TRAK Pilot Hubert Zistler is certainly not your typical adventurer. A civil engineer in Switzerland by day, and a long distance kayaker and world-renowned cave diver on the weekends - Hubert thrives on adversity and getting unleashed in wild places.
Sea kayaking attracts a different breed - I’m sure we’ve all felt that while among other paddlers. Water calls to the wise, the seekers, the efficacious, and the indomitable. It takes stamina and patience to be successful on the water, and it takes careful calculation to plan and execute multi-day trips. Sometimes we’re satisfied with events unfolding according to plan, while other times we must learn from our mistakes on the water - how often, though, can we celebrate completely defying what was considered possible?
The Regen river is a tributary of the great Danube river, and forms from the confluence of the Little (Kleiner), Black (Schwarzer), and White (Weißer) Regen rivers. It runs for 110km until it joins the Danube, touring through Bavarian forests and the picturesque countryside.
Heavy rains had fed the Regen to its maximum state of flood, which provided a strong current to help push Hubert along at record breaking speeds. Hubert was equipped extremely lightly for this undertaking; no change of clothes, minimal provisions to be consumed while paddling - it really was just Hubert, the paddle in his hands, and the TRAK 2.0. Encountering some drastic weather conditions made this trip a dynamic test of his resolve and his skillset.
Navigating the river to stay out of meandering arms and crossing over fish locks mirrored Hubert’s experience in cave diving, where the stakes can be very high. Hubert says that challenges like this “clean the clutter out of your head”. As kayakers, we crave the simplicity of paddling towards a goal - through great swells or calm waters, we can focus on what's real and in front of us as we unleash from our more civilized neuroses.
This trip would take the leisurely kayaker almost 5 days to complete, and most experienced paddlers take almost 3 days. Famished, soaked and cold, muscles aching, and head in a daze, Hubert paddled into the mighty Danube river after 17 hours and 10 minutes of near non-stop paddling. As a TRAK Pilot, Hubert hopes you feel inspired to push your own limits (in your own ways!), and to strive to live a life unleashed.
Catch up with Hubert and follow his adventures on Instagram @hubertbavarianboy.
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