Category: X-Fest

Cellier Kruger

Posted by admin - May 20, 2014 - Adventure, Events, Kayaking, Our Community, Rafting Blyde River, Rafting Sabie, Uncategorized, X-Fest
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In 2002, Celliers Kruger took a step in whitewater never before dared. It wasn’t some unexplored canyon deep in wild country, although he’s done plenty of that, too. The first to write a guidebook for Southern Africa, Celliers’ real plunge into the unknown was starting a kayak company in distant, troubled South Africa. Now in its twelfth year of production, Kruger’s Fluid Kayaks is established as a major player within the industry. It is hardly shocking that Kruger pulled this off. As a paddler, an outsider, an intellectual, and a visionary, Celliers Kruger is a man who picks his own line.

Celliers Kruger PhotoThe newcomer did not instill confidence. His paddle was made of aluminum. His helmet was a thin shell of plastic, suitable for a manmade slalom course, hardly adequate for the reputable Deepdale Gorge below him. He wore a bulky old-school pfd, and his kayak was a low volume boat made for playing polo in the swimming pool. If the other paddlers’ thoughts could have materialized in cartoon bubbles above their heads, they’d have all read one thing: “Who invited this guy?”

To everyone’s relief, the guy with the sketchy gear actually knew how to paddle. He spun into eddies and surfed across waves, balanced, erect, and confident. By the end of the day he was leading the bigger drops, posting up as the safety boat from eddies below. At the take-out, trip leader Robble Herreveld offered the newcomer a sponsorship from Eskimo Kayaks. Celliers kruger would no longer be paddling a polo boat.

No one would have imagined, standing there in 1996 on the banks of South Africa’s Umkomaas River, that this outsider would soon develop his own kayak brand, but Celliers kruger was fated to flower in precisely that manner. He grew up in the garage. His dad, Sarel, was a millwright-a sort of artist/mechanic/electrician whose interests were so hard-wired that his off time was happily spent tinkering at home with his son, who inherited his inventive gene. When Celliers wasn’t making things or playing his dad in a game of chess, he was wandering the bucolic countryside around Meyerton, South Africa or floating the nearby klip River in a fiberglass fishing canoe. He went on these class ll forays by himself, at age ten, having earned his parents’ trust with good grades and uncommonly sensible judgment. In addition to his romps outside, he spent hours at the library, where his mother, Gerda, worked as librarian. Her son shared her inclination to the written word, tearing through the book stacks voraciously.

With such an intellectual base, it might seem unnatural that the Kruger family would become wrapped up in a prophecy-driven fringe religion, but that is exactly what steered young Celliers Kruger’s life. Sarel and Gerda joined the Latter Rain Mission-a branch of the Pentecostal religious family- when Celliers was a toddler. Included in his early perceptions of the world were ideas such as coffee is bad simply because the holy spirit doesn’t like its rich odor. At church, which Celliers attended with is parents at least twice a week, followers spoke in tongues, spewing jibberish as they become vehicles of the Latter Rain spirits.

As he developed into his teens, it was all too much for Celliers to swallow. “I read too many things that made me think, ‘his just isn’t right.” “At sixteen, he dropped out of a school that, he recalls, “frustrated and bored me.” He traveled to neighboring Namibia on walkabout, getting by with his craftsmanship, building tables and custom racks and even a complete home exercise gym which brought in more money than most teenagers ever see. While away, he entered a major chess tournament, and won the high school division. The crown was nearly taken away when organizers learned that Celliers wasn’t actually attending school.

He finally did return for his senior year, however, and was allowed to re-enroll only after meeting with the headmaster and agreeing to cut his hair, which had grown to rebellious shoulder-length during his travels. Not everyone would have been accommodated so readily, but Celliers was an A-student and a track star. He broke 50 seconds in the 400-meters, and threatened 11 seconds in the 100-meters. An academic scholarship paved the way to Potchefstroom University, an engineering program that funneled scholarship students like Celliers straight to the campus of Iscor Steel Company upon graduation.

