We try to run a river trip every other weekend, with a variety of different trips catering to all abilities! For beginner trips, we will take you down a fun river section, and coach you on some fundamental skills as we go. This will usually be grade 2/3 water.
Our intermediate and advanced trips are great for people looking to progress up from class 3+ white-water. On occasion there may be unofficial advanced trips running, usually in the form of a Peer Paddle – please speak to a committee member for more details if you would like to get involved.
Before attending a trip, you need to sign up on our Spond! You also need to have paid for membership and have passed the ‘wet-exit’ check.
For the details of our upcoming trips, please visit our instagram or the spond event page for the trip in question. Here we will also provide you with an up to date kit list before the trip, and any other details.
The day will usually begin (early!) at Appleton Tower. Though early in the morning, the rivers we travel to are often a fair distance (2+ hrs) from Edinburgh, so it can take some time to get there. Once everyone has arrived at Appleton, we’ll head to the lock ups pick up some kit.
At the lock ups you need to collect the following: a boat, a paddle, a helmet, a cag, a wetsuit, a buoyancy aid and a spray deck. All of these items come in different sizes so make sure they fit – try them on before you commit! If you’re not sure on this part just ask the trip leader for help, we’ve all been there!
If you have any of your own kit, like a wetsuit or BA, bring it along and we will check that it is suitable for you to use on the river.
PLEASE BRING PLENTY OF WARM, THERMAL LAYERS TO WEAR UNDER YOUR WETSUIT AND CAG! – Scottish rivers are cold. Very cold. As there is a good chance you might end up out of your boat, you want to be warm enough. Bring plenty of synthetic baselayers/thermals for underneath, and some warm clothes for after.
Once everyone is ready, we’ll load up the boats and kit into the van and pile into a minibus to drive to the river. Most of the rivers we run are fairly far from Edinburgh, but we’ll stop en-route at a shop to pick up food and snacks for the day. Upon reaching the river, the minibus is shuttled down to the end of the river so all your dry kit will be waiting for you, then all thats left to do is paddle! This can take anytime between 1-4+ hours depending on the river section length and what we run into on the way. Following this, we load up again and drive back to Edinburgh – we try to accommodate people’s requirements to be back at a certain time and if this applies to you then please speak to the trip leader.
While on the river, all we ask is that you approach things with a positive attitude. If you feel at any point that you really cannot continue then speak to one of the rescuers or leader(s) and we’ll help you out. The places that white-water kayaking take you are amazing and the stories you’ll come back with will stagger your friends! You might even get some impressive photos or videos out of it, too!
The intermediate trips follow exactly the same format as the beginner trips, with the sole difference being the difficulty of the rivers being paddled. Where beginner trips usually don’t go further than grade 2/3, intermediate trips aim to be grade 3/4(+). Before signing up for one of these trips please speak to the trip leader so they can gauge whether you have the experience to come along. Being able to roll in the pool and having been on a couple of whitewater trips is usually the minimum.
Generally, if you’re comfortably managing the beginner sections then you will start to be ready for the intermediate stuff.
Some of the rivers favoured by the club for intermediate trips are: The Etive, The Orchy and The Leny (Garbh Uisge). But Scotland has much more to offer!
Advanced Trips and Peer Paddling
You’ll meet a lot of paddlers when you join EUCC, and some of them like to paddle as much as possible. This is where peer paddling comes in! A lot of our committee members like to dedicate their free time to this, so ask one of them if you’re interested in this – Anne (secretary) and Bryony (president) will be able to point you in the right direction. Bear in mind: these trips are unofficial, so you’re responsible for your own insurance and safety etc. Peer paddling also doesn’t follow the same structure as our club trips, and the grades that are paddled depends on who’s coming and what people feel like on the day.