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, 18 September 2013

Sea Stoke

For the past fortnight the rivers have been rising slowly and there have been a number of after work missions to Brick Chutes on the River Leven. But with fast approaching early nightfall in the evening these sessions are going to eventually come to a close. Low levels on days off have meant I have taken to the sea again with friends to get our fix of whitewater and the surf has been pretty big on some days which has led to some amazing rides and definitely some progression in my boat control on waves and confidence on the water in general, just in time for winter boating.
Above is an image taken again by my GoPro HD mounted on my custom kayak mount. On the left of the image Bob can be seen taking flight off of the back of a wave. A superb effort considering he is in a Pyranha Shiva.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Change It Up

After purchasing my Wavesport Project X (Yellow) a few months ago I ended up neglecting my Fluid Detox (Red) for a while. This came to bite me back when I took the Detox out for a spin on the Kent making me feel very unstable and uncomfortable, this was really disheartening. It felt like something had changed with the boat, it hadn't, I had just got used to my playboat. I over the past two weeks I have done some re outfitting to my Detox adjusting the hip pads, foot-plate, seat position, seat height and thigh supports and after a few on the fly tweaks on the beach at Silecroft. I am now torn between what boat to take out on the water especially in the places I have focused on over the past fortnight.
Brick Chutes
Due to no real amount of water in the rivers again, the only options we have had to get out on has been the River Leven or the Sea. The Leven has been at a great level for playing on Brick Chutes where the river has been lit well into the evening by a close buildings security light. The chutes create a boxed-in green wave then below a standing wave that is pretty tricky to surf for a sustained amount of time due to its ever changing dumping state. This dumping wave has been great practice and has lead to some unintentional nose dives and stern stalls.
Backbarrow Bridge Rapid, Medium Level

Also on the river is Backbarrow bridge rapid, I have a grudge with due to its tricky nature. The line changes on it every time I run it and I always have to have a look quickly to escape the banter from fellow boaters and focus myself. Recently I've fared quite well and ran it three times styling it once, plowing into one of the bridge walls once and going over once because of the last wave, no swims though.
When venturing to the sea and surf at Silecroft, this has been when the decision of what boat to take has been most challenging. I can't take both boats along with everyone elses as my little car would not make it up the hills! What the predicted conditions are going to be heavily impacts my decision. If its looking like super small time between waves and messy I take the Detox just for ease of getting off the beach and for the fact it can surf really well in most conditions. Then if its looking cleaner I take my Project X so I can focus on attempting spins and getting bounce which both usually leads to eating mouthfuls of sandy water. The above photo was captured on my Gopro HD Hero1 on my custom kayak mount.