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Issue 128 September 2016 £2.50




Enjoying the sunset on Llynnau Mymbyr Photo: Polly Salter


his has to be one of the most paddlesport-diverse issues of Ceufad we’ve published to date. As well as the stock favourites – sea kayaking, open canoe expeditioning and whitewater kayaking, we’ve got freestyle, SUPing, kayak fishing and adventure racing! I don’t want to say how long I’ve owned a set of paddles for, however, it’s been long enough to see the boom of freestyle, the rebirth of river boats and the launch of SUP-ing. And don’t get me started on the reign of the Peak Challenge (come back, we miss you!). It seems like paddlesport will never stop evolving, and it’s great to be involved in it. In fact the recent heat wave (well, the one day it hit 30C) finally gave me an excuse to hop on an SUP – something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. And it was a great way to spend a warm Welsh evening – paddling with friends in the sun. And that’s the amazing thing about paddlesport, there really is something for everyone. I can’t wait for the next 30C day when I can hop on the SUP again … Vicky Barlow Editor Ed Ceufad


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Ceufad is the official magazine of Canoe Wales. It is produced by members & the views expressed are not necessarily those of Canoe Wales or the magazine’s editor. Ceufad is free to members of Canoe Wales. SUBSCRIPTIONS are available to non-members for £10 for 4 issues from Canoe Wales. ADVERTISING For advertising rates contact Vicky on: SUBMISSIONS Articles are always welcomed & should be submitted as Word files, however, typed articles are also accepted. Images can be prints or tiff/jpeg/RAW files (preferably 300ppi). These will be returned. CONTACT – 01678 521199 Ceufad, Canoe Wales, Bala, Gwynedd LL23 7NU Ceufad is produced quarterly in March, June, September and December. NEXT ISSUE: DECEMBER DEADLINE: 1ST NOVEMBER Ceufad welcomes all contributions but reserves the right to edit & condense to fill the space available. Design & layout: Vicky Barlow


Whitewater in the Pyrenees

28 Sea kayaking in the Falklands


16 Scottish canoe classic

26 Welsh Open Freestyle




Latest info and events from Canoe Wales




Update from the CW Waterways & Environment Officer




Round up of the hottest products and news

Kayak fishing in aid of Heroes on the Water

The whitewater lowdown

Testing times on the Teifi



Putting some paddling products through their paces

Chris Brain shares his latest adventure


Throwing down at CIWW


Sea kayaking in South America


Throwbag Olympics and cardboard boats ...

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University of Wales Trinity St David’s go north

Front cover: Paddlers: Tom Laws and Tom Wakeling Location: Tryweryn Fest Photo: Blue Bear Photography Blue Bear Photography is a professional adventure photography company based in North Wales. For more details: Facebook: @BlueBearAdventurePhotography Instagram: bluebear_photograph

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canoe wales news



Club Activity Assistant Overview What is the Club Activity Assistant Role? This endorsement is a bespoke award that is designed for people who wish to run specific sessions at designated venues. The role is endorsed to support a club’s workforce and as such the sessions a Club Activity Assistant can lead must be within a club’s Standard Operating Procedures and be fully risk assessed. The Endorsement aims to engage individuals/athletes of all paddling abilities to support specific sessions on and off the water at a British Canoeing/Home Nation affiliated club. Who is it targeted at? The Club Activity Assistant is targeted toward volunteers within a club setting to support the menu of activities the club offers. There is no required previous experience, and training and support will be provided through Club Activity Assistant Coordinators, however, all Club Activity Assistants must be British Canoeing/Home Nation Members. What do they do? Their primary role is to facilitate safe and engaging paddlesport or paddlesport related sessions/activities. The nature of the session/ activity would depend on the needs of the club where the Club Activity Assistant is deployed. It could include, for example; training sessions, practice sessions, taster sessions or taking specific roles during club events. The Club Activity Assistant role would be specific to the particular session in a controlled environment. Where can I get more information? Details are on the website at click the link to access all the information. If your club is interested, there will be a series of orientation and information events for you to attend and get more information before your club signs up, please contact Marianne at

Canoe Wales Road Shows 2016 Who are the Road Shows for? All Canoe Clubs/Venues and key delivery partners are welcome. All paddlers are welcome whether you are a Canoe Wales member or not. Why are we doing them? Creating strong and thriving clubs is at the heart of growing and developing our fantastic sport. Building from feedback from the recent membership survey we will be running twice annual Club Road Shows. We aim to work in closer collaboration with you and your clubs to identify the key areas of support required in order to help you achieve your goals. From time to time, we will be bringing in experts in certain fields: Local Authority support, media & communications, specific discipline development etc and this will be based on your feedback. 10th October Plas Menai 12th October Brecon (venue tbc)

6.30pm–8pm 6.30pm–8pm

17th October Llandysul Paddlers 18th October CIWW

6.30pm–8pm 6.30pm–8pm

Content for Spring Road Shows:

Outcomes of the Road Shows:

• Canoe Wales update – where are we and where are we going • Who’s who • Survey feedback & results • Membership database • Insurance update • DBS checks • Activator award • Grant aid • Informal group discussion • Feedback

• A better understanding of where Canoe Wales can help • Know who in the Canoe Wales team looks after which area • Understand the modernisation of the database and the benefits of it • Know where to access certain grants and where to get assistance when applying for them • Understand the volunteer orientated coaching qualifications • Understand what level of insurance cover you have and where to go if there are any queries

We will be collating feedback at the end of each Road Show and this will inform us of the future direction and content of the Canoe Wales Road Shows. For more information contact Canoe Wales: | 01678 521199 or visit:


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canoe wales news

Newyddion Coaching Matters

Canoe Wales AGM

Canoe Wales are running a sea kayak Coaching Matters on the 29 – 30 October 2016.

Please find notice of Canoe Wales AGM on Saturday 15th October, 1030am Start. Please follow the website link for Agenda, Board member nomination form and member nomination form As many of you will know, we’re also holding our inaugural Canoe Wales awards event following the AGM, 1pm start aiming to finish by 2pm. Please find details on the categories and how to nominate here… post/2013-your-change-to-nominate-for-the-inaugural-canoe-wales-awards

This event will be looking at coaching and safety in the sea and surf environment. It will count as an update event. If you’re interested please email Jet on fun@

Canoe Wales Workforce Calendar 2016 This is the 2016 programme for provider training, support and coaching matters events. Coaching matters events will be organised locally. If you would like a bespoke update event for a group, club, or centre, please get in touch and we will help arrange one for you. If you would like any additional courses contact To book contact the office; 01678 521199 or email Date




Max no.

