The heroes
of THE WAVE
boot Düsseldorf 2018

Düsseldorf welcomes the surfing elite!

Following last year's successes, we are staging a new, second edition of our championships on THE WAVE. It will all be kicking off on the first weekend of boot trade fair (20 and 21 January 2018) with the world's best wave stand-up paddlers at the SUP Wave Masters 2018. Last year's winner and the public's favourite Airton Cozzolino of the Fanatic Team and local matador Carsten Kurmis from Munich have already confirmed their participation while Zane Schweitzer, Moritz Mauch, Fiona Wylde and Sonni Höscheid have expressed their interest.

The European river-surfing elite will be meeting at our citywave® to battle it out for our Wave Masters 2018 title on the second weekend of the fair (27 and 28 January 2018). Last year's winner Janina Zeitler from Munich has already confirmed that she will be attending while other stars are to be announced here as soon as we have received their confirmations.

You can find the exact dates and more information about our contests here!

Experiencing stars live!

Make a note of these dates if you want to see the scene's stars live in their element:

20 January 2018

2.45 p.m., SUP Wave Masters Men's Heats
4.30 p.m., SUP Wave Masters Women's Heats

21 January 2018

10.15 a.m., SUP Wave Masters Women's Elimination Stages and Finals
2.45 p.m., SUP Wave Masters Men's Elimination Stages and Finals
5.30 p.m. – SUP Wave Masters Awards Ceremony

27 January 2018

2.45 p.m., Wave Masters Men's Heats
4.30 p.m., Wave Masters Women's Heats

28 January 2018

10.15 a.m., Wave Masters Women's Elimination Stages and Finals
12.45 p.m., Wave Masters Men's Elimination Stages and Finals
2.30 p.m., Wave Masters Award Ceremony

The order of events at the tournaments:

Top-level sports will be presented on the citywave® during both weekends of boot Düsseldorf. Men and women will be competing against each other in their own categories. Sixteen men and eight women will be battling it out in the stand-up paddling and surfing events on The Wave. The course of events will therefore differ a little from each other.

The 16 men in Round 1 will be competing against each other in four heats. Four contestants will compete in each heat, with only the two best qualifying directly for Round 3. Round 2, however, will see the losers compete against each other in two more heats. The winners will secure their final places in Round 3. This round will see the 12 best athletes compete against each other in four heats on the Sunday. The semi-final beckons but only the top eight contestants will be able to enter the next round. There's only space for the two winners from each of the four heats in Round 3! Things will get really close in the semi-final. The athletes will surf for 10 minutes in each heat and there will be four surfers in each of the two heats. The semi-final will mark the end of the competition for two contestants from each heat, only the best two from the heats will go on to meet in the grand finale. This is where the first, second, third and fourth places will be decided.

The two women's heats will see eight surfers take to The Wave in Round 1. The two best contestants will then immediately qualify for Round 3, the losers will, however, have to fight it out again in Round 2. The winners from Round 2 will then have to compete against the winners from Round 1 for a place in the semi-finals. That's when the two best from Round 3 will be fighting it out in the heat to determine the two best surfers who will then enter the showdown in the final.

Be there and see the professional surfers on THE WAVE in Düsseldorf!

The heroes of THE WAVE boot Düsseldorf 2018

Robby Naish

Moritz Mauch

Robby Naish needs no introduction. He is a living legend and the founder of the eponymous surfing brand. There’s nobody else that’s had as great an impact on the sport as Robby Naish, who was born in Hawaii in 1963. It all started in Kailua, on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu. Naish, a future windsurfing world champion, grew up here and started riding the waves at just eight years old. He took up windsurfing for the first time at eleven and, two years later at thirteen years of age, he won his first title in the Bahamas and became the youngest world champion of all time. Much more was to come!

Sailing under the number US 1111, he won the windsurfing world championships 24 times in total and then made a storm in kite surfing, taking home two more world championship titles in 1998 and 1999 in this sport. In 2001 he set a new speed record in kite surfing, achieving a speed of 38.4 knots (70.37 km/h). Robby Naish will be attending boot Düsseldorf on 20, 21 and 22 January 2018 and will give an interview and answer questions our stage in Beach World.

Carsten Kurmis

Carsten Kurmis

You could sum up Carsten’s career quite simply: from the Eisbach river in Munich to the most beautiful beaches in the world. Starting out as one of the first surfers of the Bavarian surfing spots, over the years he’s developed into one of the best and most enduring stand-up paddleboarders in Germany. The fact that the 47-year-old is also an excellent windsurfer and surfer is very handy in his role as a Sales Manager at Starboard. Carsten knows what he’s talking about and often visits international surfing locations but always stays true to his roots. He’s even been known to show up at the beach wearing lederhosen!

