Wakeboarder slides over an ice rail during the filming of Frozen Lake Wake in Sweden.
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Wakeboarding

Felix Georgii and crew order adventure on the rocks in Frozen Lake Wake

Double-digit sub-zero temperatures, metre-thick ice and deep-frozen wetsuits: Felix Georgii, Dominik Gührs and Dom Hernler face the ultimate test for wakeboarder and machine in Sweden – and master it!
Written by Henner Thies
4 min readPublished on
In his new project, Frozen Lake Wake, Felix Georgii has once again set out to prove that his creativity knows no bounds when pushing the limits of wakeboarding. "I wanted to bring wakeboarding into a new environment and work with ice," explains the 29-year-old from Allgäu, Germany. Keep reading to find out how he managed to do that.
Wakeboarder Felix Georgii in action filming Frozen Lake Wake in Sweden.

Felix Georgii clears the igloo with style

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Together with compatriot Dominik Gührs and Austria's Dominik Hernler – as well as a hard-boiled building and film crew – Georgii tested the limits of man and machine on a frozen lake in Jokkmokk, a small town in Swedish Lapland that sits 1,000km north of Stockholm. Here he showed that you can indeed wakeboard on ice, even when the temperature is far into double digit figures below zero.
Wakeboarder Felix Georgii filming Frozen Lake Wake in Sweden.

Felix Georgii in front of the ice rail

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With ice you can build all kinds of obstacles, from rails to igloos
The result of their months of preparation and weeks of hard work on-site are three never-before-seen wakeboard lines peppered with completely new features carved from pure ice. "For the project, the crew cut out various elements from the metre-thick ice layer of the lake with chainsaws and sometimes heavy equipment, and used them to build different lines that we then rode on wakeboards," explains Gührs. However, it took a while until the obstacles and the three lines were ready.
Wakeboarders Felix Georgii, Dominik Gührs and Dominik Hernler filming Frozen Lake Wake in Sweden.

Georgii, Gührs and Hernler check the set up

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At -30°C in some places, even the oil in the building crew's chainsaws froze when they cut out the ice elements. Saw blades and chains also fell victim to the ultra-thick ice. When the lines of kickers, rails, ice floes, pools and igloos weighing tons were finished, it was up to the riders to make sure they did justice to the hard work that had gone into the icy project.
Wakeboarder Dominik Gührs shows his frozen boots while filming Frozen Lake Wake in Sweden.

Dominik Gührs's frozen boots in all their frostiness

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My boots were frozen and my feet felt like they were cast in concrete
"In preparation for the trip to Jokkmokk, we got ourselves the warmest neoprene material available," emphasises Georgii, the creative mastermind behind the project. Once they'd arrived on site, it became clear to the crew that to be able to wakeboard at temperatures this low, they'd just have to grit their teeth and pull through. And that's what the three riders did, even if it hurt. "I struggled the most with the cold," admits Hernler. "Fortunately, when your wakeboarding the adrenaline in your body means you quickly get warmer again."
Wakeboarder Dominik Hernler filming Frozen Lake Wake in Sweden.

Dominik Hernler handplanting on the igloo

© Lorenz Holder/Red Bull Content Pool

Nevertheless, the riders regularly froze their wetsuits and bindings completely while shredding the obstacles and free-cut pools. "Delivering the best possible wakeboarding in sub-zero temperatures was a real challenge," reiterates Gührs. "If you fell into the water, your wetsuit and bindings were frozen afterwards and physically you could hardly move." But the riders soldiered on because of their motivation to see this boundary-pushing project through to completion.
Wakeboarder Dominik Guhrs slides over an ice rail while filming Frozen Lake Wake in Sweden.

Freeze! Dominik Gührs shreds a rail made of ice

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To shred such creative lines in such an icy location is definitely a highlight of my wakeboarding career
With feet numb, frozen hair and the icy wind biting, Georgii goes on to say: "With this project, we've created wakeboard lines and obstacles that have never existed before. The effort, pain and sweat were worth it for that alone."
And yet Georgii still has an ace up his sleeve at the end of filming.
"In preparation for Frozen Lake Wake, I was constantly asking myself whether it would be possible to wakeboard the ice layer from underwater," he explains. "This idea then manifested itself so much that it was clear that I had to do it." A few minutes later and he could proudly claim that his idea worked better than ever he thought possible. "You look underwater into absolute nothingness and it's just black everywhere, but you can feel the ice sliding along the board and that's an awesome feeling!"
Wakeboarder Felix Georgii slides over ice underwater while filming Frozen Lake Wake in Sweden.

Felix Georgii nails the first-ever underwater ice wallride

© Lorenz Holder/Red Bull Content Pool

01

The best photos from Frozen Lake Wake

02

The numbers behind the icy project:

  • -32 degrees was the lowest temperature during construction in the week before the shoot, when the building crew worked almost around the clock on the course.
  • 80cm was the thickness of the ice on the frozen lake.
  • 6mm was the thickness of the riders' wetsuits.
  • 5m was the diameter of the igloo, which weighed several tonnes and formed the highlight of one of the three lines.
  • 11 days was the length of time the crew sawed the ice to build the obstacle for the riders.
  • 5 chainsaws were broken during the construction work.
  • 1 degree Centigrade was the temperature of the water in which the riders performed.
  • 518 tonnes of ice were moved by the crew in total to make Frozen Lake Wake possible.
The wakeboard obstacle builders filming Frozen Lake Wake in Sweden.

Kudos to the building crew, who did a great job in Sweden

© Lorenz Holder/Red Bull Content Pool

Part of this story

Felix Georgii

With a strong snowboarding background, Felix Georgii is pushing the boundaries of wakeboarding by focusing on hitting gnarly rails and ledges.

GermanyGermany

Dominik Gührs

Dominik Gührs is a wakeboarding pro who overcame serious injury to become one of Germany's most decorated wakeboarders and a world champion to boot.

GermanyGermany

Dominik Hernler

Austrian wave rider, Dominik Hernler, spends most of his time honing his skills in the home of wakeboarding – Orlando, Florida.

AustriaAustria