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

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Himalayan Whitewater Challenge 2015

The festival this year was a great success again seeing paddlers from all over the globe attending the event. Even with the India border blockade, the Nepalese paddlers and spectators fueled the party vibe and made it a memorable one.

Largely thanks to Paddle Nepal, the festival held three events. Extreme Slalom, Freestyle and BoaterX. I was able to compete in all, beating my positions gained at the 2014 events. I hope for the 2016 event the freestyle feature comes in stronger so the Nepali paddlers can really show their skill that they often practice whilst safety kayaking!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

#BackOffIndia Nepal Winter 2015

I've been here for a month now and already I can say this year is totally different to my last season here.
The unofficial Indian trade blockade is crippling Nepal's ability to gain valuable resources such as vehicle fuel, cooking gas and certain foods. This is effecting the whole of Nepal from the cities to the mountain communities. The blockade has caused the UK government and other countries travel advisors to put an warning on visiting the country. From my base in Pokhara this is really evident as there is barely any tourists wandering the streets and more importantly not so many tourists coming rafting!
The lack of tourists has only become apparent to me in the last week as up until this point I have been working non stop on trips mostly consisting of UK and international kayakers. Last year I mostly was photographing rafting groups. Photoboating for kayakers, you need to be a lot quicker in all aspects and the faster tempo this year has been a challenge that I have had to adapt to. This year has been about making sure I'm shooting the most favorable rapids and paddling the fast lines. Hopefully the race style photoboating I've been doing will make me stronger for next weeks Himalayan Whitewater Challenge.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

North Devon a Swell end to Summer

Having got back from my Italy Norway adventure mid UK summer season I managed to get myself a end of season job at a Skern Lodge in North Devon. I was employed as a paddlesports and land based activities instructor. Due to the supreme placement of the centre after work I was able to whiz down to the local beach Sandymere, Westward Ho! every other evening to go surf kayaking, swell dependent.
 Before this employment I had played a lot in the surf however this has always been in creekboats or playboats. Luckily Skern Lodge is also a Mega Kayaks demo centre which allowed me to borrow a full carbon Mega Bullit S. Having never used a surf specific boat before the first few waves were very exciting. The speed and distinct difference between front and back rails lead me to throwing some spins I had no intention of pulling off. After some top tips from superior colleges and a better understanding of wave selection I was loving it and hooked. My style is still very much whitewater, stay in your box based, but it was great to keep my paddling fitness fresh. Now i've just got to get used to paddling a whitewater boat again as I'm heading back to work in Nepal until January.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Norway Kajaking

So after having spent far too long in Italy due to a faulty car we ventured to Norway. Here we were met by high water levels, 24hour daylight and even more new paddling friends to talk to.
Phil dropping Penny Drop
Our first region was Voss for the Extreme Sports Week which was easily the best combined sports and music festival I have been to. I cant wait to get to the event again hopefully with more kayak skills and confidence to be a stronger competitor in the weeks two main competitions. I missed out  The Brandseth downhill race, which looked rather intimidating but gave it my all competing in the Strondal BoaterX however I only placed 4th out of 5 in my heat, not enough to advance to the next heats unfortunately. It was an incredible experience to paddle next to some of the top athletes in the world and make a load of new contacts hopefully for some UK paddling.
Driving to Telemark

Sunday, 7 June 2015


For the last month I have been living cheaply and paddling adventurously in the Sesia Valley Italy. The region has been super popular with paddlers due to the friendly water levels, paddling competitions and cheap wine.
Bob on Airplane Drop, Gronda River
Thanks to all my new friends for the support over the past month on and off the water and I hope to paddle with you again soon.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Laser Vision

On February the 9th I went under the laser and had corrective surgery to my eyes. The operation was a complete success and I now have better then 20/20 vision which is going to be super great for paddling and exploring. No more flaf and worry over losing contacts and the high risk of infection.
Unknown paddler - Kimmeridge Bay
 Since having the operation I have been unable to paddle which has been super frustrating. This has given me plenty of time to doddle and surf the net leading to the creation of the River God above. Inspired by the statues seen in temples and shrines I visited in Japan. I created the image using Photoshop and a drawing tablet.

The past weekend I snapped a few shots of some of the waves at Kbay and thankfully today I was given the all clear and am allowed to get back on the water myself. I'll most likely be looking at getting out on the waves of the south coast and if my days off of permit i'll be zooming over to North Devon or possibly even Scotland in early April.

Friday, 2 January 2015

H//-\\PPY NEW YE//-\\R

Catching the end of the Nepal season has forced my paddling skill up and with that my confidence has rocketed. After finishing with Paddle Nepal, I spent a few days personal paddling on the Bhoti Kosi River. The river was a challenge for me in my Dagger RPM but our international team was solid. The team comprised of WWA team member Bob (UK) then Nicole (CAN), Patrick (USA) and the charger Nini (NOR).

Nicole, Gavin, Nini, Bob