WHITE WATER – THE BASICS EXPLAINED
APRIL 10, 2016 - DAN SULSH DAILY FEED
River SUP paddling in the UK is quite a new discipline to the stand up paddle boarding portfolio. Kayakers and rafters have been doing it well for years. Please take the rivers seriously, always seek advice if you aren’t sure. A lot of the Devonshire river’s are susceptible to flash flooding. There are some great guides on the internet that explain the river grading system in more detail and give you an idea what to expect when running them.
Here are some basic facts on river features
Rapids - White-water river’s consist of rapids. A rapid is a series of white-water river features that are strung together. While it could refer to just a wave or two, the word rapid generally refers to 3 or more connected river features in a section of river.
Continuous White-water - When a kayaker uses the word continuous to denote a section of river or the river itself it means that there are no breaks in the action. Like river classification, rivers and rapids can also be called continuous independent of each other.
Pool - A pool of water is a section of river with no rapids and with very slow moving water in it. It usually refers to a smaller area that consists of this characteristic.
Flat-water - Flat-water is a section of river that contains no rapids. This does not however mean that there is no current. The river can still be moving rather quickly and still be flat.
Wave - A wave is a white-water river feature that is formed due to a boulder or underwater ledge that forces the water rushing over it to push up at the surface. As a wave increases in size it will actually “break” or fall over causing the froth that gives white-water its name.
Wave Train - A wave train is a series of waves in succession. Wave trains usually consist of three or more waves. The effect of paddling through a wave train is often that of riding a roller coaster.
Hole or Recirculation - A hole is a white-water river feature that forms as the river flows over an obstruction that is usually near or above the surface of the water. As the water pours over that boulder it causes a recirculation on the other side. This recirculation, or hole, is a frothy and aerated feature that actually flows or pushes upstream. This means that kayaks, canoes, and rafts can actually get stopped and stuck in holes. As the river flows downstream the hole will be “holding” the paddler as it pushes him or her upstream.
Eddy - An eddy is a section of water that forms behind exposed boulders and on the sides of rivers around bends. As the river flows by these areas it creates an effect that causes the water in the eddy to flow up stream. Eddys are usually calm spots that a paddler can rest in while the rest of the river flows downstream.
Drop and Ledge - There are ledges on rivers which serve as a shelf to the next level of the river. Ledges up to a few feet are also called drops because the kayak, SUP, or raft drops to the next level of the river.
Waterfall - A waterfall is a ledge or drop that is more than just a few feet. While this is subjective, drops of over 10 feet are usually called waterfalls.
Line - Very generically, a line in white-water is the path that the paddler will want to take through any rapid, wave, hole, or other river feature.
There also some great standing waves or play waves in the South West, these are Hayle Sluice, Saltford Weir (River Avon) Bristol, River Dart New Bridge and the River Stour Blanford in Dorset. These are great to practice your river surfing skills or if you haven’t got time to commit to an entire days river paddling.
GREAT REVIEW FROM THE GUYS AT ADAPT
APRIL 10, 2016 - DAN SULSH DAILY FEED
Last month, Hatha had a chat with the guys at Adapt Network to give them the low down on Hatha, and Locust.
WAVES MADE EASY
APRIL 10, 2016 - DAN SULSH DAILY FEED
For all you stand up paddle boarders out there that have refined your flat water skills and want to take your skills to the waves then please take a look at our basic wave guide. All of these types can be found here in the UK and also in the South West.
Beach Break - The beach break is where the waves break on the sandy seabed. This type of wave is the best to start surfing on. This is the most common type of break found in the UK. Good examples of this would be Fistral Beach, Newquay or Bossiney near Tintagel. This sort of beach break is great to learn as the sand is usually quite forgiving even on your beloved paddle board.
Point Break - The point break is a wave that breaks onto a rocky point. A good example of a point break is Bells Beach in Australia. In the UK we have Lynmouth or Millock near Bude.
Reef Break - The reef break is a wave that breaks over a coral reef or a rock seabed. These waves are usually the classic ones that you can see on the surfing videos. These waves can be unforgiving if you happen to wipe out badly, but they can be the most rewarding in their perfection. Porthleven and Thurso East are some of the best examples.
The other types of surf able waves are found on rivers. The most famous of all is probably the Severn Bore is one of Britain’s few truly spectacular natural phenomena. It is a large surge wave that can be seen in the estuary of the River Severn, where the tidal range is the 2nd highest in the world, being as much as 50 feet.
