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Playspot: Czech Republic, Mze River, Kalikovak.
What's it like
Playspot Kalikovak is a small artificial hole created on a "Kalikovský mlýn" mill race. The obstacle consists of two wooden plates raised and lowered by car winches that allow the spot to be adjusted to different water levels. The level in the river varies through the seasons, highest in the spring (up to 20 cumecs) and lowest in the summer (4 cumecs), however the mill race has fairly constant flow about 4 cumecs. Most of the time, the feature is a nice hole 3,5 meters wide with eddies on both sides. It can also be fine tuned to a wave/hole or a nasty sticky hole just the way you like it.
The feature is deep enough and allows you to do loops, tricky woos, McNastys, etc. without hitting the bottom. The bed is even padded with a piece of artificial slope, which makes it super safe for carbon boats.
Spot was tested and approved by SAGO and CNAWR members, just ask them.
When it works
The spot is ran by local canoeing club Vodaci TJ Union (www.vodacitjunion.cz) who built the playspot in 2009 with financial help of town Pilsen.
The elevated obstacle is slightly decreasing the power output of the mill, therefore it is lowered after every session. In other words: The spot is not running continuously and has opening hours!!! For detailed schedule visit our page (only in czech, sorry) or you can request a session by email. For details see contacts below. Please always check with us beforehand to make sure its up and running, the opening hours may change according to the demand. Generally it's open every weekday afternoon (17:00) plus most of the weekends. Wednesdays are reserved for kids and slalom other times it's freestyle time.
How to get there
The Playspot Kalikovak is located in Pilsen, town in western part of the Czech Republic. The easiest way to get there is by highway E50/D5 that goes from Germain/Czech border Waidhaus/Rozvadov to the Czech capital Prague. Pilsen is located about 80 km from Prague or 75 km from the border. If you go from Prague, take exit no. 67 to road no. 26 in direction to "Plzen". Follow this road through town to its centre where you have to take right turn to "Kalikova" street - see map for details. When going from the border, exit the highway E50/D5 at exit no. 89 to road no. 26 n direction to "Plzen - Nova Hospoda". Follow this road through town to its centre where you have to take left turn to "Kalikova" street - see map for details.
Parking: there is big parking lot with white bumpers behind a big building of Kalikovsky Mill. Please leave your car there. The playspot is only 150 meters far from the parking lot. You can carry your boat from there following a path along the mill race.
As said above the structure was built by our canoeing club with the financial help from the town and individual donations from the paddling community.
The ground is property of the mill owner, who is very supportive in our effort, actually its his kilowatts we are spending for our fun. Therefore it is crucial to keep our good relations with everyone involved. Use your common sense, you are in the middle of a town. We are in the process of getting permission to camp on the other side of the river, until than use only official camps or accommodations in the town. Also there probably will be a portable toilet at the spot, in the meantime use nearby restaurants. Locals are usually friendly and are used to seeing boats and people hanging around the playspot. Usually only younger folks can speak english.
There are two places to eat close to the spot - a restaurant "Kalikovský mlýn" and a pub "Na Potravinách". The restaurant is located in the Mill and you can get there a very nice food for reasonable prices. The pub is on the other side of the road and offers great beer, some food and you will find the local paddlers there (especially in the evening).
The Mill also offers some leisure activities such as bowling or squash courts. There is a shopping mall about 300 meters far providing shops, cafes, food court and cinema. You can also go sightseeing Pilsen, it´s town centre is just 10 minutes walk from the spot. Tourist information centre is located on the main square which you can find easily by following the direction of the highest church tower.
The spot will be officially opened on May 1st 2010
from the agenda:
11:00 Official ceremony
11:30 Kayak exhibition
13:00 open freestyle competition - qualifications
evening massive party at "Na Potravinách"
live music etc.
10:00 - 15:00 Semi and final rides
www.vodacitjunion.cz - left column section "Nejbližší akce" shows current events, look for "playspot"
Facebook TJ Union - our clubs FB page, just write on our wall
It's not a direct link. Switch to english (flag in upper row) and choose from the drop down menu: measurement station: River: Mže, Station: LG odtok VD Hracholusky. There is a dam "Hracholusky" upstream so the flow is pretty steady, anything between 5 and 13 cumecs is good.
More photos (mostly from construction)
Youtube the construction and some first rides (playlist)
MOAB TV invitation to the opening
Nearest weather station (°C):