In general, Carsten Kurmis can be found at his employer's stand (Starboard) from 20 to 28 January 2018 where he will be advising visitors to the boot trade fair on everything relating to windsurfing, SUP and surfing. He will take part in both competitions and is certainly a man with a chance at the title in the second SUP Wave Masters, coming in strong after taking third place last year.

Airton Cozzolino Lopes

Airton Cozzolino not only won the SUP Wave Masters in 2017, he's also the reigning GKA Kitesurf World Champion on The Wave. Airton was born in 1994 on Sal, an island in Cape Verde, and revealed his talent at the age of four years when he snapped wave after wave from the big boys in the line-up. This brilliant boardsports talent now spends his summers with his Italian adoptive father in Sardinia where they run surfing courses together and winter in Cape Verde – that is, when Airton is not competing in kitesurfing tournaments, SUP championships or on photo shoots for his sponsors.

This textbook surfer with the carefree style and infectious fun-loving nature surfed right into the public's hearts at the SUP Wave Masters 2017. He impressed the jury with spectacular 360 turns and radical cutbacks – even though he had never surfed on a standing wave before. His fans say that he can learn any type of board sport in five minutes.

Fiona Wylde

Fiona Wylde

20-Year-old Fiona is the winner of the SUP Wave Masters 2017, the winner of the Mercedes Benz SUP World Cup 2017, holds second place in the SUP Racer World Rankings and is the SUP Womens’ Racing world champion of 2016. This is not all that surprising, as Fiona first took to the waves at the age of five, on a windsurfing board. Her early training paid off and at just 15 years old she was awarded the “Windsurfer of the year” title in America. Since 2014 she has been concentrating on stand-up paddling and got her career off to a glowing start, winning multiple international SUP contests in various disciplines. In 2015 she was diagnosed with diabetes. The diagnosis only served to reinforce her ambition and dedication and so she paddled her way to the World Master title in 2016. As a result of this excellent approach and her openness about handling her condition, she is a role model for many.

On 20 and 21 January, the Starboard team rider will take part in the SUP Wave Masters at the boot and will give her all to defend her title.

Zane Kekoa Schweitzer

Zane Kekoa Schweitzer

After an astounding performance on THE WAVE 2017 and winning second place in the SUP Wave Masters the year before, Zane Kekoa Schweitzer signed up once more for the 2018 championship. Zane, who hails from Hawaii, is among the world’s best stand-up-paddleboarders, windsurfers and surfers of the past few years. In 2016 he won the title of Ultimate Waterman 2016. This accolade is awarded to the best all-rounder on the surf scene. It comes as no surprise that the Starboard team rider won this contest. From the cradle, his Grandfather, the inventor of windsurfing Hoyle Schweitzer and his Father Matt passed on their passion for watersports. Zane is not only an exceptionally gifted surfer but is also a brilliant trainer and is always eager to transmit his knowledge and enthusiasm to the next generation of surfers!

Zane will participate in the SUP Wave Masters on 20 and 21 January and will also hold question and answer sessions for his fans on the big stage at the Flat Water Pool, where he will present his new book.

Sonni Hönscheid

Sonni Hönscheid

Sonni Hönscheid is the 12-time German champion of surfing, and is certainly at home in the water. She grew up in Fuerteventura and found her passion for windsurfing and riding the waves straight away. She’s also been at home on a stand-up paddle board over the past few years, and has had great success in this arena too. In 2014, she was the first European to win the toughest SUP race in the world, the “Molokai to Oahu”. The M2O is the world championship for ocean stand-up paddle boarders, and Sonni has won this race three years in a row. She is heading to Düsseldorf on a wave of glory, having also just won the SUP European Championships.

This success was almost expected for the champion from Sylt: her family tree is full of surfers. Her father Jürgen was one of the best in the Windsurfing World Cup in the eighties, and gave Robby Naish a good run for his money. Today, Jürgen’s name evokes his excellent craftsmanship in constructing a wide variety of types of surfboard in his workshop in Fuerteventura. His surfboards, windsurfing boards, stand-up paddle boards are popular with surfers throughout the world. He passed on both his enthusiasm for watersports and his creativity to his daughter Sonni. The charming model athlete is also an artist who is experiencing more and more success, and is now designing skateboards and her father’s surfboards, covering them with colourful, expressive graphics, amongst other elements.