The Severn Bore (one of 8 in the UK) is one of the biggest in the world but bores also occur on the Seine and Gironde in France, on the Indus, Hooghly and Brahmaputra in India, on the Amazon in Brazil, on the Petitcodiac, New Brunswick, and also the Knik Arm bore at the head of Cook Inlet, Alaska. By far the biggest bore in the world is the Ch’ient’ang’kian (Hang-chou-fe) in China. At spring tides the wave attains a height of up to 25 ft (7.5 m) and a speed of 13-15 knots (24-27 km/h). It is heard advancing at a range of 14 miles (22 km).
The shape of the Severn estuary is such that the water is funnelled into an increasingly narrow channel as the tide rises, thus forming the large wave. The river’s course takes it past Avonmouth where it is approximately 5 miles wide, then past Beachley and Aust, then Lydney and Sharpness where it is approximately 1 mile wide, and soon the river is down to a width of a few hundred yards. By the time the river reaches Minsterworth it is less than a hundred yards across, maintaining this width all the way to Gloucester.
Other UK rivers that also have bores are as follows;
The River Dee, England / Wales
The River Dee has a tidal bore which attains heights of between one to two meters which can travel up to sixteen miles inland from Connar’s Quay in Flintshire, Wales, where it’s five mile wide estuary narrows to a mile wide channel, sending waves surging through to Chester Weir in the City of Chester in Cheshire, England.
The River Eden, Cumbria, England
This ninety mile long river in Cumbria has a tidal bore which can attain heights of around one meter which travel at speeds of up to nine miles an hour between it’s estuary on the Solway Firth in the Irish Sea through to Wetheral Weir in the village of Wetheral in Cumbria.
The River Great Ouse, Cambridgeshire / Norfolk, England
East Anglia’s one hundred and forty three mile long, River Great Ouse, has a tidal bore colloquially known as the Wiggenhall Wave. The bore attains a height of around one meter and travels between it’s mouth at Kings’ Lynn in Norfolk to the Norfolk village of Wiggenhall, a distance of about ten miles.
The River Kent, Cumbria, England
Known as the Arnside Bore, this twenty mile long river has a tidal bore which occurs between it’s river mouth on Morecambe Bay through to the Cumbrian village of Arnside, one mile away. The bore can attain a height of up to one foot and takes just over two hours to travel the one mile to Arnside.
The River Lune, Lancashire, England
Small rolling waves of around a meter high have been located on this river between it’s mouth at Lancaster on Morecambe Bay in the Irish Sea through to the coastal village of Snatchems, a distance of about three miles.
The River Mersey, Merseyside / Cheshire / Greater Manchester, England
England’s seventy mile long, River Mersey, has a tidal bore which attains a height of around five meters and travels at speeds of around eleven miles an hour, between it’s mouth on the Irish Sea at Liverpool Bay through to the Cheshire town of Warrington, a distance of about thirty miles.
The River Nith, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland
This seventy one mile long river located in south west Scotland has a tidal bore which can attain a height of just under one meter. The bore travels at speeds of up to six miles an hour between it’s mouth at Kingholm Quay on the Solway Firth through to the village of Glencaple, a distance of about three and a half miles.
The River Parret, Dorset / Somerset, England
This thirty seven mile long river situated in south west England has a tidal bore which can attain heights of up to two meters and speeds of up to six miles an hour as it makes it’s way from it’s mouth at Bridgwater Bay on the Bristol Channel through to the Somerset market town of Bridgwater, a distance of around three miles.
The River Ribble, Cumbria / Lancashire, England
The River Ribble is tidal from it’s estuary on Lancashire’s Irish Sea coast through to Fishwick Bottoms, situated between Preston and Walton Le Dale, a distance of around eleven miles, where slow rolling waves of around one meter high can regularly be seen.
The River Severn, England / Wales
The River Severn bore is the world’s second largest tidal bore. This mega bore can attain heights of between ten to fourteen meters and travel at speeds of between eight to thirteen miles an hour, The bore is one of only three in the world which can be surfed, due to it’s five mile wide estuary on the Bristol Channel narrowing to a mile wide channel as it makes it’s way through to Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, a distance of about twenty five miles.
The River Trent, Midlands / North East England
The Trent Bore, also known as the Trent Aegir, attains a height of between one to two meters and can travel at a speed of about twelve miles an hour, from it’s mouth on the seven mile wide, Humber Estuary, through to the Lincolnshire town of Gainsborough, some fifty miles away.
