap, as you can rarely find a rental station. The acquisition cost of a seascooter or seacat reads between EURO 400.- and 4,000.-
In August I finally had the opportunity to get into a regatta ROWING BOAT at the Hamburg “Ruderclub AlLemannia”. These boots are incredibly narrow, actually only hip-wide. Getting in needs to be learned and requires a precise sequence of movements if you don’t want to fall into the water.
But first of all we have to get the boat ready. In other words we have to carry it out of the holder in the hall onto the landing platform, then turn it around and put it onto the water. Then it is time to fasten the oars or skulls in the oarlocks with locking clips, which are attached to the outriggers. Many new terms and handlings are patiently explained by a real champion, because Lasse W. is/ was a multiple World Cup participant and a super sympatic person.
To be on the safe side, we first climb into a so-called gic with “skull riggering”, which is slightly wider and heavier than the “super racers” and has a keel rail. Generally you must not step directly into the boat, but have to step on the seat with one foot and then immediately sit down and put the other foot into the appropriate holder with a fixing strap in front of you. Otherwise everyone will lose the balance. In such a rowing boat you sit on movable seats that run back and forth on a rail. So you can also use the strength of your legs.
If people do not row on both sides, but only with one oar, this is called “belt rigging” – regardless of a two, four or eight person boat. If only one person handles a rowing boat, it is called “skiff“. Incidentally, many Hamburg rowing athletes have already sat in the famous “German Eighter” winning Olympic Gold.
The helmsman, who is not present in every boat, gives the command and the direction, because as a rower you act backside to the travel-direction. With concentration, the first moves are easy to make, even without much force you slide on quickly. However, strength and concentration also quickly diminished and I notice how the left rudder blade splashes and slows down more than the other. It seems a bit like playing the piano (with an untrained left hand), because the left hand timing respectively the constant required 90 degrees rotation between water and air level is a mater of routine and coordination . But no matter what happens, our coach is incredibly motivating and simply wants us late rookies (= seniors) to have fun rowing.
Incidentally, we learn that even such a training boat may easily cost EURO 5,000 to 8,000. Not to mention the competition boats made of carbon. These are usually stored at the top of the hangar and can cost up to EUR 90,000. Without sponsors no club or individual athlete is able to finance this kind of sport. The membership fee of such an elegant and traditional club even having various pretty indoor training facility is just around EURO 700.- a year (for active sportsmen) and very affordable. Because: where can you find such an expensive training equipment and a certain number of lessons included all year round.
There is still a lot to tell, Lasse and his colleagues are on site almost every evening and are available for information.
And then there was the HYDRO FOIL BOARD, a kind of electric skate board that allows you to ride/ fly over the water at a suitable speed like balancing on a stick. However, this requires a few hours of practice. Therefore I preferred to postpone this action till next year … yeah !