Cost £

3 Sept

FSRT Provider moderation

Trys Burke

Surf Lines – North



TBC after Oct 4* Provider Moderation

(Olly Saunders /Trys Burke / Tom Parker/ Adam Harmer)




11 Sept

WWSR Moderation

Tom Parker




11 Sept

CNTP Provider Support Day

Olly Saunders (Trys Burke)





Coach Educator Orientation

Paul Marshall




TBC after Oct 4 star Provider Orientation

Olly Saunders, Paul Marshall (Trys Burke)




29 Sept

Coaching Matters - Coaching Rolling Clinic

Karl Midlane




1 Oct

Coaching Matters - North

Trys Burke

Surf Lines

2 Oct

Level 2 Support Day

Trys Burke (plus 1)

Surf Lines – North



29/30 Oct

Coaching Matters - Sea kayak symposium

Jet Moore

Pembrokshire – South



COURSE CALENDAR 2016 WW Safety & Rescue

16–17 November

Jethro Moore

Canoe assessment

26–27 November

Jethro Moore

Kayak 4* assessment

7–8 December

Jethro Moore To list your course in Ceufad contact

EVENTS CALENDAR 2016 9 October

Usk River Race


28–30 Oct

Welsh Open Canoe Symposium


28–30 Oct

Teifi Tour


8 October

Surf & SUP European Conference


9 October

Cardiff SUP “King of the Bay’

Cardiff To list your event in Ceufad contact

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canoe wales news



Waterways & Environment Update In my last column I summarised Canoe Wales’ current position on access to rivers: a topic dear to many paddlers’ hearts. Since then I am aware of a number of difficulties arising with access to rivers across Wales, including most notably the now-infamous ‘barrier’ placed temporarily by landowners across the Dee, which has since been resolved through discussions between local commercial operators and the landowners. Please feel free to let me know of other access difficulties – as well as success stories – at although I can’t promise to deal with every issue, I would like to build up a full picture of the current access situation across Wales.

However, there have also been some positive developments! For the first time in several years, Canoe Wales is now engaged in constructive discussions with many of the organisations and bodies responsible for providing or managing access to waterways in Wales, including Natural Resources Wales; Glandŵr Cymru (the Canal & River Trust in Wales); Dŵr Cymru/Welsh Water; the Wales National Access Form; the Wye & Lugg Navigation Advisory Committee; the Wye & Usk Foundation; the Welsh Dee Partnership; and a number of Local Authorities. Our aim in these discussions is to increase the quantity of water in Wales which the whole paddling community can use without fear of conflict, with particular emphasis on recreational and club paddlers for whom Canoe Wales is the primary representative body.

As long as the law remains unclear (see my article in the last issue), Canoe Wales believes that the best way to gain and promote undisputed access to and along the non-tidal rivers of Wales is to seek to develop local management arrangements wherever conflict or dispute arises – which can only be achieved through discussion and negotiation with local communities, landowners, public authorities and other waterways users. We recognise that this may not be popular with those paddlers who believe they should be able to paddle ‘wherever and whenever they like’, especially where this may involve voluntary restrictions on when rivers can be paddled – but we are convinced that the alternative is likely to be more and more conflict and the risk of restrictions being imposed unilaterally by landowners (whose permission we need to access the rivers) or government bodies. In my early discussions with the Welsh Dee Partnership and the Wye and Usk Foundation I have made it clear that Canoe Wales cannot endorse their current ‘offerings’ but that we may be willing to endorse (perhaps on a trial basis) alternative arrangements that provide responsible, shared use of the rivers that respect the needs of the environment, local communities and other river users. Time will tell whether any of these discussions will bear fruit so I will provide updates on specific arrangements in future columns and on our Facebook page https:// and website http://www. In the meantime, our advice remains that “the decision whether or not to paddle at any location in Wales at any time is the responsibility of the individual paddler, who should take into account such advice and guidance as may be available to support that decision”. Happy Paddling! Steve Rayner, Canoe Wales Waterways & Environment Officer


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The Canoe Wales

Awards 2016 It’s time for you to nominate your paddling heroes! Coach of the Year

Club of the Year

Super Star Volunteer

Event of the Year

Paddler of the Year

Best Venue

Team of the Year

Special Award

Visit the Canoe Wales website from 1st July for details on how to nominate The qualifying time period will be between 1st October 2015 to September 30th 2016. Entries will open on 1st July 2016 and close on September 30th 2016 and no entries after this time will be considered.

in the flow

IN THE FLOW SEA BEYOND DISABILITY EXPEDITION The Sea Beyond Disability duo have just set off on their around Wales paddling challenge, to raise money for three Welsh charities and champion disability enablement. Ben Bostock and Tom Clark are lifelong friends who share a passion for disability enablement, Ben has cerebral palsy while Tom is a disability advocacy manager. The pair have been preparing for this trip for over a year, and set off from Anglesey on the 27th August. They hope to paddle into Cardiff on the 10th September, having completed the trip and raised over £10,000 for Bobath Cymru, Disability Can Do and Carmathenshire People First. They’re also looking for paddlers to join them on each leg of their trip! To follow their progress or make a donation visit:

NORFOLK BROADS CANOE AND KAYAK GUIDE The Norfolk Broads is a unique environment, ideal for exploring by canoe or kayak, and now there is a definitive guide to help you navigate your way through this picturesque wetland. The guide covers seven rivers and fourteen broads, and contains all the information you’ll need to plan either a quick paddle or a multi-day trip. Launching points, local attractions, wildlife and history are covered in detail, with maps to help you find the trickier access and egress spots. Distances are given between all the launch points, along with details of riverside campsites and pubs, enabling you to factor in overnight stops or a pint or two! This is a comprehensive and clear guide, written by a paddler for paddlers. A great resource. Available from good bookshops now. ISBN: 978-1-906095-53-6 RRP: £14.99 The Norfolk Broads Canoe and Kayak Guide is just one of many titles published by Pesda Press, which are available to buy at

BURN SERIES ADVENTURE RACE – MARGAM – 8TH OCT The Margam Burn and Mini Burn are adventure races suitable for adults and juniors that will test your endurance, determination, skill and teamwork as you run, bike and kayak around the Welsh countryside. Margam Mini Burn – an introduction to Adventure Racing for adults and children. No experience required. 3km run, 1km kayak and 10km mountain biking. Margam Burn – for experienced racers – 10km run, 1km kayak, 40km mountain bike. For more info visit:

RIVER USK CANOE RACE On Sunday 9th October Croesyceiliog Canoe Club will be hosting their annual River Usk Canoe Race. This event has been running for over 40 years and is one of the most popular races on the paddlesport calendar. The race starts in Newbridge on Usk and finishes 8 miles downstream at St Julian’s Hotel in Newport. Everyone is welcome, and the race usually attracts competitors of all standards and ages (there’s even a ‘Bus Pass’ category)! Last year saw over 50 racers on the water, from Wales and from across the border. For more details contact Alan Baker: - visit or follow on Facebook – Croesyceiliog Canoe Club





SUNDAY 9th October 2016 START: Newbridge on Usk FINISH: St. Julian’s Hotel, Newport

