How I was allowed to represent kayaking on TV
On April 21st, 2018 I was allowed to perform as a candidate in Klein vs. Groß – the incredible
duel. At this TV show, where children with their talent compete against adults or even
Many millions of viewers follow the show in front of their TVs in various European countries,
including Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
In 9 duels, 10 children competed against adults in different disciplines, 5 of these being
sports. There were duels in football, handball, gymnastics, climbing and me with kayaking.
The special thing about the sport duels is that one usually gets a very successful professional
(world champion, Olympic champion, etc.) as an opponent.
My task was to make as many Eskimo rolls as possible with a slalom boat within 90 seconds
while balancing a tray with 2 glasses of water above the water surface. At the beginning it
was not easy to do the exercise without losing the glasses in the water. We tried many
different models of trays until we found a suitable model. My Happy Thruster under my legs
gave me a good stability, so I could do the movement much calmer and more controlled,
which was very important because otherwise the glasses would have fallen off the tray
immediately. The exercise itself is also a very good exercise for training the controlled
Eskimo roll and is really fun to train!
A few days before the actual show, the presenter Kai Pflaume visited me at home. Kai is a
real VIP here with us. Of course we went paddling together. Since the shooting was in the
middle of winter and it was very cold outside, we went to a indoor pool. I used my shooting
star and Kai used the JK Rockstar M. We had a lot of fun, among other things we did a race
through the slide.
One Friday it was finally time and we flew to Berlin. In the studio there was an extra water
basin, but at the beginning the water was very cold. Of course we are used to cold water,
but never before had we felt such cold pool water. But the TV people did everything to make
sure that the water got warmer in time for the show.
My opponent was Stefan Hengst. He is a well-known German slalom rider who has already
won the European Championships and the World Championships with his team. The duel
against him was very exciting. Finally I got a great present – a JK Side Kick! Since then I have
had a really great friendship with Stefan – paddlers are simply cool people, no matter if
they’re doing slalom, freestyle, river running,…!
It was a lot of fun to represent kayaking in front of such a big audience on TV and it was a
great honour to be part of it!
– Tim Rees