Playspot: Germany, Niedersachsen, Hannover Area, Hildesheim.
What's it like
Northern Germany's Eiskanal is situated in Hildesheim near Hannover. It is an artificial whitewater course originally constructed for slalom competitions and safety trainings for kayak novices. Nowadays it is often used for playboating and it has good possibilities for newschool moves. The course offers a lot of play potential for the intermediate playboater.
The length of the course is about 250 meters, with a total height difference of about 4 meters.
It can be divided into 5 main play sections:
- Entry stopper: depending on the water level this is either a pourover (low levels) or a nice but flat surfing wave (full on).
- Play stopper: a nice little stopper good for short boats to spin and low-angle wheels.
- Cartwheel hole: very retentive and powerfull (when the water is full on). Beware of the leftside wall when wheeling. You may crash onto the bottom there. Just behind the hole, on the right side, there is a wooden restriction good for splats.
- Bottom hole: just a retentive hole to ride and try to wash out. Nice eddylines.
- Surfing wave: probably the best part of the course, even when there is only little water on the river. At medium to higher water levels this is a steep fast wave ideal for spins and milesurfing. At low water levels it forms a little stopper to play in.
Best times are winter and spring, when you have enough water without needing a key for the sluice. All year if you've got the key. .. yes, if you hire the course for a group (25DM per person, minimum 200DM for 2 days) you get the key which allows you to change the height of the upstream electric weir and thus change the water level. Full on there are big stoppers, midlevel is for slalom and low level is for beginners. The last surfwave works always because it is after the course in the original riverbed. Problem is to get a date to rent the course because there are many groups who paddle there at weekends. Usually the course is booked out for the summer season. But it is no problem to paddle there when one doesn´t disturb the other groups. Avoid slalom competition though (they are annonced in the DKV-Sportprogramm or the DKV website.
How to get there
On the autobahn Hannover-Kassel A7, take the exit Hildesheim or Hildesheim-Drispenstedt. Go to the center of Hildesheim and drive to the "Bischofsmühle". That's the name of the weir where the whitewater course is located. Parking is allowed for 2 hours free, sundays all day long. Next to the playspot is a restaurant, don't get in there in wearing your wet gear.
Mr Seifert, the official of the course: +49 5121 877173
Visitors of the restaurant and other pedestrians. It is an urban playspot in the center of town, during the week expect training of school classes and slalom paddlers.
The course would be ideal for a rodeo but noone has made efforts to run a serious rodeo here yet.
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