APRIL 10, 2016 - DAN SULSH DAILY FEED
Yes there is such a thing as surfing etiquette even when on a stand up paddle board! This is a brief set of unwritten rules to keep yourself out of trouble and to ensure you get your most out of your surf session. Please remember that surf supping is still quite new in the UK and can be frowned upon by regular surfers. Lets show them that we too can be accepted in the surf community.
Right of Way - Learn who has the right of way on the wave. It’s all about wave priority. Basically, the surfer who is closest to the breaking part of the wave has priority. If a surfer is up and riding a wave, then it’s that surfer’s wave.
Furthest out - The surfer that is furthest out or that has been waiting longest.
Furthest inside - the closest surfer to the peak of the breaking wave.
First to feet - the first to feet or first onto the wave.
You may here someone shout “Left” or “Right”, this is used if the wave is dual peaking.
Don’t Drop In - This means don’t cut in front of another surfer who are all ready up and riding. This is possibly the most important rule to follow as it can be very dangerous. Observe the right of way and you should be fine.
Don’t Snake - This is paddling round someone to get into the inside position on a wave.
Don’t Hog the Waves - The waves are there for everyone to enjoy. Even if you can paddle out quicker than the others and catch the waves first every time you reach the line-up, please avoid it. It’s not courteous and can lead to others breaking some of the other rules to prevent you from doing it.
Do Apologise - If you drop in on someone, run over someone, or breach the etiquette and rules in any way, just apologise. It’s just plain good manners.
Respect the Locals - Keep in mind that the locals surf the spot every day. Give respect and behave while visiting a spot, keep things friendly, earn some respect yourself.
Choose a Surf Spots that Suit your Ability - Try not to pick a spot that is above your ability. It’s good to push your limits, it’s the best way to improve but push it too far and you may become a potential hazard to other surfers.
The most important thing to consider is to be safe and have fun!
THE GO ANY WHERE PADDLE BOARD – THE JOURNEY OF THE “OXYGEN”
APRIL 8, 2016 - DAN SULSH DAILY FEED
In winter 2016 a team of devoted Hatha Paddle Board team members took on the challenge to paddle board in one of the UK’s highest possible SUP locations. After much debate it was decided to go to North Wales and into the Snowdonia National Park.
It was a good clear day but the weather reports were showing a -10 wind chill factor on some of the near by mountain peaks. There are quite a few lakes in this region at varying heights. Some of the smaller lakes are actually know as Tarns, which are much smaller than the common known lake. The Hatha team didn’t want to launch into a large puddle so decided on Lake Llyn Bochlwyd. This is a wild and rugged mountain lake, surrounded by heather clad, boulder strewn slopes. This cannot be reached by road and is only accessible by footpath. The remote lake lies near to Llyn Ogwen in the Glyderau mountain range and stands at an altitude of 555 metres (1821 feet). Llyn Bochlwyd has a surface area of 10.4 acres. The lake is sometimes known as Lake Australia, due to the fact that its shape, when viewed from above. Llyn Bochlwyd offers excellent panoramic views of the Glyderau, Y Garn and the Nant Francon Valley.
The board was packed into its purpose made heavy duty rucksack, complete with shoulder straps, waist strap and roll over Velcro and buckle top. The Bravo pump and full carbon 3 piece paddle slide neatly down the side of the board. Weighing only about 12 kilos it is manageable to carry it for some distance.
One team member bravely volunteered to take the bag up the entire way, as another was still nursing a torn achillies heel injury. The walk from Llyn Ogwen began along the purpose maintained path. As the ground steepened this quickly tapered into open ground and then onto rough mountain terrain. The lake was just below the snowline, frost was visible under foot. It was decided to ingress from the west of the Tryfan part of the Glyderau mountain range. The Tryfan has an elevation of 917.5 m (3,010 ft) which towered over us. We all brought Wetsuits but once at the Lake we talked two members to go into the water just in board shorts.
The board was rolled out and inflated in less than 2-3 minutes. The SUP paddle was clicked together and we were ready to take to the water. As the first brave volunteer was getting changed, screams and cheering was heard from up above. The thick snow on the peaks made it harder to see where our fans were. We didn’t hang about getting changed. Once on the water the chat from the rest of the group seemed to disperse. The only thing that was on your mind was not falling in. Once this passed, your senses opened and the tranquillity of the location was the main focus. The water was crystal clear, the long grass and moss could be clearly seen on the bottom of the lake. The backdrop of the foot of the mountain was super impressive. Just like an infinity pool, the front of the lake seemed to drop off the side of the mountain like a waterfall. This end of the lake gave an endless view down the Ogwen Valley and out towards the sea.
