Friday, October 3, 2014

Hydro Park Sofia Bulgaria

I visited last time in Hydro Park cable Sofia 2013 summer. Pity I didn't find time earlier this summer to go there again.
They had changed a set of obstacles, some new kickers etc... and I really liked!!
Cable is really old built up 1985!! It's old fashion with manual loading and unloading ropes, 4 pylons and long distances between pylons. Cable is built up time when water skiing was the main thing.
So it doesn't sound so good, but they have made quite nice set of obstacles from starting dock to the first corner and it works perfectly!!
Then first and second pylon are really low, but 3rd pylon and motor tower are okay to make all air tricks, it more depends on your own skills. If you start air tricks before 3rd pylon, there is lot of space to make 4 air tricks (inside and outside) and still easy to get first kickers.

I think this kind of cable, what is almost 30 years old and still running perfectly is the best advertisement to cable manufacturer Rixen!
I think Rixen should organize their next surprise cable tour to the world oldest cables, which are still running! This kind of would be amazing for these cables and could put them to invest something in future. Of course local new generation of wakeboarders would see something special and kick their asses to continue this great life style sport.
The first left kicker is out from picture, but there are altogether 3 kickers, small wall ride, funbox and dragon slider. Quite nice set before first corner.

Hydro Park has some specialties e.g. two times 1 hour breaks during day!!
In Weekend breaks are 14:00-15:00 and 17:00-18:00.

Prices for riding are nice: 2 hours = 12€ and the whole day ticket about 24€. I visited in September and there wasn't any kind of queue! Maybe during summer weekends there are more people. I met local riders and they are so nice and friendly.
They have good restaurant with cheap prices and even some bungalows just beside of the lake about 20€/night. Bungalows are not probably deluxe... but near. It's possible to find really good accommodation from center of Sofia by 30-50€/night (e.g. Arte-hotel was just great).

Hydro-Park is quite near of airport, but not well known place, so maybe these maps help to find it.
Taxi driver told, he hasn't been long time in this area of the city and normal customers from airport are not going to there.)) I'm not normal, but there is not clear address of this place.
Lake is middle of Kazichane village just beside of Sofia ring road and railway. Kazichane is some kind of gypsy area and this was the magic word for taxi driver to find the place. Taxi costs from airport about 7€.

Thanks for company of my workmates Ilkka Marin and Juha Niemi. Juha shot quite okay after 1 minute quick course in photographing!))

Some information maybe possible to find from their Facebook group page:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Belgrade Aquaski Ada Cable park

I'm visiting very often in Serbia, but now first time I was also wakeboarding there. I knew they have cable park in Belgrade and now I also visited there.
Cable is quite near of airport and it's easy to get there by car. I didn't check any other possibilities, but I think it's possible to reach cable park also by bus from center of the city... but car rental is not very expensive in Serbia.
Aquaski Ada Ciganlija cable park is situated to lake Ada, what is long and thin lake... more like a river. Place is nice with many beach restaurants, cafes and clubs along the beach boulevard. I was visiting there end of the summer and it wasn't so hot anymore, but mostly weather is hot during summer.
Only kicker which was in order! Opposite side of the lake is nudist beach, unfortunately it was too cold and it was empty.))
Cable is built 2002 and mechanically little bit old fashion, loading and unloading ropes happen manually, there are 5 pylons, which are not the highest in the market. Anyway cable works normally and there is lot of space to make air tricks. Yes! Lot of space to make air tricks, because there is minimum amount obstacles.
Normally there are right and left kickers (without radius) and 2 sliders. When I was there, right kicker and one slider were out of order. So there were left kicker and then about 5 meters long flat-bar!! )))
Anyway it was really fun to ride. This park could be perfect, if they would invest to some obstacles.
Anyway there was this one slider!

Nudist beach just background! Well totally empty))). So not necessary to fall down and walk back to starting dock via that beach!
Walking back to the starting dock is easy by concrete path.
Local riders are riding by hard boards and mostly with fins and of course some guys are quite good in air tricks. Their pro-rider (really nice young man) Filip Velickovic was doing easily KGB's, bs313, back mobes, front to blind etc... They just told, when they go to the other parks, big obstacles are strange for them.))

When I arrived, I thought these are boards which are in the queue!))
I visited there in the beginning of September and there were not many riders. So no queue!!
When I arrived, I was scared for boards, which were near of starting dock, in many places this is the queue!! In Aquaski they are just storing customer's boards like that.))

Facilities are in order around the park. Free parking places, small locker rooms, toilets, showers etc... Food in the restaurant is amazing good like everywhere in Serbia! Same with people, very friendly and hospitable!!
View from upper terrace is nice! In the picture you can see also the right kicker, which was pulled away and facing to wrong direction.
Weekend prices:
1€ = 118 Dinars (29.9.2014)
How to find there?

More information you can find also from their web page:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tesla Test Drive

Do you know what is Tesla?
I knew, this kind of car exists, but I hadn't seen, touch, hear or smell it…
…actually you can’t hear motor or smell exhaust, this car presents only whisper of the wind or smell of leather interior... some cases smell of burning tires.))
Tesla Model S
I have not lot of experience of different cars, but must to say this test drive was really great experience!
The price of Tesla is more than 100 000€ in Finland, so there must be some features and performance, but this car made a hit!
Firstly car looks good, just right way restrained, it doesn't look too much a sport-car.