Distance: 8 miles Start time: 12.45pm

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For details contact: Alan Baker 20, Larkfield Close, Caerleon, S.Wales. NP18 3EX Tel 01633 421629 E mail Web Usk river race 2016.indd 1


Sponsored by:

27/04/2016 16:27


So it’s really looking like Howard’s having a busy year in his design lab! This time it’s a product that has evolved over many years, with input from some of the most experienced paddlers and coaches in sea kayaking. Arguably one of the most useful/vital items you can carry on the sea is the tow line and Howard’s latest creation is very well thought out. The ‘Clean Line’ Sea Kayak tow line is a 15 metre waist-mounted tow system that has managed to get around many if not all of the flaws that others have, the first and main one being it uses the same ‘clean line’ approach that the white water boaters have been using for a long time. This is all about not having anything that can snag and be the cause of further problems. The ‘clean’ bit is the way the line and the elastic are sealed together in a very slick snag free design. Another great feature of this tow line is the way it is super easy to deploy and repack due to its easy stow bag design, a real key feature when using it in rough conditions! The tow line is made from high quality materials and fixtures that means it will last the test of time! Main features include: • 15 metres total length with 6mm floating line, stainless steel fittings throughout • Fully adjustable waist belt, the buckle which can be ‘handed’ to the user • Quick release buckle with ‘high visibility’ grab ball • High visibility stiffened lid with in-built flotation & light reflective tape • Easy open-access bag with stiffened opening • Compressible ‘high visibility’ float with light reflective tape (removable) • Twin bungee cord shock absorber Available from: RRP: £99.99 Review: Pete Catterall


If you supply any of these then you should be advertising in Ceufad. With a readership of over 8000 paddlers and adverts starting at just £60 can you afford not to? To advertise contact:

Welsh Open freestyle The inaugural Welsh Open Freestyle competition took place at CIWW on May the 1st this year. The competition included a start list of 50 entrants across the categories from Young Guns to Elite. Starting the event off not too early in the morning gave the suppliers with demo boats time to set up and let people try some new boats, which they could use on the flat water and moving water coached freestyle sessions. At the same time the SUP intro session - for those who wished to race in the afternoon - got going. The coached sessions covered flatwater tailies, cartwheels and loops depending on your level, and then the moving water looked at

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Article: Malcolm Durnan similar moves as well as hole positioning and set up. With the centre still operational with rafts and other users, the water was turned up to the big 10 for an hour’s practice for those competing in the event. The fun SUP race on the flat went well with all competitors enjoying a good laugh nearly as much as the spectators did. With the water shut off at 15.00 there was the group briefing from Lee Parry (GB Freestyle event coordinator) letting the competitors know what the plan was before getting things running. Up first were the Young Guns in the feature with some big moves getting pulled in every one of the 10 minute Jams. The results left Etienne Chappell winning the Novice Boys, Max Hughes the Intermediate Boys and Ottilie Robinson Shaw the Elite Girls categories. With the young guns throwing down, the Senior Boater X event was going on in the background with the start ramp landing paddlers in the back of the

eddy the freestyle used (it’s a big eddy), then charging off downstream to the finish line at the end of the course. Quite a few capsizes and the odd swim made it all the more fun. Whilst the Young Guns turned their hands to the Boater X section it was over to the Senior Jams in the feature. With a lot of people new to competition, and to the feature, getting their head around it as they went, with impressive rides coming from all. This left Dave Bloodworth to clean up in the Novice section with Clara Reynolds and Sam Valman as the winners of the Intermediate categories. Onto the Elite section where boats were coming down from orbit with huge spacie’s etc. in their 45 second rides. Big smiles were on the faces of Nicky Beeby and Rob Crowe who claimed the overall Welsh Open titles for the first time, setting the standard for future Welsh Opens. The round up and prize giving and was held outside the Canoe Kayak store with the plaque made expertly made by Ronnie (Canoe Kayak Store) for

the winners to have their names engraved on for future paddlers to aspire to. A huge thanks to all the sponsors who made it happen Canoe Kayak Store, Canoe Wales, GB Freestyle. Not forgetting all our display/suppliers – Perception, Jackson, Zet, Letterman, Surfplugs, Dirty Dogs, Ozydyznes and Palm. Keep an eye on the CIWW Freestylers Facebook page for regular Freestyle comps and next year’s Welsh Open. Let’s see as many of you as possible for next year’s Welsh Open.

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Kayaking in the Falkland Article: Kath McNulty

Although our ultimate goal was South Georgia, beyond the Antarctic Convergence Zone in the Southern Ocean, it made sense to stop off in the Falklands on the way. Stanley is a lively place with cafĂŠs serving excellent cappuccino and lemon meringue pie but we were getting fat, it was time for some paddling. We sailed down the southeast coast of East Falkland, past the entrance to Choiseul Sound. The landscape reminded us of the lower lying islands in the Outer Hebrides. The land to the south of Choiseul is called Lafonia. It is part of East Falkland but only just, connected by a narrow isthmus near the

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settlement of Goose Green, the site of a major battle during the Falklands War. We passed Pyramid Point and anchored in Seal Cove. Through the binoculars we could see seal-like shapes on a distant beach. The landscape was very low lying and bleak. On the chart, round the next headland was an island called Bleaker Island! We decided to give it a miss. In the morning we clipped our three-piece Pilgrim kayaks together, in the drizzle. We were determined to find some penguins. I dug out the dry suits that we had packed so carefully a year and a half ago. Dismay!


Franco and dolphins The rubber neck seal on my suit had perished, it had turned into black sticky goo. Meanwhile Franco was trying to get a forecast through the satellite phone but it was playing up again. Eventually by 11am we were nearly ready but still no sign of Franco’s pogies. We were faffing - kayaking in Brazil had been easy - now we needed all this kit … it was depressing. I nearly suggested we give up on going paddling and that I spend the afternoon making a replacement pair of pogies but the sun came out and we set off at last. We paddled over to the shore but, disappointingly, the seal shapes turned into rocks and there was a

distinct lack of wildlife. As we paddled out of the cove, through thick kelp, things started to liven up. A skua, frustrated (or hungry) at constantly missing rock shags, which would drop out of the sky and disappear underwater every time it chased one, decided to claim Franco’s head as a consolation prize. It missed by an inch! Once clear of the kelp, we came across a small pod of Peale’s dolphins swimming in the shallows, off a small sandy beach. They approached and swam between our kayaks, fearless. We were enthralled. It was ‘dolphins swimming with kayaks’ rather than

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Caramor at Goose Green Settlement

us ‘paddling with dolphins’. The most playful stuck its head out of the water and looked Franco straight in the eyes, but clearly didn’t like what it saw as it shot away and wouldn’t come near for the next ten minutes. We thought the sunglasses might have spooked it. Soon though, the fright was forgotten and it came back to play. As we paddle off, two of them surfed my bow wave. A little further on a colony of South American terns shared a beach with kelp gulls while Magellanic oystercatchers (smart black and white birds) and blackish oystercatchers (black) scurried around the foreshore. There were plenty of Mr and Mrs Falkland flightless steamer ducks wallowing in the kelp, always in couples, and dolphin gulls flying overhead. We stopped for a late lunch on a white sand beach. What I had taken, from a distance, to be short grazed grass turned out to be barren soil, a near desert environment. Out of the wind, the sun was warm. As we continued our trip we heard a roar. Sea lions? We followed the sound out to a skerry in the bay. A couple of large males and their harems were sunning themselves on the rocks. I have always wondered how sea lions got their name. The females are playful and easily trained to do tricks in aquatic parks whereas the males are 100% testosterone and, when silhouetted on a rock in full display, look and sound just like a lion.