At nineteen, Celliers found himself riding a powerful current leading straight into the gorge of real jobs, but a diversion caught his eye. He saw a fellow student carrying a whitewater kayak across campus, and went over to say hello. His new friend was named Riaan Steyn, and the two began learning whitewater from that day forward. They tested the currents with complete innocence, without any preconceptions or instructions to cloud their cause and effect experiments with boats and water.

There was plenty going on in South Africa paddling during the early ‘90s, but Celliers and Riaan remained isolated from all of it. “We were sort of on our own little planet,” explains Celliers. They started a kayak polo club at school. They entered canoe marathons, a popular pastime in South Africa, racing downstream for three to four days on class ll rivers. As their brace techniques improved, they began to attempt class lll and even class lV water, in their polo boats, before either of them could roll. It wasn’t pretty. Celliers estimated pinning “at least 10 times’” the worst being a several-minute entrapment with his head just above the water. Somewhere along the way, a friend who had learned how to roll from a travelling Canadian passed the technique along. Suddenly, Celiers felt nothing could stop him. By the time he joined Robie Herreveld’s group for the Deepdale Gorge, he had plenty of experience, and he was a damn decent paddler.

Induna X-fest 2013 – Race Report

Posted by admin - March 25, 2013 - Adventure, Events, Our Community, Team Induna, Uncategorized, X-Fest
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Mix the most fun people to be with, together with an overdose of adrenaline and you get, not just the most exciting Induna kayaking X-fest, but also a unforgettable fun time between friends of all sorts! The competitors where hot and on fire and it was a fight right till the end.

There were 3 rapids that the pro kayakers raced to determine the winners. And please do not compare these rapids to those of the Dosi. Dosi = ALL. These 3 rapids all had a PG 18 and the last rapid “Siphon falls” a SNVL.

The first rapid of the day was Jeff’s Rapid. The name originated  from the last hole in the rapid that took a guy named Jeff to the cleaners, stuffed him in a washing machine for a minute and hanged him up to dry, without his kayak.

The second rapid is called Lock stock and 2 smoking barrels and it’s true. It’s a gunfight from top to bottom and you’re not always sure if things will work out according to plan.  It is a narrow rapid with rocks always lipping on your elbows and churning water that violently crave on any mistakes you make. Some kayakers came out second best and had to abandon ship as life under water did not fit into their future plans. When your mother says “Johny please put on your helmet” it’s always an act of good measure…But here it is as essential as breathing in and breathing out, as the water drag you along the rocks. When the word “fun” was invented, they  didn’t have in mind the face expressions and feelings that pop out of your body when you run these rapids in a kayak. They had to invent new words like “awesome” and “epic” and I am in no doubt that the next word that explains the pinnacle of extreme fun will come out a kayaker…

To add spice to the event we also had a Dual race down Lock Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels. The loser got  a 10 second penalty, so it was crucial to outwit your competitor to avoid being dropped of the podium. This was super exciting for all spectators as they experienced the tenseness as the kayakers exchanged the lead down this rapid, just because of a split second mistake or drop of concentration.

The leader board before the last rapid was tight with Shane Raw from Swaziland, paddling his new Fluid Bazooka, edging in front. 3rd And second was a tie between Dewet Michan and Daniel Barnard, while the rest of the competitors clung on with their nails to the podium.  The ladies Pro race had two competitors with Tammy Muir taking the lead over Samantha Dold. After a cohesive discussion about running the last rapid “Siphon falls” as part of the ladies Pro kayak race, we decided anonymously that the current situation was what we were to settle for and that there was no reason for unnecessary risks.  For the men, the Grand Finale was upon us…