There is space for 5 persons and lot of space under rear door and bonnet.
There is no engine in front and no fuel tank rear limiting space.
How to start?
Stylish remote control

Tesla has key-less system, so you just open locks by remote control and door handles pop up, by remote control you can also open sunroof and many other things.

When you sit in the car and remote control is in your pocket you just push brake pedal and car is on, it's amazing because you don't hear starting motor or anything, it's just simple on.
Then you choose "gear" by selector (American way) from right side of steering wheel.
Just R, N and D
Then you just push the pedal (I wouldn't call it gas pedal))) and car start to move without any delays, it follows exactly your pedal with full power without any voice from motor. This is the biggest difference compared to normal cars!
Performance of car is amazing! It accelerates 0-100km/h (0-60mph) little bit over 4 seconds and torsion is unbelievable! Traction control avoid tire burning during acceleration, it was wet asphalt when I was testing the car and I felt tires were slipping a bit during strong acceleration (before traction control avoid it). Just great way!!!
Driving itself is really comfortable and like by normal automatic transmission car; without motor voice, gear changing and delays in accelerations.
There is really big touch screen display in the middle panel, where you can control and follow everything. 

Display can be shared to different parts (graphics of your driving, maps, info of batteries etc...)
...for example cameras are excellent.
The most powerful model of Tesla Model S has 416hp (310kW), torque 600Nm and top speed 210km/h. By fully charged batteries range is about 500km, then just plugged over night and enjoying continues next day.))
Usage of car is cheap! Of course there is not fuel consumption, but also services are cheaper, there are not e.g. oil and filter changes!))) Tesla guarantee batteries with unlimited kilometers for 8 years.
In Finland government supports leased Tesla by 500€/month until 2017!!!!

Okay Tesla is a great car, but price at least in Finland is unavailable for most of us!((
So if you want to protect nature environment and reduce your carbon footprint you don't have to buy Tesla just use public transports!

Thanks for chance of test drive: Mertsi Friberg and Kiinteistömaailma Tampere and Hervanta!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Extreme festival in Saint Petersburg

Extreme festival conquered the Palace Square of SPb on Saturday 28th of June.
There were featured some extreme and street culture genres.
I focused to skateboarding, freestyle motocross, graffiti artists and break-dancers.
Maybe it was good for sponsors of happening, there were lot of people, ...but too many people (my point of view) to view well everything.....
It was quite hot and sunny day, what is nowadays very strange in SPb.)))
There were built quite a nice park for skateboarders including fun-boxes, ramps, launch-box, pyramid etc...
Some pics:
Nice stale-fish from launch ramp!
Huge backside 3 with melon grab

In Russia security and control are everywhere!)))
Can you find "skateboard happening masked" secret agents from picture? ))))
OMOH troops were presented as well.
Freestyle motocross:
They made normal back-flips etc... but this was amazing!!
Graffiti artists:
Palace Square background probably inspired artists
Break dancers:
Dancers and music were so good that I couldn't focus on photo shooting. They were amazing!!!

Friday, June 27, 2014

South Beach Wake Hämeenlinna Finland

I had a plan to travel by car from Tampere to Helsinki. Why wouldn't stop midway also to ride a bit? Board bag I have always with me!))
South Beach Wake was opened end of May 2014, so it has worked now about one month. They have Wakestation 2.0 cable and some obstacles.
Link to their page (Finnish only):
Park is beside of highway Helsinki-Tampere (100 km to north from Helsinki) and it's even possible to see from highway. Place is ideal!! So if you're moving around; stop to ride, watch, drink coffee, meet nice cable-entrepreneur or all these (like I did)!!

At the moment they have one left side kicker, slider box and pipe. All obstacles are good and working well, just nice to train basic things.
Current obstacles... (Highway Helsinki - Tampere is just behind of those trees.
Some basic slides
Normal good kicker
Cable is tight, good pop and enough space to make air-tricks even after  obstacles
 Facilities are in order:
Locker rooms, SUP boards and rental stuff
Cafe, ice-cream, soft drinks and some snacks.
Possible to pay by cash, credit cards and all kind of Finnish sport e-passes, mobile phones etc...
Here are some maps how to find the place:

Go there and keep riding!!))

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

One midsummer day in Saint Petersburg

Weekends I have had habit to sleep really long and then schlep to the cable. This Saturday I woke up already 10 am))), meaning was to check some cultural things.
Also we bought week ago a new car... it's car for Anya and she needs training to be my driver)), so meaning was also to drive around and get practice of driving.))

...Well the first lunch in Little Italy restaurant. Vera joined to our cultural program.

We started from Mihailovsky Gardens, there was exhibition of environmental arts.

Then we continued to Konyushenaya Square and Van Gogh Alive, the globally-acclaimed SENSORY4™ multimedia experience.

I needed little bit rest after heavy cultural dose and took a nap at home, then late evening I tried to get some sport culture, but my home cable Sun Park had some technical problems and didn't work. (I was quite disappointed!!) Cable works normally until 23:00, because of white nights.
Well Saturday wasn't lost yet, our friend Kirill Karnov invited us to Igora.
Igora is ski resort about 50km to north from SPb, having nowadays also reverse cable... because we needed some training in driving, we decided to go there even that it was already 23:00.
Then after arriving and sitting for a while in legendary 360 Bar, I still took my ride in the cable, even that it was already about 00:30!! During summer we have not night at all and it's possible to make whatever without artificial lights.
00:30 at night!
Driving back to city and home about 4:00am!
Cool Saturday yeah! ...on Sunday I slept again long))