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Peale’s dolphins


Franco with suspension bridge

Night Heron Juvenile


Busy taking photos of ducks camouflaged among the kelp, I lost sight of Franco. When I turned to look for him, he was miles away. Puzzled, I paddled hard to catch up with him. He explained that the ack browed albatross chick young (and very large) male swimming nearby had come up just behind his kayak. “Nudger’ had given Franco’s boat a playful push which felt like being ‘nudged’ by a freight train. “I can take a hint,” thought Franco. We got back to the boat just after 5pm and made the most of the glorious evening to dry all our kit. The next day we sailed with the kayaks on the deck, possible only because between the islands the sea doesn’t get very choppy. We turned up Choiseul Sound and anchored off Goose Green. The following morning we met up with our new friends Janet and Ian who had driven over from Stanley. Ian has taken part in the Devizes to Westiminster race three times so is clearly a tough guy. Him and Janet are making the most of their time working in the Falklands to get into sea kayaking.



We piled the kayaks onto their roof rack and drove a few miles up the road. A fairly long portage over a bog, a rocky knoll and two fences took us to the highest paddleable section of the Bodie Creek. The weather was glorious and the stiff breeze was from behind. We enjoyed a fabulous cruise down to the sea, passing under an old bridge, believed to be the southern most suspension bridge in the world. As the brook opened out into the bay, it wasn’t clear which of the numerous islands we needed to go around to get back to the settlement. Not one of us had a map! Our wild guess proved correct and we got back to the village in time to grab a cup of tea at the café. The next day a hooley was blowing so we sailed back towards Stanley. The Falkland Islands have an amazing wildlife diversity, Magallanic, gentoo and rock-hopper penguins, black-browed albatrosses, dolphins, whales and much more ... however you need to know where to look and island hopping by plane is expensive. Many animals show surprising little fear of humans, something very special for us Europeans. Although we met several paddlers in Stanley, kayaking is a tough way to get around as the wind can increase very suddenly and to gale force. We didn’t find any canoe hire outfits, a future business opportunity for someone?

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Live for White Water?

Coaching at NWWC 2016/17 Courses BCU WHITE WATER SAFETY & RESCUE 22–23 October 2016 17–18 December 2016 25–26 February 2017 29–30 April 2017 24–25 June 2017 26–27 August 2017

£160 pp £160 pp £160 pp £160 pp £160 pp £160 pp


£290 pp


£390 pp


£180 pp

LEVEL 1 RAFT GUIDE TRAINING 2–4 September 2016 £185 pp 3–5 March 2017 £185 pp 5–7 May 2017 £185 pp 7–9 July 2017 £185 pp 1–3 September 2017 £185 pp If you can’t see a suitable date then give us a call.


We run other courses in both Kayak and Canoe, including BCU 3 Star, 4 Star and 5 Star Training and Assessment. We also offer Moderate Water Endorsement and Advanced Water Endorsement both Training and Assessment.


If you’ve got something in mind which you’d like to learn or you’d like a day’s guiding on the river, we can organise a day for you, whether on the Tryweryn or further afield. Please contact us to discuss your requirements. 1 to 1 coaching: 1 coach to 2 participants: 1 coach to 3 participants: 1 coach to 4 participants:

£180 per person, per day £90 per person, per day £70 per person, per day £60 per person, per day

Typhoon Multisport 4 Drysuits available for hire on all our courses only £25 per course.

Booking office: 01678 521083 Email: Website:

Tryweryn Festival 2016 Words: Sam Beesley Photos: NWWC

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A pint of your finest and a gourmet burger for ÂŁ5, what kind of wizardry is this? No wonder we sold out on Friday evening! With the tables packed by 8pm it was time for the annual T-Fest quiz. This was the biggest turnout so far with over 10 teams battling it out to claim their glory. But again they did it! Steve Moore and the crew won for the second year in a row. Will there be some worthy opponents in 2017? With morale high, the music got pumping and the evening was set alight with fire antics from the guides! The first event of the day on Saturday was the Alpkit Cardboard Cut Out Race. After meeting at 10am everyone had a couple of hours to build their craft using the cardboard and tape provided by Alpkit. As it turned out, this was the best race to start with as the dam unexpectedly turned off for a couple of hours. This allowed plenty of time for everyone to perfect their craft, catch up with friends from afar, and cure a few dizzy heads from the previous evenings antics! We later discovered that whilst engineers were carrying out some work on electricity lines locally, the transformer caught fire which tripped the dam and resulted in the water release switching off. While the water was switched off Palm Equipment ran a Throwbag Olympics event on the grass outside

the centre. The event was a mass start, with everyone lined up at the start line with their throwbags in hand. Once the whistle was blown they had to negotiate a number of obstacles, with the first person to complete the course crowned the winner. With the water back on by 1pm it was back to business with some inventive lines down the Topsite and some great rivalry between teams. A big shout out goes to the guides who spent the evening removing cardboard from the infamous Chipper downstream. With the winners of the cardboard race declared, it was time for the NRS Extreme Race. This saw competitors start off on a new feature for this year - the 20ft high start ramp. Everybody had a course practice with some interesting techniques on show for getting the most speed from the start line! This race was one of the highlights of the festival and we will have to make it bigger and more extreme next year. The last event of Saturday was a new one for this year. Hosted by the National White Water Centre it was the White Water Raft Race. Teams of six started at the Chipper with their guide on hand to navigate them down the entire commercial rafting session in one hit! There were some exhausted faces, and feelings of joy at the finish line with Robin’s raft the victors for 2016.

After a full day of energy zapping adrenaline fuelled events it was time to settle down for a few hours rest, some amazing food courtesy of Manon’s Riverside Cafe, and a great presentation hosted by Save the River Conwy. By 10pm everyone was ready for the Jungle Neon party. With our favourite resident DJ in the house the music was pumping and the neon was glowing. With only one failed back flip attempt to keep us on our toes, the fire breathing disco inferno was a great success.

Sunday morning arrived and the fun wasn’t over yet with the Rope Refresher Course and First Aid Class full, and the Pyranha King of the Wave in full swing. It was an added bonus that the water stayed on all day as well! All in all, this year’s festival was amazing! I thought it would be hard to top last year but I think we did it. Thanks everybody who attended and a massive shout out to all the sponsors and River Legacy for their continued support with the festival. We hope to see you all again next year and make sure you get your tickets early this time as 2017 is going to be a blast!