Once the loop around the edge of lake was undertaken, it was time to get out and allow the next victim to take their turn. It didn’t seem that chilly at first but once the adrenaline had left your body the cold took it place. The basic things like untying your mountain boots seemed a challenge. All you could think of was getting back into dry clothes, we weren’t wet it was the fact that we had been standing on the lake for over 20 minutes in nothing but board shorts, mid winter, in the snow with a wind chill factor that only some read about.
The challenged ended well, no one fell in, but we all kind of wished that someone had, would have made a better story. We even went two up on the board at one point, but the fear kept our balance in check. The Oxygen definitely backed up its name, the go anywhere SUP. A good afternoon had by all. And possibly the highest point ever paddled on a paddle board in the UK………
The Hatha “Oxygen” inflatable paddle board……Go any where……Go Hatha!
HISTORY OF HATHA
APRIL 8, 2016 - DAN SULSH DAILY FEED
Established in 2013, by Dan Sulsh, whom has over 20 years of experience in surfing and river kayaking, has merged his skills and knowledge into the stand up paddle boards we know today. The SUP boards on the market at this time were based on large surfboards or modified windsurf boards. He had the initiative and knowledge to make paddle boards not only look better but perform to the highest standards. He took the basic design and developed them to unite the board with the user, maximising performance and efficiency. Whether it is the unique hull design on the Crane or the layered bamboo veneer on the Eagle, the same level of craftsmanship oozes from every board in their range. Hatha Paddle Boards strive to use the latest technologies, their commitment on improving board design makes them true innovation leaders. His vision was not just to make high quality paddle boards but he also wanted them to be affordable for everyone to enjoy.
The meaning behind the logo
The name Hatha derives from the practice hatha yoga, which means “wilful or forceful”, it is also known as the yoga of activity, the sun” (ha) and “moon” (tha).
All of the stand up paddle boards have names that relate to yoga poses, cobra, plank and even the warrior. The Hatha logo has a variety of meanings on first look it is a water drop or even an inverted SUP paddle blade.
The deeper meaning is that it resembles the yoga posture “raised namaste”. The water droplet being the person’s head, with shoulders and arms stretching above, with hands together. Stand up paddle boarding is a core strength practice/sport just like yoga, so the basic principles apply to them both. Not only is it about using the correct form and posture but it is also about channeling inner strength.
Hatha Paddle Boards are continually evolving their products and ideas. They not only have the first hybrid paddle board in the UK, the mighty “Crane” but they also have the “Warrior” a hybrid board that has merged a wing tailed surfboard with a general purpose cruiser. Please continue to follow Hatha Paddle Boards through their continual journey and help us to carve the future in stand up paddle boarding.
HATHA is not just a brand it is a lifestyle.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
APRIL 8, 2016 DAN SULSH DAILY FEED
Hatha Paddle Boards HQ couldn’t be situated in a better place! Our showroom is located just outside the market town of Tavistock, Devon, which lies at the foot of Dartmoor National Park.
The entire South West area is a mecca for all water based sports. Whether you want to explore a long lazy river, fight the wild water of the River Dart or spend the day surfing on the North Cornwall Coast we are a short trip away from your ideal stand up paddle boarding (SUP) location.
Here’s a closer look at the surrounding area
The high ground of Dartmoor forms the catchment area for many of Devon’s rivers. The moor takes its name from the River Dart, which starts as the East Dart and West Dart and then becomes a single river at Dartmeet. It leaves the moor at Buckfastleigh, flowing through Totnes below where it opens up into a long estuary, reaching the sea at Dartmouth.
Just a few miles to the South is the Navy city of Plymouth which lies between the River Plym to the east and the River Tamar to the west. Both rivers flow into the natural harbour of Plymouth Sound. Plymouth has included the, once independent, towns of Plympton and Plymstock which lie along the east of the River Plym. The River Tamar forms the county boundary between Devon and Cornwall and its estuary forms the Hamoaze on which is sited Devonport Dockyard.
The River Plym, which flows off Dartmoor to the north-east, forms a smaller estuary to the east of the city called Cattewater. Plymouth Sound is protected from the sea by the Plymouth Breakwater allowing calmer waters perfect for paddle boarding.
