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

Monday, 2 June 2014

Current Location: Hidaka, Hokkaido, Japan

Ohiyo Gozimas! Ive been in Japan a month so the initial shocks of Japanese life have worn off. I am learning to guide whitewater rafts surprisingly quickly and am loving safety kayaking and coaching in my adopted retro Pyranha Micro Bat 230 kayak.
Mukawa, Photo by Hokkaido Rafting
The rivers in the area I am paddling, regularly include the Saru River (Monkey River, there are no monkeys) and the Mukawa. Both are currently at a low water level leading to some super strong eddy lines. The rivers at their lower level are generally grade three runs then with an increase in water there are a number of rapids where the consequence of dodgy lines vastly increases.

Currently my favorite rapid on the River Saru is called First Drop. There are two lines, right, a boof over a retentive hole. Or left, punch through a hole to then boof another retentive hole with your next stroke. If you miss your boof on the left line prepare for a solid beatdown and have your mates get a rope ready, your going to need it. At present I've nailed this move each day, spurred on by being chased by rafts full of screaming Japanese.

All this water time is great for training for my first proper attempt at a whitewater competition. The HOA Extreme Whitewater Challenge, organised by my employer, it sounds like I stand a reasonable chance at winning some shinny kit. It would be great to meet any boating Brits that are in the area, get here for the party!

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