Sonni will attend both weekends of boot Düsseldorf. On 20 and 21 January, she will be part of our specialist jury at the SUP Wave Masters, and on 27 January you can meet her at her partner’s stand, Mercedes-Benz, for her autograph session next to THE WAVE.

Bernd Flessner

Sonni Hönscheid

Bernd is the most successful professional German windsurfer. Born and raised in Norderney, he secured his first title as the German champion in 1992. From 1995 to 2001, Bernd held onto his title and was German champion for six consecutive years. You can also see his sail, number G 16, pulling into first place internationally. For 12 years, Bernd was ranked one of the top ten surfers in the world and in 2009 he was the European and World Slalom Champion. In August 2011, he surfed the 140 kilometres from his home island to Sylt in just 4 hours.

Bernd will arrive at boot on its second weekend and will tell tales of his life as a surfer with his usual laid-back vibe. He will mainly be present at the Surf Magazine stand.

Björn Dunkerbeck

Sonni Hönscheid

Björn holds 42 world championship titles, making him one of the most successful professional athletes in the world. The son of Dutch and Danish parents, Björn was raised in Gran Canaria. At 21, he won the title of PWA Overall World Champion for the first time and then successfully held onto it for the next 11 years. In total, he has scored over 100 individual wins at the PWA World Cup. In 2006, he set an new speed world record for sail-driven water vessels, travelling at over 41 knots. In 2014, he founded the Dunkerbeck GPS Speed Challenge, a series of events focused exclusively on attaining the best speed.

Björn will attend boot on 20 and 21 January 2018 and will present the fastest windsurfers in Germany with their trophies, along with other activities. He will give out autographs at his sponsors’ stand: Starboard and Severne Segel.

Vincent Langer

Sonni Hönscheid

Vincent, otherwise known as “Vinci”, held the title of German Junior Champion in windsurfing from 2000 to 2005. It seemed as though the boy from Kiel had his path mapped out for him. National and international success in various disciplines followed: in surfing, slalom and racing. Last year, Vincent came out all guns blazing. He won the German Champion’s title in all disciplines, individual titles in Slalom and Racing, became the European Slalom Champion and rounded this amazing season off by taking away the Formula Windsurfing World Champion title. In addition to his sporting success, he also found time to tend to the next generation of surfers. He organizes regular VL Kids’ Camps to get children and teenagers into windsurfing.

Vincent will attend the second weekend of boot Düsseldorf and will be onstage in our new trend sports hall 8a for a question and answer session.

Joana Schenker

Sonni Hönscheid

Joana is the best body boarder in the world. Born in Portugal to German parents, she spent her childhood on the powerful Atlantic waves on her doorstep. Later on, in 2004 at just 17 years of age, she won the Portuguese and European Junior Championship. At the same time, she secured the Portuguese runner-up title for all age categories. Joana went from strength to strength over the following years. She won many national and European events and titles. In 2015 she was selected for the Portuguese national team and won a bronze medal with the team at the ISA Bodyboard World Championship in Chile. She then went on to win the title of world champion in 2016.

Joana will be onstage at our new Beach World in Hall 8a on 23 and 24 January 2018, and will definitely try out the standing wave!

Bernd Roediger

Sonni Hönscheid

The 22 year old with the German name is actually Hawaiian born-and-bred. He started out at the international windsurfing tour as a team rider for Bobby Naish (US-1111) and Kai Lenny (US-1112), displaying the sailing number US-1113, and is a true water athlete. He celebrated his greatest success in his first year as a professional windsurfer at the most prestigious wave event in the PWA World Tour in 2013. He started with a Wild Card ranking and battled the international elite to achieve second place, shocking the established stars of the windsurfing scene. In 2017, the Aloha Classic was not part of the PWA World Tour, although it was very well attended, and Bernd seized his opportunity and was victorious. Bernd is also at home foiling and on a stand-up paddle board, and will give us a demonstration of his considerable skill on the first weekend at boot, both on The Wave and on the flat water pool.

Casper Steinfath

Sonni Hönscheid

Casper comes from a northern fishing town in Denmark, Klitmöller, which is famously known as the “Cold Hawaii” in surfing circles. At just 23, the blonde Naish team rider has already got five World Championship titles from the International Surfing Association under his belt, and is one of the world’s absolute best. However, his biggest success came in 2017 in his homeland, Denmark. It was his greatest triumph for two reasons: As President of the ISA, he was able to fulfil his dreams by bringing the 2017 world championships to Copenhagen, where he then battled his way to victory in the 200 metre sprint.