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with the university of wales trinity saint david’s

Words: Gareth Bryant Photos: Gareth Bryant and Graham Harvey

After a successful trip in 2009 the students at University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s in Carmarthen plotted a return journey to the Highlands of Scotland, looking to retrace some of the roots of the 09 trip but also explore other areas. The trip consisted of 9 students who are studying the BA Outdoor Adventure Education degree, Graham Harvey – senior lecturer at the university, Thomas Moore – lecturer, Gareth Bryant – river guide, and Rhys Jordan on logistics. The trip was a great success and each day has been logged to show how things worked. If anyone is thinking of a trip to Scotland then hopefully some of this information will help.

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DAY 1 So the day started with a 7am meet at the stores in Carmarthen to load our canoes and kit onto the trailers, and pack the vans with our mountain of dry bags, barrels, tarps, paddling kit, trollies and food. We had looked at the weather forecast for the coming week and could not believe our luck as it looked like it was going to be dry sunny week with a breeze that should work in our favour on the first few days on the Loch. After the packing was complete and the satnav set we headed off in the vans. Luckily for some of the students it had been the Colours Ball in Swansea the night before so they were ready for a long sleep! We

made it to Glen Coe and the Clachaig Inn by around 8pm A great place to stop as the inn nestles in the very heart of Glencoe, amongst the spectacular and majestic mountains of the Scottish Highlands. Clachaig Inn has been a source of accommodation and hospitality for travellers for over three hundred years. After filling our bellies we headed off to take advantage of the wild camping laws in Scotland and found shelter under Ben Nevis in the North Face car park, the group all chose the hammock option and had fun setting up hammocks and tarps in the trees ready for our first night out.

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We woke to a bright start and headed for the shops in Fort William to get breakfast and provisions for our trip down Loch Shiel. As well as the food shop we headed to the outdoor gear shops for some last minute goodies. More kit was loaded into the vans and we drove the short distance to our start point in Glenfinnan. On arrival the sun was out ‌ and so were the tourists. With the first car park full we headed over the bridge and found a small car park on river right with easy access to the river that feeds the loch. Boats were packed, shuttles made and at last we headed off on the journey. As you set off you can look back at the 60ft Bonnie Prince Charlie monument, raised at the head of the loch to commemorate the historic events that took place in 1745 that started the Jacobite Rising. After around 15 minutes of paddling in our fully laden boats we noticed that we had a lovely tail wind and some small sails began to appear and after some success these soon turned into full tarp sails. We all enjoyed the sailing and we continued down the loch for around 10 miles to just before St Finnan’s Isle, also known as the Green Isle. The wild camping options on Loch Shiel are amazing and we chose a lovely shale beach that would hopefully keep the dreaded midges away. We cooked, drank and settled into another night in the hammocks.

We had camped on the right hand side of the loch to make the most of the sunrise and it did not disappoint. By 6am we had a dead still loch and a beautiful sunrise. It was a slow start with the weather so nice - we spent time on our bivvy site, some swam in the loch and cooked a full breakfast and even had watermelon to freshen things up. By the time we set off it was close to 11am and the wind on the loch had picked up allowing us to sail once again. We sailed for an hour before reaching St Finnan’s Island, tying our boats to the stone jetty that has been used for hundreds of years to bring the coffins onto the island. The island never disappoints and we all set off to try and trace the oldest gravestones and take photos down the loch. After more melon and a chat we left the island with yet again a perfect breeze for our canoe sails. Not long after setting off we were greeted by a pair of white tailed sea eagles as well as the other usual birds and wildlife. After the island it took 3 hours to reach the end of the loch. There is an option of a stop for provisions in Acharacle but we decided not to stop and sailed out of the loch and into the River Shiel, stopping under Shiel bridge to de-rig the sails that had worked so well for us the whole length of the loch - almost 18 miles. We sat and had lunch in the sun before setting off down the River Shiel. It felt strange having to paddle for a change but with the flow of the river it was a great paddle.

The river itself is short - less than 3 miles - but a beautiful paddle. It has a gauntlet of fishing platforms that stand empty with crystal clear water. The river is slow moving with no hazards until just before it flows into the sea at Dorlin. Now depending on the tide this little rapid can be a nice easy grade 2 or a tasty grade 3 rapid. When we arrived the tide was out and it looked like a tasty grade 3. After a quick scout we decided to unload the boats and walk the kit down the road and paddle the boats empty. This was a bit of hard work but considering we had hardly paddled on the loch we had plenty of energy for the task. The boats were paddled and reloaded then we made our way down the estuary to the beautiful Castle Tioram. As the tide was out we paddled around the castle and beached on the same spot we had used 7 years earlier. Again hammocks were set, some of the group chose to sleep in the bivvy bags on the grass and Anna chose a more secluded night and paddled out to the castle to spend a night in solitude practicing her juggling. This spot is one of the nicest wild camping spots, with a fire pit, wood everywhere, hammock trees and the backdrop of the castle with the causeway drying out then flooding with the tide. The night was spent in front of the fire, star gazing, hand stand walking and storytelling.

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this section many times before usually taking 1 – 2 hours. Again the sun was out and we tried solo paddling and working on 3 star skills. The water was as low as I had seen it but still plenty for us. After spending time on rescue skills, flat water strokes and the skimming world championships the 1-2 hour paddle stretched to a lovely 5 hour paddle. We took the boats out above the rapids and used our trollies to get them back to the trailer and vans.


DAY 4 We had hoped to follow our 09 route and head out to sea through Loch Moidart and the north channel up the coast and into Loch Ailort. We had the tide, we had the sun but unfortunately we also had the wind that had helped us down Loch Shiel. We set off for a look but by the time we reached the boat house on Shona Beag we knew we would have to turn back. The wind had picked up and was making some nice surfing waves down the loch so we headed back to the shelter of our campsite bay. This was something that we had known could happen as the paddle up the coast needs a calm day. We made plans to pick up the vehicles and used our spare time to practice poling and some solo boating near the castle before loading boats onto the trailer and heading off to look for some rivers to paddle. We drove back to fort William for ice cream and to look at the maps. As things had been so dry the water levels were low, so we chose not to follow the 09 route of the Royal Dee and chose the safe option of the River Tay that holds its water all year. We drove the 2 hours and set up hammocks in the beautiful Scottish Canoe Association campsite in Grandtully. After base was sorted we headed up to Aberfeldy for some fish and chips and to replenish supplies.

