Kayaking – Introduction to White Water

Bill - crossing the flow

I was asked by ProAdventure to provide an introduction to white water kayaking for two lads (Nick & Bill) who had kayayed some years ago but were looking to update their skills so that they could paddle under their own steam on moving water.

After quick introductions, the venue for the day was to be the River Dee at Llangollen which provides a host of safe features for paddlers looking to get a taste of moving water. We had a gentle start to the day where the fundamental kayak skills were assessed (forward paddling, stopping & turning and support strokes) and after a little fine tuning it was soon time to introduce:

  • Breaking in / breaking out of the current;
  • Ferry gliding; and
  • Hazard perception / river running skills.

Nick - making the eddy

After lunch it was time to put all these skills together and run the rapids at our venue which consisted of 4 rapids (Campsite Weir, Tombstones, Middle Weir & Factory Falls) which are graded as 2/3. I’m pleased to say that the rapids were run with some degree of style and there were no unplanned events.

The final part of the day was to cover rescues and we looked at:

  • Rescue protocols (Self, Team, Victim, Kit) and (Shout, Reach, Throw, Tow); and
  • Simple boat rescues.

I had a great day and judging by the feedback so did Nick and Bill and hopefully I’ll be working with them again soon.

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