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, 23 July 2014


Month three has come to a close. Hopefully this will bring rain, as we need it badly. My personal paddling time in Japan for the past month has been pretty poor due to low water levels. This is a massive tease as there is a few great venues that I could really do with a session. Plenty of park and huck man-made waterfalls with deep pools, surf waves, holes all that would be a great for pushing my ability.
Biei Creek, Hokkaido
So far the best time I've had, as ever, has been visiting the ocean. The day I had surfing the waves on the Pacific was a real blast. Like normal, at first we got a few strange looks as were foreign and then when I got the kayak out the car the eyebrows and gasps increased. But like usual the Japanese people were friendly and I even got a few "Tsegois" from the surfers I would cruise past. "Tsegois" basically politelly means "Fucking Awesome". Bring on the rain!
Pacific Ocean, Hamaastuma, Hokkaido

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

HOA Extreme Whitewater Challenge

The weekend of the 6th June saw a collection of thrity-one spirited local and international boaters congregate at Hokkaido Outdoor Adventure's base for the annual HOA Extreme Whitewater Challenge. There were four paddling events that took place on the Saru River and a non stop party atmosphere to keep competitors and spectators glowing.
photo credit: Lance PZ
Whitewater Slalom and Down River Race took place on the Saturday.  The Slalom was based on the rapid named First Drop with the main gates hung at the base of the river right shoot making a tricky short ferry glide across the main flow the course was fun for all but the creekboaters dominated. Personally I was given one chance on the course setting a time of 2:31 putting me in 13th place.
The next event, the Down River race, had a mass start of 29 paddlers go all out for roughly 1km this section went through a number of rapids including the Slalom section which lead to some great carnage that smashed my chances of being in the top 10 finishers, again I fought into 13th place at the last rapid. 

Following a night of heavy partying from all, peoples hangovers were washed away by the excitement that was created by the mornings Raft Race. This event allowed anyone to get on the water by borrowing kit from HOA.
 After a cracking lunch of Wazza Burgers the Freestyle Comp took place again on the Saru in the town of Hidaka where Ex-Freestyle champion Eric Southwick built a hole specially for the competition allowing easy access and viewing for all. Being in a creekboat my position for this event was pretty poor and I only scored 10points for a spin... Overall this put my overall standing for the comp at 13th. Thanks to all the new friends I made at the event maybe see you in the future.