The Washburn is a dam controlled river just north of Leeds near the Thurscross reservoir on the A59 from Harrogate to Skipton. The river itself is both narrow and shallow but does provide ample scope for freestyle paddling. The Washburn has received a massive amount of changes and now provides one of the best freestyle sites in the UK as well a being a really good (but short) river run.
Stanley embankment is a wave feature formed in a tunnel through an embankment joining The Isle of Anglesey and Holy Island, a great surfing wave appears at the exit of the Stanley Embankment Tunnel the Inland Sea Side (south side), as seen on the PeakUK “id10tic” series of videos. Most moves can be performed here in either direction.
Shepperton Weir is another one of the famous Thames Weirs. The weir forms a large wave/hole. The weir is at its best when the Thames is in spate. A good indication of this is the level at Hurley further upstream. When Hurley is on a large 3 gates or 4 gates then Shepperton will be in play.
Depending on which and how many gates are open Shepperton provides a range of wave types from large stoppers to green waves. The water is very fast and bouncy so aerial moves are more than just possible. Shepperton for a weir is pretty safe but watch the conditions carefully and avoid the tell tail signs of stoppers that won’t let go!
The area around the weir can be accessed by the public, so gaining access to the water is very easy. In addition the footpath over the weir bridge can also be accessed and used as a photograph platform.
Newark is a weir on the River Trent and lies just North of Nottingham in the small town of Newark (Click here for map). The wave is at its best at high water levels. A good indiaction for this is whether or not Holme Pierrepont is flooded out (Holme Pierrepont is flooded out at 2.70m). Newark Weir works at between 2.18m and 2.82m. This weir is extremely steep and as such riding the wave is quite strange as a bank of water 10-12ft hide cascades down the weir towards you.
To get to the weir head for Newark and the town centre. From there follow the B6166 towards Farndon (SW) and the A46. Look out for the marina on your right and turn right towards the river on to Mill Gate. Keep a look out for a small hump backed bridge on your left hand side. Turn left over the bridge and you’ll find a small area to park the car. This area is used alot by fishermen, local residents, and dog walkers so it could be quite and will only really take a couple of cars anyway.
A couple of minutes walk and you’re at the weir.
This is the top freestyle vest from US manufacturer Lotus. Lotus is one of the U.S’s top buoyancy aid or as they say PFD (personal flotation device) manufacturers, and at current they aren’t available in the UK, neither are they CE approved, however they do rock!