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The Wellerbrücke in the Ozone.

I should first say that while I have a lot of love for the Ozone, it is not the best choice for this style of water and I can only recommend using a bigger kayak such as the Ripper, Machno, or 9R II on this style of river.

The Wellerbrücke is fast, steep, and chock-full of places you don’t want to end up. If I’m honest, there’s not very much to taking the Ozone down the Wellerbrücke that makes sense!

Ultimately it was a culmination of all of the time spent on this river, wanting to get out of my comfort zone on it again, and to finally hit some of the tricks that I haven’t quite been able to pull around in the bigger kayaks I normally use.

The first few rapids have some holes on them and I had to make sure I landed my tricks cleanly to keep my speed and stay out of trouble.

A few times, tricks worked straight away.

Other times, it took a few attempts…

A few times, I just focused on getting down upright.

The river picks up pace the entire way down, and the entry rapid to the Wellerbridge marked the rowdiest rapid to run in the Ozone. I had to work hard to hit the line on this one and I was stoked to hit the final move and be in the eddy.

I had seen this rock a few times on previous laps and I thought it would be a great place for a Tomahwak; like a cobra flip, but sideways and using the rock. The water dropped and revealed a rock in the landing, though fortunately, it looked like I would have enough speed to clear it… possibly, maybe, sort of.

I wussed out of the trick twice for fear of landing upside down on the rock, breaking something, and far worse not being able to kayak for a few weeks.

I knew it would be a tight landing, but I felt like I could do it. I switched the annoying part of the brain that is full of “what ifs” and hesitations and sent it.

Happily, it worked perfectly, I landed the trick, and only just tapped the rock with the tail of my kayak.

The bridge rapid went surprisingly well, and I dropped into the race course. My goal here was to go top to bottom as clean as possible and then freewheel into Champions Killer.

That worked great the first time, the second time I did it I got stuck in Champions Killer, but threw some cartwheels and surfed, the third time, let’s just say it had been a long day…

You know that quote from the climber about why he wanted to climb the mountain and he said, “…because it’s there”? Same deal here. The Wellerbrücke is just down the road, and I have an Ozone. With that being said, I am back in my Large Ripper and saving my Ozone for chiller sections of river in the sun.

Catch you on the water,

Photos by Mathias Pfutzner