Nine days with 93 exhibitors from 17 countries showed the latest trends! The world’s largest water sports fair attracted more than 250,000 visitors in hall 8a at the 51st boot Düsseldorf. “The best boot for years”, according to Florian Brunner, member of the exhibition advisory board and CEO of APM Marketing. Hall 8a was the summit of the surf sport and a particular crowd-puller thanks to the diverse range of all surf sports disciplines, numerous hands-on activities and exciting contests with international stars.
All the action and infotainment took place in Düsseldorf’s homeport of THE WAVE by citywave®, on the 65 meters long indoor flatwater pool, on the skimboard track and in intensive discussions at the exhibition stands. With an impressive total of 250,000 visitors to the world’s largest water sports exhibition, almost every second visitor headed for the surf hall 8a to find inspiration and information for the new season, many of them discovering a new sport for themselves.
The key to the success of the surf sports industry in Düsseldorf was the full range offer. The Surf Academy, organized by the Association of German Water Sports Schools (VDWS) in partnership with the Surf magazine and the boot Düsseldorf, was well received by beginners as well as those with interest in further education. The offer within the hall ranged from boards, sails and kites for all surfing disciplines to a kiteboard simulator, travel destinations, tips for beginners and many exciting hands-on and test activities.
The highlights in the lively surf hall 8a included the contests with international stars and the German board elite. The best showed their skills on the skimboard track, the flatwater pool and in the wave, while visitors could also try out their skills under the guidance of the pros. With an outside temperature of three degrees, the trade fair guests enjoyed the surf festival at boot Düsseldorf in a hall temperature of 24 degrees like a humming summer hotspot – in the middle of winter. Many leading experts agreed on the exciting observation of the windsurfing comeback.
Christian Schmitt (Fanatic Germany, Duotone) summed it up briefly: “Windsurfing is back! It was an interesting topic for many returnees at the trade fair.” Windsurfing world champion Francisco Goya confirmed this observation: “If you were only allowed to choose one trade fair in Europe, that would be boot Düsseldorf. The quantity and quality of visitors are great. They are very passionate and competent.”
A crowd-puller: THE WAVE by citywave®
One of the highlights in the surfing paradise of boot Düsseldorf was the action on THE WAVE by citywave®, where 20,000 thundering litres of water per second created the highly popular standing wave and a motivating fun factor. Over nine days, fans were even able to experience for themselves what surfing feels like. Also, the wave stars among surf and SUP riders showed what they are capable of. Among the prominent guests was Olympic candidate Leon Glatzer, who said: “I am here to support our wonderful sport, surf the waves and meet friends. Simply everyone seems to be at the boot Düsseldorf.”
Industry giants such as 42-time world champion and speed surfer Björn Dunkerbeck and Karin Jaggi, the most successful windsurfer of all time, inspired their audience. The winners of the contests on the wave celebrated their successes with the enthusiastic crowd and ensured full ranks and unforgettable memories. Simon Bitterlich (Munich) and Valeska Schneider (Munich) dominated the Wave Masters for women and men. Already on the first weekend, Petros Michelidakis, the director of boot Düsseldorf, said cheerfully at the award ceremony: “It’s like a nice party here: you’ve prepared everything, invited cool guests and then the best expectations are exceeded. We will continue to do that for many years to come.”
SUP pleasure in all variations
On the final Sunday, SUP board pleasure paddled into the spotlight: The women’s SUP Wave Masters were shaped by US star Fiona Wylde, who prevailed against German competitors Paulina Herpel (Hamburg) and Rosina Neuerer (Munich). The 22-year-old American from Hood River said: “It is incredibly impressive how much passion there is for the surf sport in this hall.” Top favourite and Waterman Zane “Zaniac” Schweitzer dominated the hotly contested field of the men’s contest.
The 15-time world champion in various surfing disciplines such as SUP, surfing, foiling, windsurfing and kitesurfing from Maui bowed to the cheering audience. It said: “It is your love for the surf sport that brings me back to Düsseldorf every year.” Second and third place was secured by the 19-year-old Danish shooting star Christian Andersen and the long-running German ace Carsten Kurmis, who gave himself the most beautiful present for his 52nd birthday on the final day of boot Düsseldorf when he secured his rank on the podium.