Along with his professional sporting career, he works for the organisation Athletes for Cancer, which aids people with cancer in getting back into their daily routine after severe illness.

At boot, Casper will start out as one of the top favourites in the Short Track Masters and the SUP Wave Masters on the first weekend.

Kai-Nicolas Steimer

Sonni Hönscheid

This 27-year-old shipbuilding student from Hamburg is one of the best stand-up paddleboarders in Germany. He actually started his boarding career hoisting sails. Windsurfing brought this Hamburg boy to the water, and of course you can still find him windsurfing on days when the wind is strong. However, you won't find him windsurfing as often now, as his focus is increasingly centred around his passion for SUP so that he can keep up with professionals from all over the world. This focus really works: he’s proved his point at more than a few races over the past few years.

The Fanatic team rider will run in both SUP events in the first weekend of boot.

Valentin Illichmann

Sonni Hönscheid

Valentin is just 18 but he’s already one of the greats in the world of SUP. He grew up in the south of Germany, in Munich, and he quickly found his passion for flat water racing. Today, he is one of the fastest around. His latest speciality, however, is whitewater SUP. In 2017, he took the German Champion title here, paddled for the German team in the ISA World SUP Championship and successfully completed a 300 km whitewater expedition. Valentin, with all his flat water and whitewater experience, is surely a title hopeful for the Short Track Masters in the new water pool.

Paulina Herpel

Sonni Hönscheid

Paulina won everything there was to win in 2017 in Germany. She is the German Champion in Technical Racing, in Whitewater Racing and on the Wave. It’s also all happening internationally for the 19-year-old who comes from Hamburg, who started out in the Fanatic team. She battled it out to win fourth place in the SUP Wave European Championship. At 14, Paulina got on an SUP board and found out that she was eager to win, and this ambition, paired with family encouragement and athletic capability, took her straight to the top. Thanks to her all-round talent in all SUP disciplines, she is an obvious favourite for both SUP contests, both in the flat water sprint and on THE WAVE.

Janina Zeitler

Sonni Hönscheid

The winner of the 2017 Wave Masters is looking to defend her title. Janina is just 17 years old and is nonetheless at the head of the pack. She attained this position following her success on our Wave last year, third place in the German Junior Surfing Championship and carried home the title of European Champion in Stationary Wave Riding in 2016. True to the motto “snow is only frozen water”, Janina is also the Bavarian team champion in alpine skiing in the parallel slalom event, taking the lead on the ski slopes as well. Naturally, Janina starts out this year as a favourite at our WAVE!

You can cheer Janina on on 27 and 28 January at the boot Düsseldorf’s Wave Masters.

Tao Schirrmacher

Sonni Hönscheid

He’s one of the best-known greats of the river surfing scene. The Munich lad, who has Korean heritage, discovered the joys of the Eisbach river in 2001 and since then has spent every free minute he has performing amazing turns on the river waves. You can catch glimpses of him, illuminated by headlights, on his board at night and even in the depths of winter. He has secured the title of best European River Surfer thrice now. His career also revolves around surfing. The huge number of damaged boards at the Eisbach inspired him to get together with a friend and develop repair products for surfboards. The brand “Big Ding” was thus born, and now distributes repair kits for surfboards throughout Europe.

Tao will surf to win the title at the boot Düsseldorf’s Wave Masters on 27 and 28 January. With all his experience on standing waves, he is a firm favourite.

Jan Vogt

Sonni Hönscheid

Jan says that he’s the surfer that’s spent the most time on the Citywave®. With such experience, he is a natural favourite for our Wave Masters. The 33-year-old, who comes from Munich, has been at home on the waves all around the world and lives for the sport. The standing wave is his homewater and we’re excited to see which moves he’ll conjure up on THE WAVE.

Florian Kummer

Sonni Hönscheid

Surfing on the Doctor’s orders. Thanks to Florian, there’s always a doctor on the waves. This qualified surgeon is one of the top standing wave surfers. He is the only pure surfer, and he’s mastered the legendary kick-flip on the Citywave® and will show it off to its best advantage at our contest. Florian is 40 years old and brings 25 years of surfing experience to the waves. We’re excited to see which tricks this surfing surgeon will bring to the contest on 27 and 28 January.