Hurley weir located on the Thames down stream from the famous Henley-on-Thames. It is a man made feature that when running – (normally November to April) can produce one of the best freestyle waves in the UK. The weir has a number of different conditions that are determined by the configuration and number of gates open and the amount of water ultimately flowing through them.
One gate – a good site for beginners to practice surfing, ferry gliding and rolling in moving water. A few ends may be achieved but the wave is not really that retentive.
Two gates – if the weir is set with two gates open in the left hand corner as you look upstream (Paddlers left) there is a retentive hole in gate one and a wave hole in gate two. These conditions are perfect for intermediate and advanced paddlers to practice the majority of the new freestyle moves. If the gates are set up with two gates in the middle or to the right there are two less retentive holes are formed. These can be quite flushy.
Three gates – if we have 3 gates in the middle open then the weir is at it’s very best. This set up provides two world-class holes to the left and right and a fantastic wave in the middle.
If the weir is set with the gates open to the left the weir becomes one big hole. In these conditions the weir becomes a little more difficult to get out of – if you are not sure or your roll is a little weak think before going in. At three gates the wave train after the main play waves can become a great source of amusement as involuntary ends and rolls can be achieved in the strong eddy lines and boils.
Four gates – if we have 4 gates open then the weir becomes pretty retentive and advanced skills are sometimes needed to break free. Gate one remains very good for cartwheeling but the other gates become hard work and may well turn into a ride for survival. At this level the weir is best for advanced paddlers with strong rolls and nerves of steel! Updates on recent water levels and number of gates open can be obtained from the Thames Weir Project.
NOTE: – Many vehicles have been broken into in the Hurley Weir area. Paddlers are easily identified and their vehicles targeted. Keep valuables out of site and make sure the car is as secure as possible.