“It’s a perfect place to practice. Here you can train all surfing tricks,” says Lucas Polstier from Vienna after a perfect ride on the man-made surf wave at the wild-water Divoká Voda resort in the Bratislava borough of Čunovo. They have a similar surf wave in Vienna, but it is significantly more expensive and the environs of an open-air wave pool in the Süd Shopping Center does not match the natural surroundings of the wave in Čunovo overlooking the old Danube river bed, with a high poplar on one side and a surf house with a whirlpool on the other.
In Čunovo, a surfer pays €10 euros for half a day or €14 euros for the whole day. In Vienna, a single hour of surfing will cost €39.
“In Vienna, the wave is a bit steeper and higher. Here it is quite flat, but for practising before going to surf in the ocean it is perfect,” said Polstier, adding that there are also fewer people than in Vienna.
The man-made surf wave in the Divoká Voda resort is operating for its sixth season this year and is the only one of its kind in the area. Besides Vienna’s surf wave, there is another in Tatralandia in Liptovský Mikuláš, but located inside a hall.
“The exit of one of the channels in our resort was very suitable for surfing,” said Alžbeta Ondriš, manager of the Divoká Voda complex, adding that the surf wave is popular among visitors, especially Austrians and Germans. “It was enough to build a metal structure through which water flows.”
Olympians and ordinary people
The Divoká voda resort meets the quality criteria of top sports resorts, so it holds regular European and world competitions. Its history dates back to 1995 and is closely connected with the construction of the Slovak-Hungarian Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros twin-dam project on the Danube. Apart from Divoká voda, the nearby Danubiana art museum was built during these times. The slalom tracks were put into trial operation in 1996. This year, the first slalom races took place.
Divoká Voda resort
- Located at the Hrušovská Zdrž dam, about 20 km from Bratislava, near the village of Čunovo
- Bus Nr. 90 of the Bratislava public transport company comes here from the stop near the new building of the Slovak National Theatre (SND)
Visitors can encounter water sports athletes and the following Olympians: the Hochschorner brothers, Michal Martikán and Elena Kaliská. Janka Dukátová also comes to the resort with her newly-born daughter Lívia. From the younger generation, Jakub Grigar and Soňa Stanovská train here.
But the resort is not a closed centre for professional athletes and ordinary people can come to sport as well.
“We also offer all activities to ordinary people as well as children,” said Ondriš.
The resort features three channels. The return channel with calm water is used for heating up before a ride and a return to the main channel. In this channel, visitors can ride on the increasingly popular stand-up paddle, kayak or canoe. Both children and adults can try the Aquaroller – the inside of an inflatable roller the visitor is trying to walk in and push forward.
There are two other channels beside it.
“The sport line is the most difficult channel for professionals and the fun line is a less demanding channel for regular clientele. At its end there is the surf wave,” said Ondriš.
Rafting and kayaking school
The most popular attraction among ordinary people is rafting, i.e. riding on an inflatable boat on wild water, a kayaking school, water scooters or cruises on the Danube. Out of non-water activities, volleyball, football, paintball and riding on quads are the most popular.