The world lost lost two good men last week and I lost a good friend. North Kiteboarding International Marketing Manager Nils Hornischer and his friend Markus Steininger became the victims of a fatal SUP accident on a river near Munich last thursday evening. It is a tragedy that words can not even begin to describe.
Nils was a driving force behind NKB and I had the privilege of working together with him over the past 4 years on everything from company photo shoots to discussing crazy marketing ideas late at night after too many beers. Nils was a passionate character who lived his life to the max every day and always inspired those around him. As Nils always said "Rock & Roll!" We will miss you so much and we will never forget your smile.
My sincerest condolences to Nils' and Markus' families and friends. I am feeling with you all.
I am shocked by this news as well...knowing Nils through work.
My condolences to his family and friends. RIP
I am wondering, how this could happen with a SUP? Hitting rocks with the head?
Toby wrote:I am wondering, how this could happen with a SUP? Hitting rocks with the head?
stuck in one of those man made hydraulics in a river that had a high level, it's the same thing that takes kayakers all the time. some speculate their leashes helped trap steininger & hornischer somehow but any way you look at it, there is considerable danger sup-ing like a white water kayaker
Sincere regrets to the families and many friends of these men. I understand Nils Hornischer was responsible for pioneering SUP or Standup Paddleboarding in Europe.
I spend little time in inland waters, have seen low head dams before but had no real idea what they consisted of or the hazards they pose. Some of the hydraulics look fairly low and weak when in fact they can be overwhelmingly powerful if you get caught in them. Kayakers have been dealing with these common features for sometime with quite a few accidents. They have been nicknamed "drowning machines." Both were strong and well experienced watermen wearing pfds, helmets and board leashes. They may have initially been overwhelmed by strong flood water currents that took them to the dam. It is uncertain but the use of board leashes may have factored in these tragic losses.
As a long time kayaker, I am familiar with the subtle hazards of low-head dams and other types of river hydraulics. Once trapped in the recycling backwash of a hydraulic, a river-runner has a few options for escape. First, a person might try to work their way to the side of the hydraulic, where the hole is less sticky. A second option is to dive deep and hope to catch "green water", flowing in a down-stream direction, as shown in Ricki's picture. The third option, which the SUP and its leash could actually facilitate...would involve pushing the the board downstream, over the "hump" of water, where the board could dig into the down-stream-flowing water, and thereby act as a winch, and might pull the victim downstream, out of the recycling hydraulic. The longer the leash, the better.
The "window-shading" effect on a trapped victim is a powerful and disorienting and surprising nightmare... and quickly drains the victim's strength.
Hopefully, this tragedy will serve to educate others, who will be temped to push the limits on the use of the very popular SUP boards.