Discovering Adidas Sickline

Discovering Adidas Sickline

This year I committed to my first Adidas Sickline. Since I was 16 years old I’ve always wanted to compete in this extreme race. Sickline brought me somewhat into kayaking to be honest. 10 years ago my dad saw a documentary on TV about Sickline. He decided from that moment he wanted to start kayaking. I followed him in his quest and since then I dedicated myself to kayaking. This year I was finally able to compete in the competition that opened the door to kayaking.

The last years I was mainly paddling a freestyle boat, occasionally I got into my creek boat, but definitely not as much as I was paddling my freestyle boat. The weekend before Sickline I was competing in the last euro cup event in Poland.

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Once in the Oetz Valley it was clear that kayaking is very popular in this region. We saw boaters everywhere. I couldn’t wait to see the sickline course so I drove straight to it. Once I saw the course I was super excited to grab my boat and start paddling. Anyway I decided to chill out for a bit, it was a long night of driving and I needed some rest.

The next day I had my first ‘Sickline’ experience. It was awesome! I had a really good feeling. The new Zen felt fast and smooth. Paddling the course went smooth, not perfect and there was definitely room for improvement but all right for a first try.

Then the hard work begins! After every lap you have to hike back up to paddle the course again. Needless to say I couldn’t feel my legs at the end of the day. It didn’t take long to fall asleep in the evening, that’s for sure.

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The next day we decided to paddle the upper part of the racecourse. This saved us a 15min hike up and is a really nice stretch of whitewater. A little more continuous stretch of whitewater than the sickline course. It has some nice little technical boofs and some sweet kickers. We continued our way down to the sickline course where we did a couple more laps. After a while the lines started to feel really good and smooth. It was time to make them fast!

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Day 3, the bad day. When we were paddling the upper part I went a little of my line resulting in a not so pleasant rock cuddle which resulted in a dislocated collarbone. With a stiff shoulder I continued down the way, feeling there was something wrong. We went straight to the hospital to check it out. Result… 3-4 weeks of rest. This meant an early end to Sickline for me… But now I know the lines, I’m really excited for next year and I will be back!

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Not only the kayaking is a lot of fun, but the paddling community is awesome too! This year I had to miss out the worlds in Canada due to exams. I didn’t see a lot of international friends for a long time. It was off course awesome to meet them all at Sickline. I couldn’t compete but that made me even cheer harder for all my friends in this amazing competition.

After all I had an awesome week and I’ll be back!

Lane De Meulenaere

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