Archive for January, 2011


Thames Weirs

I’ve recently re-located to Abingdon in the heart of the Thames Valley and have spent some quality  time scouting the weirs offered in the vicinity of my new abode. Although Gareth’s TVFreestylers website offers a full and comprehensive guide (including current levels) to all the kayaking goods in the Thames Valley,  I’ve found it rewarding completing some of my own research.


Photo: Abingdon Weir…looking a tad high at the moment; tow back looks fairly size-able to me. Ick.

Of course, Hurley is nearly always fun above 1 gate but when 4 gates are open, the wave transforms into a hole and can get stickier than duct tape’s sticky bits. Dave, Lee, Louise and myself spent a few hours there on Saturday, freezing our little butts off (in a balmy 3 degrees C air temp) on a low four gates; and luckily it was low enough to chuck some moves both intentionally and by accident. Oh yeah; we soooo rock!


Photo by Dave Martin: Me on  my loopedy loop attempts.


Photo by Dave Martin: Lee working to the “Hurley on 4″ hole –  throw those ends dude!

On the way back, Louise and Lee gave me the guided tour of Sutton Courtenay Weirs- 4 in all. The 1st weir was a no-no, but weir 2 and 3 looked pretty fun. Fairly confident that at Saturdays levels a surf and a blunt was not out of the question on weir 3. Weir 4 looked like death on stick/ hole from hell/towback of torture…will be leaving that one well alone, ta muchly.


Photo: Nathan on a Sutton Courtenay weir

On Sunday, although the levels had changed (guessing that the lockie is there daily), 6 of us headed out onto weirs 2 and 3. No surfing to be had but it was a mighty fine place for ferrying practice and stern squirts. I reckon you could get some serious downtime with a squirt-boat in the area between the two weirs- anyone got one I can try? Oh and to top off the sesh,  there was a cake sale at the get-out ; two lovely German ladies selling  traditional German (alcoholic) cakeage. Yummie!

Soooo content that all this is Thames weir goodness is on offer just minutes from work and home- what a lucky welsh lass I am!.


Mellte and Hurley Video

My extended winter break has come and gone and although there was a minor drought over the last 3 weeks, I did get outdoors to do some fun stuff with friends. Creeking, playboating, MTB-ing and snowboarding were all on the menu. Cool Britainia; its not such a bad place to live!

Video of the Mellte and some footage from Hurley

I love going to Hurley (even if i’m not paddling that much). Its super social and its cool just  to watch some of the UKs best playboaters bust out some moves…


Photo: A Hurley regular (Craig) putting some air between him and the wave.


Photo: Chris C. with air of a different kind in Brecon


Photo: Chris P. about to go for some air, Lords Wood, So’ton