DAY 5 This was a slow start day with everyone making use of the showers and toilet facilities. When we eventually got going we chose the section of river from Aberfeldy to the rapids in Grandtully as our paddle. I had completed

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This was to be our final day on the water and we started early on Loch Tay in the village of Kenmore. The weather was great with a crystal clear flat loch. While the shuttles were completed we made the most of the conditions and practiced both tandem and solo skills before heading over to the bridge and entering the River Tay. It was a lovely feeling paddling out of the loch and into the river, heading off on our final days paddling. We stopped on river right at the first bridge to inspect the grade 2 rapids below and met the groundsman of the Taymouth Castle - a lovely friendly chap who gave us the history of the castle and surrounding area. After many encounters with landowners in the past Scotland always leaves me smiling. After negotiating the rapids we then made our way down to Aberfeldy, taking in some beautiful views and passing fisherman after fisherman who only had smiles and waves to share. We did not rush this section as it was our last paddle and it took us 3 hours. The boats were loaded for the last time and we headed off to Pitlochery for the tourist part of the trip. We took in the fish ladder and dam before heading to the best teashop in Scotland, Hetties, and a look around the John Muir centre as well as other great shops. That evening we booked a table at the Inn on the Tay who gave us a great deal as a group booking. Awards were given with Ali taking best juggler, Anna top sleep spot, Sam M.V.P, Liv and Ga 5m swim badge, Jamie lone wolf, Page AW award, Rhodri RPS champ, Josh RPS loser, Carys K.W.A.W award, Rhys hipster, Tommo the Top P, Graham the B.P.T award. Most of the group also gained the 3 star canoe award.

DAY 7 After our last night in the hammocks we headed south by 8am. We had enjoyed a great weeks paddling in a beautiful area, we had no rain, no midges, beautiful sunshine, had made new friends and all got the bug for further expeditions. THE TEAM Anna Gordon, Sam Newbery, Josh Sims, Alison Singleton, Carys Webb, Rhodri Griffiths, Jamie Robinson, Paige Topliss, Olivia Remington, Gareth Bryant, Graham Harvey, Rhys Jordan, Thomas Moore. FURTHER INFORMATION If you would like additional information on this trip please email Gareth Bryant on or call Llandysul Paddlers on 01559363209. For information on the Outdoor Degree Course at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s in Carmarthen please contact Graham Harvey on

An Ideal Role for developing a volunteer or current paddler, supporting club level activity;

CLUB ACTIVITY ASSISTANTS CAN; • Facilitate Safe and Engaging paddle sport

or paddle sport related activity • Support particular session or activities

in a controlled environment • Provide a fully developed support

pathway towards a British Canoeing Endorsement

FIND OUT MORE AT: www. www.gocanoeingweek.o w gocanoe noeingw week. ekk org. r u ukk

Ocean Kayak Classic 2016

in aid of Heroes on the Water


n the last few years there’s been a monumental rise in the popularity of kayak fishing and there are now several competitive events each season where kayak anglers can pit their wits against each other. The majority of the competitions are what’s known as Species Hunt events with the aim being to catch, photograph and then release as many different species of fish as you can within the allotted match time. The winner is the one who catches the most species and in the event of a tie then the person who registers his photos first wins. To stop people cheating a unique registration card is given to you that must be included in each of your pictures and the judges are strict! One of the biggest events in the kayak angler’s calendar is the Ocean Kayak Classic which in recent years has been held in Plymouth Sound in Devon. This event is organised by the Ocean Kayak UK fishing team and is in aid of Heroes on the Water UK. This is a fantastic charity that helps wounded servicemen and women get afloat and engaged with some therapeutic rehabilitation. The team involved do a brilliant job every year running the day which usually sees around 80 or so competitors, with all the proceeds going to the charity. Competitors will often travel from all around the country to attend these events and a good weather forecast will often mean a good turnout. Keeping everyone safe is the number one priority so the fishing area is zoned and managed if the weather is a bit questionable. The organisers on the day also arrange for a safety boat to be deployed which is supported with a safety briefing and a gear check to ensure all the entrants have the correct equipment and enough skills and knowledge to keep them safe.

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Article: Kyle Waterhouse

I’m fortunate enough to be involved in these events and really enjoy the atmosphere and challenge the day provides. I’m an angler turned kayaker, though many of the entrants are kayakers who are trying their hand at angling so it’s a great hybrid sport that has a lot to offer. The whole day is usually a very social event where families and juniors get involved and the event sponsors always ensure a decent prize table for the winners. A claxon normally marks the start of the match at 10am and all entrants then have until 4pm to be back in to register their fish photos. Plymouth Sound offers plenty of features to fish, including underwater reefs, sand banks, deep drop offs and even a massive pier which is usually very popular. There are over 20 fish species to try and tempt, including one or two quite rare ones, which makes it a great venue for a species hunt as you’re never quite sure what’s going to come up. One of the strangest and most beautiful fish you’ll find there is the red band fish and although these are considered fairly rare they can be found in numbers in the Sound. Small feathered lures jigged close to the bottom will tempt these out of their burrows and they are usually the star of the show for the anglers who don’t get to see them at their normal venues. The day went well for me and I caught 8 species which included one of the strangely beautiful red band fish as well as a stunningly marked rock cook wrasse which you don’t see too many of either. What’s nice about these events is you get to see all the fish swim away so it’s not a bloodbath like some of the more traditional weight based contests. It’s also a really good way of testing your fishing skills as to find enough species to be in with a shot then you need to try lots of different tactics over various fishing grounds - what I like best is that it’s all down to you so there’s no excuses!

Back at the registration tent it was all a bit quiet as to what had been caught. Nobody really gives much away on the water in fear of letting the cat out of the bag and having one of your competitor’s beat you back in to register. You’re never quite sure how you’re doing though I’ve found 8-10 species will normally get you in the top 10. With my 8 species I finished in 6th place which won me a C-Tug Kayak trolley, so I couldn’t complain! The champion of the day was Mark Radcliffe who took the top spot with 11 species which was a really impressive bit of angling. It was a fantastic day afloat and awesome to see so many kayaks on the water in aid of a unique cause. For more information on the charity or to make a donation please visit:

OCEAN KAYAK CLASSIC 2016 RESULTS Winner of the kayak an Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 with his number drawn out of the hat: Roy Pritchard Fish of the Comp: Ed Gibson – Tadpole Fish Species Competition: 1. Mark Radcliffe (11) 2. Liam Faisey (9) 3. Steve Tibbenham (9) 4. Neil Whitehead (9) 5. Gareth Brown (8) 6. Kyle Waterhouse (8) 7. Mark Crame (7) 8. Ed Gibson (7) 9. Ian Pickering (6) 10. Nathan Evans (6) Juniors: Jessica Ward 10yrs – 4 species in 2hrs Ethan Payne 9yrs – 2 species in 2 hrs


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Pyrenees – into the Unknown


his was my first year as a qualified PE teacher and so first year I was unable to go away in May. However, I managed to fit in six days in the Pyrenees at the start of June. I met up with some Irish and Spanish paddlers who were already there. Water levels are not guaranteed at this time of the year but I took a chance and it worked out very well. The Pyrenees is not a popular destination for Irish paddlers, however, it should be as it is an amazing place to paddle, with a wide variety of rivers ranging from grade 2 to 4 and everything in between. I will definitely be promoting it as a great place to paddle for Irish paddlers. The food and beer is great and very cheap and the locals were so friendly everywhere we went.