With around 500,000 SUP boards sold in Germany to date, the sport with which more than a million Germans have had contact already is still on the upswing. Sonni Hönscheid, daughter of surfing legend Jürgen Hönscheid, has long been an “institution” of her sport. The well-known rider and artist enriched this year’s boot Düsseldorf as coach and judge and said right after the final: “Wow! What a huge increase in performance compared to last year. I had goosebumps all the time.”
Wakeboard and skimboard action lure pros and beginners
Among the trade fair highlights for the board artists at boot, Düsseldorf was the legendary Cable Mekka Awards. Around 500 riders and proud members of the community plus many friends met in the Cinema Filmkunstkino, to which the organizers of The Cable magazine and boot Düsseldorf had invited for the 20th awarding of the coveted trophies. Felix Georgii (Kranzegg) and Anne Freyer (Mannheim) were presented with the “Rider of the Year” awards. Eight other awards for exceptional performances and documentaries from the wakeboard world demonstrated the diversity of this growing community.
At the height of the evening, Wakeboard veteran and boot presenter Clint Liddy was moved to tears. The Australian living in Frankfurt (“The Wakeboard Voice”) was honoured for his lifetime achievement and said: “I never saw that coming. I am thrilled that I can celebrate this matter of my heart here at boot with the entire industry.”
And the industry had many reasons more to be pleased, as the Brand Manager of Liquid Force Germany put it. Karsten Krey said: “I have been at this trade fair for 40 years and can say: There was a buzzing this year! For the scene, the boot Düsseldorf is the highlight in winter.” The Pooltastic Wakeboard Contest in the flatwater pool was won by Nico von Lerchenfeld from Cologne, ahead of Pedro Caldas from Brazil and Germany’s Max Milde. Later in the week, the finest skimboard techniques and stylish moves were presented by leading European skimboarders. Semjon Szillat and Lydia Blanke won the “Battle of the boot” for their Team Skimzone Germany. As a sporty and a private couple, both showed how versatile this sport could be for everyone.
The boot Düsseldorf once again showed how multi-talented the surf sport is: May that be Stand Up Paddling ranging from SUP action in the wave or white water and adventure holidays to SUP yoga and beginners’ experiences with the stars – the surf hall 8a was just as much the winter paradise of the year for kiters and windsurfers. Whether skimboarder or wakeboarder: The exhibitors at the fair offered them their entire program, including equipment, clothing and valuable experience.
2020 boot Düsseldorf
Wave Masters Men
1st Simon Bitterlich (GER)
2nd Sven Heller (GER)
3rd Sebastian Steinbeck (GER)
Wave Masters Women
1st Valeska Schneider (GER)
2nd Rosina Neuerer (GER)
3rd Annik Bollag (SUI)
SUP Short Track Masters (Team)
1st Team Fanatic (Paulina Herpel, Christian Andersen, Valentin Illichmann)
2nd Team Starboard 1 (Fiona Wylde, Zane Schweitzer, Carsten Kurmis)
3rd Team Starboard 2 (Tinka Tusche, Ole Schwarz, Benny Kohl)
SUP Wave Masters Women
1st Fiona Wylde (USA)
2nd Paulina Herpel (GER)
3rd Rosina Neuerer (GER)
SUP Wave Masters Men
1st Zane Schweitzer (HAWAII)
2nd Christian Andersen (DEN)
3rd Carsten Kurmis (GER)
Pooltastic boot Wakeboard Contest
1st Nico von Lerchenfeld (GER)
2nd Pedro Caldas (BRA)
3rd Max Milde (Duisburg, GER)
Skimboard “Battle of the boot Düsseldorf”, Men
1st Semjon Szillat (GER)
2nd Mihal Ambruszkiewicz (POL)
3rd Daniel Plumridge (GBR)
Skimboard “Battle der boot Düsseldorf”, Women
1st Lydia Blanke (GER)
2nd Lina Reuss (RUS)
3rd Lara Michalski (GER)
For more information on boots Düsseldorf, please click here.
Mon 3rd Feb, 2020 @ 8:36 pm