Monday, 9 May 2016

Intro to Whitewater - 8th May 2016

Location – Symonds Yat
Paddlers – Bill, Ali, Sam, Gregg, Dean, Kira, Rich, Jamie, Trevor, Dave, Andy, Dylan, Zaf, Duncan.
The day began with the skies looking a little dull but a forecast promising good weather, several of us met at the clubhouse to collect kit and we were on our way. Apart from the heavens opening and a few concerns over how the weather would turn out the journey was somewhat uneventful and after a compulsory stop for paddle breakfast we arrived at the car park to meet the rest of the paddlers. The rain had stopped and it was time to get ready. Myself and Gregg found ourselves in the shop parting with our hard earned cash as Gregg was looking to buy his first bits of kit and I realised it was certainly far too hot for a drysuit and a shorty cag was needed! After some faffing, in true wyre forest style, we were ready and headed down to the water to catch up with the rest of the group. 

The day proceeded with lots of skills practice including ferry gliding, S-turns and edging – this last skill being the one that seemed to trip many a paddler up and saw all of the new members experiencing their first swims…  but this didn’t stop any of them and they were straight back in the boats to keep on practicing. It was great to see so much progression throughout the day for both old and new members and the paddlers who have paddled this stretch of river many times before were reminded just how great the rapids are for keeping your skills and your confidence fresh and having a good paddling workout.
The day was of course made even better by the glorious sunshine, allowing for plenty of joking around in the water and having a great fun day as a club. The weather also allowed for plenty of swimming, rescue and throwline practice. Unfortunately some of the lines thrown were totally off the mark, or in the case of zafs line to me…  not thrown at all (I think I may have been duped there!), however plenty of lines were on target and it’s always great to see some throwline practice happening. The day came to an end with a stop in the pub for drinks and chips before heading home.
It was great to see so many club members paddling, both old and new and a big welcome to Dean, Kira and Gregg, here’s to many more paddles!

Written by - Sam King