Jump from the Stone Bridge in Regensburg

Jump from the Stone Bridge in Regensburg

As if they weren't already wet enough, the group of canoeists from the Danube, who we could watch docking directly at Regensburg's most famous sausage stand.

After what was certainly a wonderful journey on the Danube, there was a courageous jump from the Stone Bridge at the end, which immediately attracted countless spectators.

Jumps from the Stone Bridge to finish

regensburg sprung 01When we asked why, there was only a brief shrug of the shoulders and the jumper disappeared into the waves of the Danube. We were also interested in the extremely manoeuvrable-looking canoe, which seemed to be a mixture of a Canadian canoe and a kayak, rather a bit atypical than at first glance we could assign it to a canoe class. If we want to take a few tours on the rivers and lakes along our tour in the future, this type of boat proved to be easy to handle and light in weight, which is of great relevance in terms of transport.

regensburg sprung 02In contrast to rowing boats, in which you sit with your back to the direction of travel, looking in the direction of travel is extremely important to us because we want to use our tours to take photos. So it should be a canoe, which is probably the generic term for boats for paddling, which also included kayaks and canoes that are moved in the direction of view. What initially seemed less important to us was whether it should be a classic kayak, which traditionally has a closed deck, or an open Canadian kayak. Today there is hardly any real classification into just one class and since we were thinking more about tours than white water trips with Eskimo rolls included, the sporting aspects of the respective classes were rather irrelevant for us.

regensburg sprung donauBasically, it also means that the Canadians are always driven on their knees, a seating position that wasn't really our goal, at least in the long term. An “open kayak” would probably be the target boat for our tours, often described in the trade as a touring canoe. Despite the rather confusing name, these boats can be paddled while sitting, although the kneeling position promises better boat control, better power transfer and more freedom of movement. Experienced paddlers therefore prefer the kneeling position, crouching on the front edge of the seat and pushing their feet under the seat. But this also takes some getting used to. Some boat manufacturers accommodate this by using seats that are lowered at the leading edge, making the kneeling position easier.

regensburg sprung 03It is still unclear where exactly these types of boats come from. Based on previous finds, the origin of the canoe has been dated to around 4,000 BC, of which there are some finds, including the find of a canoe from the Euphrates. The Inuit later developed this type of boat further and the Indians of North America also contributed to the development with their bark boats. In terms of their technology, these boats are still considered to be the forerunners of modern kayaks, canoes and the so-called folding boats. A frame was developed that was covered on the outside with fur or animal skin. Bones, birch bark and wood were also used for construction.

Technically, closed kayaks are now classified as belonging to the Inuit, while the Canadians are assigned to the Indians of North America. Outrigger canoes, the so-called waka's and pirogues, were developed by the people of the South Seas; dragon boats were developed in Asia.

regensburg sprung 04But now back to the bridge jumpers, who had now all left their canoes below the Stone Bridge and had gathered there to jump from the railing of the Stone Bridge. In addition to the wetsuit, everyone wore protective helmets, which indicated the rather sporty way they handled their boats. All jumpers also had life jackets, so we felt that they were at least a professional, well-equipped group that thought about safety aspects and would treat jumping in a similar way. And so each jumper waited for the leader to reappear before diving into the water.

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Life | Outdoors