Whitewater Aptitude is an idea in development to highlight Gavin Hart's skills, adventures and accomplishments with an insight into the thoughts and feeling he has throughout his journeys. As well as this blog please visit his Photography Portfolio Website showcasing his best photography. For shorter more regular updates on Whitewater Aptitude adventures Like it on Facebook or Follow on Twitter. Get in contact via email using gavin@whitewateraptitude.co.uk

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


The past two weeks I have been getting out surf kayaking with on the sea at Bournemouth beach. I've been going with my friends Peza and Cheryl who have both been showing me up on Stand Up Paddle-boards (SUPs). We've been out a number of times over and the waves have gadually became better and more surfable until the last Saturday when the waves grew to a whopping continuous 4ft high the with the odd wave rolling in around 5-6ft. For my ability, at times, this was terrifying. To surf the waves firstly you needed to get "out back".  The outback in surfing is the area where you wait for the waves to come in, spot them, then ride them. To get out back I needed to time my paddling correctly so to not get caught up in the large aftermath of breaking waves and also not be at the same point where the waves were breaking. Unlike a surfer, in my kayak, I cannot dip underneath the breaking waves, i have to punch through them, a downfall to surf kayaking. However I managed to predict my paddling fairly well and get outback always relieved.

From here I was able to get in position to surf the waves coming in as best I could. after surfing the green wave then also surfing the strong broken wave. I would often end up all the way back on the beach and have to repeat the process of getting out back, a tiring action.

I unfortunately had one swim on this day after getting caught out by a huge steep wave as I was getting out back. I ended up trying to go over the it at the time it was steepest. Unfortunately due to the steepness of the wave and gravity instead of punching through the top of the wave. I felt my boat sliding back down the wave face and start to plain. So i started surfing the wave backwards. Something I can just about do on a small wave. This six footer was no match for me. I was unable to spin back around to face down the wave and ended up going over. I tucked up and felt as the wave broke and carried me all the way to the beach still upside down. I tried performing my C to C roll but in the foamy wash I couldn't managing. I chose to come out of my boat. I then had to get myself boat and paddle to shore only 15m away the dumping waves made it a struggle. I emptied my boat of water and carried on as I had been doing before.

At the beginning of our session the tide was in and I was keen to get on the water. However I didn't put on my new GoPro mount as I didn't want to have it trashed straight away which it would have done. As the tide dropped towards the end of my session the waves became unsurfable for me, so I got my DSLR out and snapped some photos of Peza on the diminishing leftovers from stood in the shallows.

We use the site MagicSeaweed to predict what the surf conditions are going to be like.

After these exciting times in the next few days I then had an equally exciting time doing my first piece of commercial/non commercial work for an old friend Sam of Cumulus Outdoors. I was creating a promotional video for them to promote their coasteering programs based along the Souths Jurassic Coastline. The experience was extremely beneficial. Learning what skills I need to further develop and how to approach future work projects.

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