Article: Laura Griffin

HOW TO GET THERE There are many rivers in the Pyrenees on both the Spanish and French sides. We spent most of our time in the Aragon region which is in the middle of the Spanish Pyrenees, and so flew in and out of Madrid. It is a four-hour drive from Madrid to the Ara valley where I spent my first few days paddling. There are plenty of flights from the UK to Madrid, including EasyJet from Bristol and Liverpool, and RyanAir from Manchester and Dublin. The rivers in the west Pyrenees run earlier in the season and so flying to Bilbao would shorten the drive, with flights from Bristol and Manchester with EasyJet, however, there are currently no direct flights from Ireland. In a good season the east Pyrenees runs throughout May and into June so flying to Girona is a good option for this area. Ryanair fly direct to Girona.

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WHERE TO STAY There are a wide variety of options from campsites, hostels to small hotels. Camping is the cheapest option but hostels can often work out just as cheap. Prices vary from €12 for a campsite up to €30 for a reasonable hotel. We stayed in both depending on the weather and the time we arrived back after a day’s paddling.

THE ARA This is a very popular run given it is the last free flowing river of the Pyrenees flowing from from Ordesa National Park. The other rivers in this region have all been dammed and unfortunately there have been many threats to dam this river. The local people have blocked these threats thus far. The classic section, Torla Village to Broto (3-4) is a lovely run and great to warm up on. The river starts after a dam and gets going straight away with a S-bend rapid on the first bend. The river continues with some fun bouncy rapids and gets easier as it flattens out. There are lots of features to play and surf on this run. The canyon section (4-5) starts at the top of the valley. The views are beautiful and it’s definitely worth the drive. The river starts with a nice warm

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up grade 3–4 section. The entry rapid to the gorge is the trickiest rapid - long, with a lot of rocks and an undercut on the left. Following this is a beautiful deep gorge with drops, slides and many rapids. The river is really enjoyable and the scenery is beautiful. The run ends with a lovely grade 3 section with loads of small waterfalls flowing in from the sides of the valley which gives the section a spectacular finish. Levels in the Ara valley were dropping so we decided to head for France. We drove through the Ordesa National Park which was a slightly longer drive but well worth it for the incredible views. We drove to the top of the Gavarnie valley to again take in some breath-taking views. It seems no matter where we went there were amazing views both on and off the water.

THE GAVARNIE The Gavarnie section, Luz Canyon (3-4). There are many different sections on this river but as levels were not ideal only one section was runnable. This section is in a very impressive gorge with lots of fun read and run rapids. It can be run at any level but the more water the more fun it gets. On our way back to Madrid for our flight home, we stayed a night in Murillo do Gallego and got to paddle the classic section of the Gallego.

THE GALLEGO Gallego classic section (3) This is a really fun river with lots to play on with some lovely waves to surf. It flows through a really interesting rock formation, Mallos de Riglos. It was a great river to finish the trip on.

A tip: If you decide to get out on a rock to take some video don’t tie your boat to the ropes the raft guides have attached there. Some are very old and might fall apart – leaving your boat to float down the river!

USEFUL INFORMATION is a useful website to find out about river levels and to find local paddlers. The White Water Pyrenees guidebook by Patrick Santal, Peter Knowles, and Norman Taylor is very good although the Spanish version has more river guides and information but definitely worth getting. There are a wide variety of rivers in the Pyrenees that run from April through to August depending on the area. For low volume creek runs the months of April to June are more dependable. Many of the rivers in this area are dam released and run throughout the summer, and most are grade 3. Some sections of the Cinqueta run all summer long. Rivers on the French side such as the Gavarnie and Cauturets run best in July. The Pyrenees is an amazing place to paddle, so close to Ireland and very accessible. The rivers are located in some of the most breath-taking valleys I have ever seen. I will defintely return to the Pyrenees and next time for longer.

LAURA GRIFFIN Laura is a Palm Ambassador and a talented whitewater paddler. She promotes and develops women’s paddling in Ireland, putting her energy into clinics and coaching weekends. Her paddling schedule takes her all over Europe, and on adventures further afield. More often however, you’ll find her chasing the rain around Wicklow on Ireland’s east coast. Whether whitewater, freestyle, surfing or racing K1 in the Liffey descent, there’s always more to do, and Laura’s infectious enthusiasm shines through, for the sheer love of paddling.

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Llandysul Paddlers Kayathlon Article: Gareth Bryant On Saturday the 9th July 27 competitors and 2 teams took part in Llandysul Paddlers first ever Kayathlon! The course was marked out early Saturday morning and competitors started to arrive nice and early for a bit of pre-race practice. The event started with a run from the start tent to the lake, then a jump on one of the waiting sit-on-tops and a gruelling 20 laps of the marked course. After the kayaking it was back out of the lake, a short run over the road bridge, and your first taste of cold water with an open water swim across the mighty River Teifi. After the swim there was a hard hill climb up to the swimming pool and a quick ten lengths then back out, shoes on and a run back down to the river for your second crossing. After this crossing it was another run back past the spectators to the far end of the Llandysul Paddlers’ fields and another open water swim, then the long run around the park, much to the amusement of the cricket players and dog walkers. After the park run it was one more open water swim and the final lap of the lake, and then back to the start tent and a cheer from the spectators and parents. The whole event was great fun and the competitors ranged from 8yrs old upwards. After all the competitors finished the course we had a prize giving, with Jon Haylock winning the Men’s title and a course record of 39.50 minutes. The fastest junior male was Josh Evans with a time of 45.40 minutes. The ladies event was dominated by 17 year old Bethan

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Palmer from North Wales who not only won the junior title but also the adult female title with a time of 45 minutes. The team event was won by Josh, Jake, Sam and Guto with a time of 37.45. The junior team race was won by Hanna, Fflur and Tomos with a time of 51 minutes. As well as a great day the event raised £750 for the local swimming pool. The event took place with the help of Llandysul Paddlers’ Club, Llandysul Community Council and a load of great marshals and volunteers. If you fancy giving this event a go then the 2017 date is Saturday July 8th For a full list of events at Llandysul Paddlers please get in touch by email to or call us on 01559 363209 or 07900 570440.

SUPer Fun! Article: Chris Brain

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Like many canoeists and kayakers in the UK, I had been aware of stand up paddle boarding (SUP) for quite a while, keeping a watchful eye from a distance. With no surfboard experience and a having never been too impressed with inflatable canoes or kayaks, I really wasn’t very sure whether this would be a paddlesport discipline that I could really get into. In fact, I wasn’t sure whether I actually needed to get into it, after all was it not just going to be similar to canoeing or kayaking (but standing up)? After getting on a SUP for the first time earlier this year, I pretty quickly realised what all the fuss was about!

