EXTRA ADVENTURE WEEKEND ACTIVITIES
- Saturday morning activities to be booked with Real Adventures firstname.lastname@example.org. Abseiling / paintball / Game Drives / Quad out rides / Archery / etc.
- Saturday afternoon Whitewater skills course with Hugh du Preez from Whitewater training. R200 per person. bring own lifejacket and helmets. kayaks and paddles provided. Book with Stephan at email@example.com
Hugh du Preez has been involved in whitewater activities since 1990, Hugh du Preez is a certified kayak instructor, safety kayaker, high angle rescue trainer, Emergency Care Practitioner Basic, First Aid and CPR instructor and Chief Instructor for the African Paddling Association.
Hugh has paddled extensively throughout Southern Africa and also spent four seasons working in Canada. He represented South Africa at the World Whitewater Championships held in Canada in 1997 and in Sort, Spain in 2001.
THE BASICS OF WHITE WATER KAYAKING
- The easiest route through a rapid is to follow the water flow. Most of the water will be flowing in the deepest channel, identifiable by a "V" that will be visible when approaching the rapid. Staying in this "V" will keep the kayak in deep enough water and get you through the rapid.
- Waves are formed by either pressure from water or from obstacles in the river. Waves that line up will most likely be pressure waves. Solitary waves occurring at random will be rocks or other obstacles.
- When the kayak gets turned sideways, lean downriver lifting the upriver side. This is counterintuitive, but if not done the upriver side of the kayak will be pushed under by the force of the river and it will flip over. This is called being window-shaded or window-shading.
- Always keep an active paddle blade in the water. That is to say, do not rest and let the river carry you along. Small corrective strokes will keep the kayak pointed in the right direction. Keeping the paddle blade in the water will also allow you to brace faster to prevent capsizing.
- The outer side of bends will tend to collect silt, sand and pebbles, and will be shallower than the inner side. When approaching a curve in the river look for the "V" on the inner bend side.
- Do not follow other kayakers through a rapid closely. They may get into a bit of trouble and need time to make corrections. Being on top of someone is not just rude, it can be dangerous for them.
- When water passes by an object, a low pressure area that flows upriver called an eddy is formed. To rest in an eddy do a sharp pivot turn as close to the object as you can, getting behind it. This is called eddying out.
- Get into the habit of looking at the river. Look for eddies, holes or rocks, and pay attention to how and where waves are formed.
- Try surfing a gentle wave. When passing the wave, turn back upriver allowing the eddy to pull the kayak into the wave. It will be necessary to paddle upriver a bit. Put the bow of the kayak right into the wave. Use the paddle as a rudder.
- Ferrying is using the river current to carry the kayak side to side across the river. Do this by pointing upriver. Use the paddle as a rudder to adjust the angle of the kayak to the river so it pulls the kayak across. With practice it is possible to cross a river in a perfectly straight line. With more practice, it is possible to cross a river, ending up upstream of where you started.
- Mostly have fun. Stay with milder rivers as your skills develop. Jumping into big water right off can turn a fun and exciting day into a terrifying experience.