27 December 2006

Real rivers don't have curbs...

Spent another day out on the water today, and this time it wasn't a local paddle either. Instead I got dropped off at the services on the M65 just outside of Darwen and then once kit was transferred to another car we headed north to Stockton-on-Tees and the Tees Barrage. Here there is a purpose built white water course, aptly named Teesside White Water Centre, which uses the tide as its main water source and therefore is not affected by the lack of rain we've been experiencing.

Once at the centre we paid our fees, browsed the shop and got changed before heading down to the course. I was once again in my dry suit and was loving the fact that I could paddle two days in a row without having any wet kit next to my skin. Bliss!!! During the day I made two full descents of the course and one smaller run. On the first descent I missed the top wave, but caught the wave just after it, on the second run I missed both waves and on the last, half run I missed the top wave, but caught the wave just after it before swiftly getting off the water.

Throughout the day most of our time was spent at Happy Eater, which is the main play feature on the river where it is possible to spin and get some nice front and back surfs in. The more experienced paddlers have been known to throw some helixes down and also nail some sweet entry moves. I also paid a brief visit to the next play spot on the course, named Cruncher, for a bit of cartwheeling and looping fun. Though I may just state that I didn't manage either.

Once tired and cold we headed for the changing rooms and then the cafe for refreshments and general socialising before heading home via the pub. I'm not out paddling for a while now, maybe three or four days, but I'm off climbing Friday.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

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