Just along the coast from Plymouth are numerous south coast surf breaks including, Bovisand Bay, Wembury Bay, Bantham, Mothercombe, Challaborough, Thurestone Reef, Hope Cove and Bolt Head. If you travelled a little further along the coast towards Toquay you would find surf at Salcombe, Torbay, Teinmouth, Dawlish Warren, Exmouth and Sidmouth.
Directly North of Hatha Paddle Boards head quarters is the surf town of Bude. There are a number of sandy beaches in the Bude area, many of which offer good stand up paddle board surfing conditions. Bude was the founder club in British Surf Life Saving.
Both Summerleaze, Crooklets and ‘middle’ beaches are both within the town,
Widemouth Bay is a few miles south of the town and offers a long, wide sandy beach.
Sandymouth Beach is owned by the National Trust, and has spectacular cliffs and rock formations with shingle below the cliffs and a large expanse of sand at low tide. There are also a number of other coves and beaches to be found and explored in the local area. This entire stretch of coastline is perfect for grabbing a touring style (SUP) paddle board and exploring some caves.
The North Coast of Cornwall boasts some of the best surfing locations the country has to offer. Newquay is widely regarded as the surf capital of the UK. At the centre of Newquay’s surfing status is Fistral Beach which has a reputation as one of the best beach breaks in.
Cornwall. Fistral is capable of producing powerful, hollow waves and holding a good sized swell. Fistral Beach has been host to international surfing competitions for around 20 years now. The annual Boardmasters Festival takes place at Fistral beach, with a music festival taking place at Watergate Bay.
Newquay is also home to the reef known as the Cribbar. With waves breaking at up to 20 feet (6 m), the Cribbar was until recently rarely surfed as it requires no wind and huge swell to break. Towan, Great Western and Tolcarne beaches nearer the town and nearby Crantock and Watergate Bay also provide high quality breaks. If its stand up paddle board surfing you’re after then this is the place to be.
Along the entire Atlantic Coast are fantastic surf SUP spots, including Sennen Cove, St.Ives, Hayle, Goodrevy, Portreath, Porthtowan, Chapel Porth, Polezeath, Harlyn Bay (near Padstow and Rock), St. Agnes, Perranporth and Holly Well Bay placed just down the coast from Newquay.
The South Coast of Devon and Cornwall usually has smaller surf than the North and can be more sheltered due to the prevailing Northerly winds. When there is a small wave on the North it is usually flat on the South. These conditions are perfect for coastal paddle boarding or SUP fishing. There are numerous estuaries along the way to explore. The Helford River, commonly know as the Helford Passage is a fine example. Between Falmouth and St. Mawes is the Carrick Roads, the estuary of the River Fal, famous for the King Harry Ferry. This Estuary travels deep into Cornwall reaching the counties capital, Truro. There are lots of places along the journey to moor up your paddle board and grab a coffee or even a light lunch.
The furthest most surf break on the tip of Cornwall is Porthcurno which has some good waves when there is a SW swell. Then there is Porthcurno, Praa Sands and Porthleven. On the other side the Lizard Point, Kennack Sands can be located, at low tide two beaches join together making the longest beach on the E side of the Lizard Peninsula but it will only have waves in the biggest of swells. Falmouth bay has a number of waves working on SW swells. Maenporth, Swanpool and Gyllyngvase beaches all have good waves on their day but word spreads fast and they usually end up crowded. Further along the coast is Pentewan, Polkerris, Seaton, Portwrinkle,
Whitsand Bay and Bovisand. Wembury is the nearest break to Plymouth so often gets crowded, the best waves are to be found off Blackstone Rocks. If you have travelled this far with your SUP then Challaborugh and Bantham are well worth a visit.
If you want to travel a little further along the South Coast then you will hit the “Ledges, The Bay and Broad Bench” all at Kimmeridge Bay, Chapmans Pool and of course Bournemouth Pier. The pier is a crowed spot with the most popular peak on the East side of the pier. The next spot along is Boscombe Pier, which is the same as Bournemouth but less crowded. Along from here is Southbourne, Highcliffe Area, Isle of Wight and Hayling Island (most popular with windsurfers). The Witterings are next on the list, a busy spot that breaks between wooded groynes. On from here is Littlehampton, Southwick/Shoreham, Brighton, The wedge, The Marina, Eastbourne and lastly Joss Bay.
Please do call in for further information about our boards – best places to paddle board – to book a demo SUP – or for a clue on how to find Bude’s secret surf spot!