White Water Trips
White water paddling in the UK is dependant on rainfall to bring the rivers up to a suitable level The decision on which section of a river to paddle on Club trips will be made on the day based on the weather forecast and on water levels. Whilst we will do our best to find sections at a suitable level, if the river levels are too low, paddling may be abandoned to avoid environmental damage. If river levels are high either paddling may be abandoned or less experienced paddlers may be told not to paddle.
Water Level Information
Judging the water levels in UK rivers is never easy. There are various gauges that can be viewed over the internet on contacted by phone to check water levels. For phone numbers and websites ...
White Water Safety Update
Chest harnesses - recent research has investigated the efficiency of quick release buckles: for the quickest release use the toggle on the buckle rather than the strap end; the strap end should be a short as possible. Be aware that release efficiency is related to the speed of the water - in slower flowing water it may be necessary to adopt a star position with arms and legs outstretched to create enough drag to be released.
Loose equipment - has been identified as a contributory cause to deaths on white water. Ensure all your kit is securely stored either in a buoyancy aid pocket or in your boat.
Incorrect assessment - incorrectly assessing either the grade of the river on that day or an over-optimistic assessment of a paddlers ability has also been a contributory cause to deaths on white water. Ensure you inspect the river and any crux rapids on the day and do not just rely on a guidebook. Listen to your mind and body - how are you paddling? Ultimately there is only one grading system that works, either yes or no: yes the water is right for the way I am paddling today; no this is not the river or rapid for me today.