A great way to spend an evening with friends (photo courtesy of Red Paddle Co)


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WHAT KIT DO I NEED? The great thing about stand up paddle boarding is that if you are already getting out on the water in another discipline, then you probably can bring most of your kit across to your SUP. You will of course need a SUP board, a SUP paddle, and a leash to keep you connected to the board should you end up in the water. If you are touring or heading out on flat water you probably don’t need much more than this. You can use the bungees or tie down points on the board to carry your additional kit bags, equipment or food with you easily. Most of what you would wear with your regular paddlesport is fine for getting out on a SUP with. If you are wanting to head onto moving water, it is certainly worth dressing for swimming! SUPing on whitewater is tricky and will require specialist instruction if you haven’t been on a SUP in that environment before.

INFLATABLE OR HARDBOARD? Regardless of whether you go for an inflatable board or for a hardboard you will have a great time SUPing! For me its inflatable boards all the way as they are easier to store, easier to travel with and a bit more resistant to wear and tear than a hardboard is. Hardboards can be very responsive and performance orientated (in particular for racing), but most high quality inflatables are not far behind with many people commenting that they thought my inflatable SUP was solid! Most people are surprised when they watch me deflate it and roll it back into a bag the size of a small suitcase. If you use a high quality inflatable SUP that can be pumped up to a good pressure, you probably won’t notice the difference between an inflatable and a hardboard.

Sunset SUP (photo courtesy of Red Paddle Co) Depending on which inflatable board you go for, it will probably take you somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes to be pumped up and ready to go. At the moment I am regularly using a Red Paddle Co Explorer 13’2” which is a lot of board to pump up, but (without anyone helping pumping) from sitting in my van to being on the water is usually less than 20 minutes.

SUPs can be a great way to chill out on the water (photo courtesy of Red Paddle Co)

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MY WINDERMERE SUP ADVENTURE A 13 foot inflatable SUP fits in

Pumping up takes about 15 minutes

the back of a Toyota Yaris!

Setting off on the journey from Fell Foot to Waterhead

SUP keeps you smiling in the rain!

When my van was towed away by the AA, my plans of going paddling the day after seemed to fade away. My Mum said I could use her Toyota Yaris to help me get around for the day and it seemed like an adventure could be back on the cards.  However, the Yaris has no roof rack and no kit space, but for an inflatable SUP that is no problem! I was keen to get some distance in so decided to head off up to Windermere to paddle its full 18km from Fell Foot to Waterhead. As I was on a “one man, one board, one way” type journey I was going to need to get back to where I started at Fell Foot at the south end of Windermere.  Usually with kayaks/canoes this typically involves needing two vehicles or an extra shuttle back and forth.  This involves leaving whatever you have just been paddling on its own at the end of your journey whilst you return back to the start to get your vehicle. It was at this stage that my inflatable SUP showed once again how versatile it is! Packing down into a very portable package, traveling with the SUP was going to be a breeze. 5 minutes later I was ready to head back to my car at the start!  If I had brought a big enough drybag rucksack and had been using a 3 piece split it would have been a bit easier to put it all in one bag, but still it was more portable than my open canoe! All that was left was to catch a lift back to the start, fortunately due to the amount of traffic and the kindness of the local people, it only took about 5 minutes before I was already on my way!

'' Packing away to a portable Lunch!

size takes about 5 minutes

Catching a lift!

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SUPs can take you to some incredible locations (photo courtesy of Red Paddle Co) SUP surfing! (photo courtesy of Red Paddle Co)

WHERE TO SUP Stand up paddleboards are such a versatile craft, and can be paddled wherever there is water. You can have fun on the sea, in the surf, lakes, rivers and canals too. Due to the fact that I spend much of my time in a canoe or kayak on moving water, I have been going on different adventures in my SUP to what I normally would, exploring canal systems that were on my doorstep, but I have never paddled before. Touring, travelling and overnight camping is also exceptionally accessible on a SUP and in November I will be part of a team flying to Malta with our boards to circumnavigate the island!

CHRIS BRAIN Chris has been kayaking, canoeing and coaching for the last 15 years and runs his own business Chris Brain Coaching, delivering paddlesport coaching, safety and rescue courses and REC First aid training. Chris would like to thank Red Paddle co, Pyranha kayaks, Immersion Research, VE Paddles and Go Kayaking for making fantastic kit and their continued support.

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WHAT NEXT? There are plenty of shops that stock stand up paddleboards out there, but only a few that sell really good equipment and have staff that are experienced and know what they are talking about. GoKayaking Northwest stocks the Red Paddle Co range, has staff that go SUPing and has water that you can get out and try them out on too. It is well worth going and standing on your board and getting sized up for your paddle and equipment in person rather than buying online. Once you have your kit, you’re ready to plan your adventures! My advice with stand up paddleboarding is to try it out, you might surprise yourself as to how much you like it. It is so accessible, easy to do and is fun for all the family even those who don’t usually like kayaking/canoeing. It is exceptionally good for fitness and you’ll have a great full body workout that you wouldn’t necessarily get in the same way with other paddlesports. See you on the water!





SUNDAY 9th October 2016 START: Newbridge on Usk FINISH: St. Julian’s Hotel, Newport

Distance: 8 miles Start time: 12.45pm

Sponsored by:



For details contact: Alan Baker 20, Larkfield Close, Caerleon, S.Wales. NP18 3EX Tel 01633 421629 E mail Web

Road Shows 2016 10th October

Plas Menai

12th October

Welshpool (venue tbc)

13th October

Abergavenny, Gilwern OEC

17th October

Llandysul Paddlers

18th October

Cardiff International White Water Centre All Roads Shows will run from 6.30pm – 8pm

Who are the Road Shows for? All Canoe Clubs/Venues and key delivery partners are welcome. All paddlers are welcome whether you are a Canoe Wales member or not. Content for Road Shows:

Outcomes of the Road Shows:

Canoe Wales update – where are we and where are we going

A better understanding of where Canoe Wales can help

Who’s who

Survey feedback & results

Know who in the Canoe Wales team looks after which area

Membership database

Insurance update

Understand the modernisation of the database and the benefits of it

DBS checks

Activator award

Know where to access certain grants and where to get assistance when applying for them

Grant aid

Informal group discussion

Understand the volunteer orientated coaching qualifications


Understand what level of insurance cover you have and where to go if there are any queries

We will be collating feedback at the end of each Road Show and this will inform us of the future direction and content of the Canoe Wales Road Shows. For more information contact Canoe Wales: | 01678 521199 or visit:

Profile for Ceufad @ Canoe Wales

Ceufad September 2016  

Autumn 2015 issue of Canoe Wales rip-roaring paddlesport magazine.

Ceufad September 2016  

Autumn 2015 issue of Canoe Wales rip-roaring paddlesport magazine.

Profile for ceufad