Easter Adventures - The UK's Best White Water SUP Boarders Paddle Together!
When some of the best UK SUP boarders get together to paddle in Scotland for some Easter SUP Adventures you just drop everything and say hell YES I’m game. Keep reading on for day; 4 the best day!
Day 1 of our Easter SUP Adventures: Tay: Grade 3
Day one there was the fewest number of people on the water with just three of us as it was the first day some people were not available yet to paddle together. We thought we would get a nice warm up run with the main section of the Tay, Grantully rapids Scotlands national Slalom Site. These are quite tight and technical lines with small eddies narrow channels, big holes and of course the infamous Magnetic Rock. As the name says all the water flows right towards it (not somewhere you would want to end up on top of). the good news is around magnetic the river is widest and the eddies the largest to avoid the rock. And to top it all off the Highland Chocolatier (the world’s best Truffles) is literally on the side of the river making a perfect tasty treat for after a paddle. YUM.
Day2 of our Easter SUP Adventures: Garry: Dam Release Grade 3+
The Garry is well known in Scotland and we go into this a lot more on day 4’s paddling breakdown as we are back here and also other rivers… Today we had some guests appearances from some awesome Scottish coaches from around the highlands really topping up our numbers and meeting at a good old respectable time of late morning allowing for plenty of coffee and breakfast we proceeded to knuckle down and take over the river. There must have been hundreds of kayakers on the water this day as well as rafts (because it is Easter everyone is after their own adventures but the SUP is the best) but amongst our hardy crew of SUP boarders we stood out (quite literally as we were standing) amongst the crowd in particular at Surf’s Up one of the larger and more awesome surf waves on the river.
We spent so long playing about today that we only ended up with one run of the river (normally we would do two or three runs in a day) so alas the wee 7’11 didn’t come out for a play… normally we warm up on the bigger boards before putting the 7’11 on for a second run as it is worth getting used to the balance in the waves before throwing a board significantly smaller at them.
Day 3 of our Easter SUP Adventures: Lower Findhorn: Grade 4(5)
Once you start saying grade like 4(5) on a SUP everyone starts losing their minds normally with lots of internet Trolls but it is doable albeit it very hard. In terms of paddling grade 4 there is one person in England who has managed this and now probably upwards of 10 people in Scotland who have managed. With regards to grade 5, there are only 3 people in Scotland who have done this and nobody else in the rest of Europe to our knowledge.
The lower Findhorn is very tight technical and extremely rocky lines. It is effectively rock dodging with huge whitewater in between the rocks! Not for the faint hearted, it is amongst Scotland’s harder rivers which often get paddled with rapids like Corkscrew, Slot, triple step and Randolphs Leap. But every rapid is easily portable which turned out to be very handy due to a snapped paddle early on which was very unexpected and unfortunate.
White Water SUP Photos From The Garry & The Etive In The Highlands Of Scotland
An Epic Day 4 Of Easter White Water SUP Adventures!
You know when you decide to paddle two rivers in a day it is going to be a big day… but you never quite realise how knackering it is until the day after! This is one hell of a way to spend Easter Sunday; we can think of no better way than on a SUP adventures 😀
Today consisted of paddling both the river Garry (G3+) which is dam release and sections of a very low water river Etive (G4/5). Today we got some guest appearances from Jess, Cam, Sam and another Sam which was awesome. The more SUP boarders take over the Garry the better 😀 it is the way!
The Garry is a constant section of whitewater and is without any shred of a doubt the best play river in the entire country for SUP and to be fair most other craft as well! It never lets up but also is totally safe to swim as after every rapid there is a very short section to recover and play about on the many surf waves. It starts off with Double or Quits straight into Surf’s up into Hey Diddle Diddle, Pop till you drop, Whitebridge and the Rapid below. All grade 3/3+ big water and consistency of the white water is key! because it is dam release almost every Thursday and Saturday throughout Spring, Summer & Autumn it releases only pausing for winter to restock the water behind the dam!
Some of the holes on the Garry are the size of people as can be seen in the odd photo of boards being kicked up and helmets poking out of troughs. We did two runs of the river with a huge variety of boards out on the water but with 4 Hala boards there is no doubt which board was the most popular. We had the 7’11, 8’6 and 9’6’s out on the water today and I must say the 7’11 held it’s own in the huge waves somehow this little board is not just playful and nimble but stable for paddling as well!
After lunch we proceeded to drive to the adventurous Etive for some more Easter SUP fun. Having arrived at the Garry at 09:00 to paddle we then arrived at the Etive at 16:00 – a lot of white water paddling already had been done but we proceeded to gear up get the boards down to the river and play on the best and safest drops in the whole of the UK! Triple Step is a SUP boarders dream for playing about on and it did not disappoint. Having maxed out the camera SD card at 64 GB we proceeded to play about on second step which is around 9ft high and a good entry level drop into a deep pool for people to try and get used to drops. There is also some higher sections of the canyon wall around up to about 18ft which provide the perfect training ground for landing right angle (alas this was too low on the day to try) so a few of us bravely leapt off the wall onto the ever waiting SUP’s below.
Having had a knackering but awesome Easter day (yes it was Easter Sunday) we parted our ways and this would be the end of Jim’s SUP trip with the guys (as he had a less than favourable dentist appointment to make) who were sticking around a little longer for some more adventures of their own. But they will be back next year and hopefully there will be even more of us!
If you want to be able to paddle some of these rivers yourself and are currently a grade 3 paddler then take a look at our Spanish White Water SUP Development Course – the most advanced SUP coaching you will find anywhere!