Okay, let’s go wakesurfing, no case! Let’s go!” (German: Okay, let’s go wakesurfing, no big deal), says surfer Oliver Lawson in a video he’s uploading to his Facebook page these days. Then the well-known Swiss wakeboarder gets up from the boat’s steering wheel – his mobile phone and selfie stick are cool in his hand – and grabs his board. This lets Lawson glide casually into Lake Walen, as “Südostschweiz” found out on Tuesday. Then he stands on the board, balances and rides on the waves. He smiles all the time into the camera, while the fun watersports boats is jetting over the water without a helmsman.
The video went viral in a very short time: it was clicked over 19’000 times and already commented 8000 times. Opinions are divided. It says: “This is incredible” or “is this boat steered by a ghost hand? But the authenticity of the video is also doubted: “Can anyone tell me where the cameraman is? And certain people of yours still believe that,” it says in a commentary.
One user even senses danger: “What do imitators do if the boat accidentally leaves alone?” And twice after: “In an outdoor pool? In a crowd of people? To a family or children? Have fun when it is said that he copied it from you. That’s dangerous.”
This is also the opinion of the cantonal police in St. Gallen. The video was played to them by a concerned citizen. “Police investigations have been going on for a week”, confirms spokesman Gian Andrea Rezzoli. As these investigations have not yet been concluded, he is not yet in a position to make any statements on legal consequences.
However, as soon as the facts of the case have been assessed, he will go over to the public prosecutor’s office. The shipping office would also be informed. There it is to be decided then whether Lawson may keep his boat ticket or not. Similar cases are not known to him, Rezzoli said. “But it is generally forbidden to leave the wheel – no matter if you are driving a car or a boat.
“In principle, the same provisions of the Inland Navigation Act and the Inland Navigation Ordinance apply to skippers, ships and equipment when wakesurfing as apply to all other recreational craft or pleasure craft and their skippers,” says the St. Gallen Road Traffic and Shipping Office on request of 20 minutes. According to Kurt Reich, head of the Schifffahrtsamt, special regulations on wakeboarding can only be found in Article 54 of the Inland Navigation Ordinance. Oliver Lawson was not reachable for 20 minutes.
Surfing in Germany? New “Spot” in Havelland
Where can I surf in Germany? It is not kitesurfing, not wakeboarding, but surfing. Only the wave, the surfboard and you. The question comes up at the latest when you come home from the European surf Meccas Portugal, Spain or France and have used the perfect conditions for a ride on the wave. Because then you are stoked (fired up) and want more. And not only one year later in the next vacation.
So once again the question: Can you surf in Germany and if so where? There are surfable waves on Sylt, Borkum and Norderney. But you can’t rely on that. Variant 2 are the so-called standing waves. There is a natural one at the Munich Eisbach, an artificial one can be found since autumn 2010 in Bispingen, Lüneburger Heide.
One boat – 2 waves for surfing
From now on – and this is a world novelty for surfers – you can surf in Havelland (here the last video about “Surfing with the 2Wave Surfboat”). Behind a boat, either starboard or port. Or you use both waves equally and surf from one to the other. “The idea of synchronous surfing is particularly appealing,” says the two-time Berlin-Brandenburg wakeboarding champion Frank Sorge with a wink.
The almost 6.50 meter long, covered motorboat was built in the Kiebitzberg® shipyard. After many cancellations and setbacks at other shipyards, Frank Sorge and Andreas Lewerken, founders and managing directors of the Havelberg family business, were immediately on the same wavelength and implemented the project together from start to finish. “The question of whether we could build a boat that would generate two waves for surfing was more than unusual. In professional shipbuilding, the requirements are usually quite different.
One of them is to create as few waves as possible during the voyage. The quieter the boat is on the water, the better. This different view and idea of the perfect boat immediately inspired me”, Lewerken likes to think back to the beginnings. No wonder, because for him unusual projects belong to Kiebitzberg® like the Dom zu Havelberg. His success has proven him right for 27 years and the experienced entrepreneur was also right when it came to surf boats.