Are you looking for something a little more exciting from your paddleboarding? You should try White Water SUP with Outdoor Explore Wales!
What is white water paddleboarding, and what makes it more exciting?
White water is so named due to the colour the water looks when it speeds up and passes over obstacles in the water, forming white water rapids.
The increased speed and decreased depth of the water, and the fact the water becomes ‘lumpy’ and ‘bouncy’, makes balancing trickier – and that’s where the fun and excitement (and some danger) comes in!
Where do we find white water in South Wales we can paddleboard on?
Outdoor Explore Wales has a great White Water Beginners’ Adventure on the River Taff from Upper Boat (book a trip HERE!). Led by our qualified and highly experienced guides, this trip has some gentle rapids to start you off, more rapids dotted in between plenty of flat stretches to relax and enjoy the scenery, and 2 slightly bigger rapids for a little bit of excitement!
The river Taff also offers a more exciting and difficult paddle on a route called Fiddlers Elbow to Graveyard – some experience is required before paddling this stretch – and there needs to be enough water in the river!
We also offer lessons at Symonds Yat for those looking to learn and improve their White Water Paddleboard skills (BOOK HERE).
Cardiff International White Water centre offers white water at various levels – just remember to check the water levels running that day before visiting!
Do you know any other white water paddleboard routes in South Wales? Tell us about them HERE.
What makes it more dangerous?
If you’re not used to fast-flowing water, that will make a huge difference straight away! The moving water means you need to be aware of what’s going on all around you all the time!
On the moving water, if you’re not concentrating, you can easily get swept somewhere you don’t want to be – such as into a tree or into a river water feature.
We don’t mean like the lovely, picturesque fountains flowing into your garden pond, we mean waves, holes, stoppers, strainers, boilies, sharp eddy lines and more! Click HERE to book a White Water Paddleboard Lesson to learn more about these features.
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What different or extra kit should I have?
The basic kit needs are the same as ‘normal’ paddleboarding; board, buoyancy aid, paddle, and leash, but you will also need some extras!
Safety first… you should have a coiled leash attached to you by a QR, or quick-release, belt.Check out QR belts on Amazon
Next, you should be wearing a helmet. Due to the increased risk of falling off your board, and the fact the water is going to be shallower, possibly with big rocks, protecting your head is very important! You should get a white water specific helmet as different helmets protect from different types of impact.Check out White Water Helmets on Amazon
If you want, you can also protect yourself with elbow and knee pads, great if you think you might fall off lots – and the extra protection will actually do wonders for your confidence as you’ll have less to worry yourself about!
When we’re paddling shallower water the normal, 9″ fin at the back of the board is quite probably going to hit some rocks, which can cause you to fall off (sometimes quite spectacularly!), and may well get damaged in the process.
You should try to get a short (usually about 3-4″), ‘river fin’ for your board – check the attachment as there are a few different types of attachments which aren’t very compatible! If you can get a flexible fin, they’re great!Check out White Water Paddleboard Fins on Amazon
If you have any questions about what you should buy, what kit will work best for you, which trip you should join, or even to find out which fin box you have, please drop us a message!