The last rapid is where the mice are being left on earth and the men rocket launch to space! Siphon waterfall is only a 3 meter high waterfall but the aura around it is tangible and it makes you think twice, while you measure your skill level with the task at hand. The highlight to me was when a couple of kayakers had opt for the fast train home,but  the 2 ladies in the Pro Kayakers event both decided to paddle down Siphon Falls. So the writing was on the wall for those opt-out kayakers, and the only way that they could regain courage was to ignore their feelings and prove to themselves that if you put your will to something, all is possible. The drop above Siphon falls had enough water to run it, so this means that your approach would never be easy. Precision timing of your paddle strokes, and the positioning of your body weight, were of the utmost importance to try and utilise the water currents together with the edge/shape of your kayak, to successfully drop down and exit this waterfall. Do not forget that this was all part of a race to get from point A to B in the quickest time, and calculations on the next move had to be made in split seconds. Every racer was welcomed as a hero as they successfully or even not so successfully complete their run down Siphon Falls. The camaraderie between fellow paddlers is definitely something the world needs to learn from kayakers! To help someone along the way and to cheer someone on to success, is a trademark and character in each and every kayaker as they stand by each other till the end.  The leader board changed substantially, with Shane Raw keeping his lead comfortably! But Shaun Huddle knocked over De Wet Michan from the number 2 spot and Jay Hyde clawed his way to the 3rd position overall.

The beginners and intermediates also had their battle on a different stretch of river with way less risks and obstacles, but the fun factor and competitiveness was still way up there in the red zone.

Their races were decided over 2 rapids, “Long drop” and “Lions Rock.” From these 2 races, we determined a leader board which dual eliminated each other down “Lions rock” to determine the overall honours. Lions rock is a long continuous rapid with lots of waves and holes and diagonals to off coarse any brave soul that tempt it. The dual eliminator caused all sorts of upsets as each one had more than just the river to conquer. Life is always a bit more interesting if you throw a couple of human beings in a hot pressure cooker. In the end the men were defeated by Dewiko Loots, the ladies were won by Annallena May settled on and the 2-man-raft race by a German pair, Markus & Mona.

The Pro’s also had their fun at “Lions rock” as 6 kayakers had to race together while trying to gather their quota of markers before dashing to the finish line, to qualify for the finals. This proofed to be hilarious for any onlooker as they cat-fought each other with any method possible. The final consisted of a 4 man dash with no paddles to steer them but only their hands. This crazyness and entertaining competition was one by Daniel Barnard.

They say when you experience an adventure with someone it deepens your relationship. Your senses are in all alerts, and thus you are soaking in all that is around you, especially the people that walks/paddles along you on this quest of adventure and adrenaline. So ahoy friends, we hope to see you all again at the Induna X-fest 2014.

Pro Race

Place

Race No

Name

Surname

Total time

1 14 Shane Raw 00:02:33
2 16 Shaun Huddle 00:03:09
3 3 Jay Hyde 00:03:17
4 8 Daniel Barard 00:03:21
5 13 Dewet Michan 00:03:21
6 6 Kestell Barnard 00:03:32
7 15 Deon Bregtenbach 00:03:46
8 10 Luke Longridge 00:04:42

 

 

 

 

 

Intermediate Race

Male
Position Race No Name Surname

1

8

Dewiko Loots

2

7

Wikus Loots
Female
Position Race No Name Surname

1

1

Maritza De Kock

2

4

Annallena May

3

3

Geraldine Tintinger
 Crocs
Position Race No Name

1

5

Markus & Mona

2

9

Anna & Maimie

3

10

Retha & Gregory

 

Fluid Kayaks

Posted by admin - March 15, 2013 - Events, Uncategorized, X-Fest
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Fluid kayaks are planting back to the kayaking community by sponsoring the Induna X-fest 2013. Have a look at their wide range of recreational en White Water kayaks.

http://www.fluidkayaks.com/

Induna X-fest 16 March 2013

Posted by admin - March 12, 2013 - Events, Uncategorized, X-Fest
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Ok, I have just arrived from an amazing honeymoon!!

I went down to river to find it PERFECT for the Induna kayaking X-fest 16 March 2013; this coming weekend.

Have a look at the pics.

Lock stock and 2 smoking barrels might get out the whip but there will be no serious lashes coming from it!

Siphon falls will be run able without a seal launch, and what happens after that will be to the amusement of the crowd…


Bring your mates along cause it’s all spectator friendly!!!

This will be the last X-fest for 2013, so let’s make it a big one!

You’ll find all the info on http://indunaadventures.com/xfest/

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