Access Needs YOU!

All, there is a Welsh government review into access to water in Wales. It is VITAL that as many paddlers or water users respond to this.

For those new to the sport, some context:

1930’s onwards people believed you needed permission to paddle on rivers. Fishermen didn’t like sharing and even managed to persuade some policy makers / judges that this is the case.

Access agreements were occasionally formulated, always in favour of fishermen, but many (most) rivers remained off limits. example of an access agreement included the river Dee above llangollen, which allowed about 4 days use per year.

Quality agreements were limited. Attempts to make sharing more equal was rebuffed by the fishing lobby. They even managed to have access to water removed from the right to roam act.

Late 90’s / Early 00’s – a doctoral thesis suggested that there is a right to navigate all rivers.
A seperate government study found that paddlesports do not disturb fish.

After more attempts to make access agreements fairer, including a government attempt that actually REDUCED access whilst attempting to improve access, Paddlesport bodies diecided to ignore them.
Legal position of access is disputed.

Welsh government is reviewing again. So far the well organised committees of Countryside Alliance have made 600 submissions AGAINST access (be careful, their stratergy appears pro access but it is not)
Dissorganised paddler who would rather just paddle, have made 12 submissions to improve access.

PLEASE help!!!!!!! Respond to the survey below.

FURTHER, if possible, please write to the Welsh Assembly to tell them why access matters. A pro forma example letter will be distributed late August.

NB – be very careful if liking the the countryside alliance posts / comments re access, they actually want to REDUCE access.

Mike (you might have to cut and paste the link. More information is on the canoe england, canoe wales websites facebook pages. Also see waters of wales)


For sale DamX Drysuit large for tall person – needs new feet easy repair. Price £150.00

For sale Damx Drysuit large for tall person – needs new feet easy repair. Price £150.00

Size well I’m 6ft 2 and slim but this is large would fit between 5 10 and 6ft4 plenty of room for Larger Person.

Any one can try on

see pics

Thanks    John Allerton

Click here for contact details……

DAM Watersports      7 Brampton Close      Bedford      MK42 0HD      Phone  Andi Riley   01234 267314


DAM Watersports Seal Replacement And Repair Service



Fitted To DAM Kit

Fitted to Any Other Manufacturers Kit
NECK SEAL £26 £29
WRIST SEALS ( pr ) £26 Any two £49 £29 Any two £56  + Carriage
ANKLE SEALS ( pr ) £28 £31
FEET / SOCKS ( pr ) £29 Any three  £77 £33 Any three £86  + Carriage
Seal Size:If the seals are in very poor condition then please also include any relevant measurements / shoe size.


DAM Watersports garments are designed to be repaired and re-sealed quickly and 100% effectively.

( Good-as-new, with  identical-to-new appearance )

Other Manufacturer’s Kit

We re-seal and repair all other manufacturer’s dry suits, BUT, in many cases these garments have not been designed with servicing in mind and it can take much longer to do the work – hence the higher prices.

OTHER REPAIRS – tears, holes, braces coming loose etc … a cost effective repair is often possible.  Please note – a visual inspection may be needed before a price can be quoted.


Usually 3 day turn-around time for seal replacements.  Phone to confirm.  Often available next day.

RETURN TO YOU BY 24 HOUR  POST / CARRIER Please add:   £9.00

( £16 for North of Scotland, Scottish Isles or N.Ireland ( 48 hour service )


( Deliveries to outside the UK please phone for details )


Return Carriage Methods:

We mainly use Interlink: an excellent carrier service to return your garments back to you.  They deliver Monday to Friday and will deliver before 5:30pm.  If you provide a mobile number they can text to give you a one hour delivery window.

We sometimes use Royal Mail Special Delivery, Parcel Force 48 Hour service or Royal Mail International Services for out-of-the-ordinary requirements such as larger consignments or deliveries where there are additional constraints.

All of these services have an excellent track record.  In order to maintain a high level of security they will require a signature upon receipt.  This does not need to be your own signature – a secretary or receptionist at a work address is fine.  They will not however deliver into the hands of neighbours, nor will they leave packages on doorsteps ( even if instructed to do so )  If you are not in to receive the parcel then a card will be left for you to telephone the carrier to arrange a second delivery attempt at the same address on a different day.  ( They will not alter the delivery address however. )  If you cannot arrange a convenient time for the second delivery or want the garment in a hurry then you will be able to visit the carriers depot and collect in person.

( A work address is often simpler. )


Post And Packing Advice:

If you can package your garment so that the parcel is under 2kg then the Royal Mail Special Delivery service is the quickest, highly secure way to send it to us.  Over many years this service has never let us down.  We do not recommend normal first class postage as this does not come with a worthwhile level of insurance.

Packaging:  We recommend wrapping your garment in multiple layers of plastic bags – this will give multi-layer protection to your garment.  ( special postal bags are available at post offices but offer few advantages )

Cardboard boxes are unreliable, heavy and can add significantly to the postal costs.

If the parcel is over 2kg the cost of Royal Mail Special Delivery increases threefold and so we recommend either a carrier service if you have access to one via work, or failing this – a Parcel Force 48 Hour Service. Both of these service providers offer full insurance and guaranteed delivery dates.  Parcel Force is available at most, though not all post offices.



For straight forward seal replacements, please enclose payment with your garment: cheques should be made payable to DAM Watersports.  Alternatively please contact us for bank transfer details.

For other repair services we will phone to discuss the prognosis before going ahead with the work.


DIY LATEX SEALS Pre-prepared for DAM Kit:  Neck £21  Wrists £21  Socks/Ankles £23  inc postage

Any two:  £39     Any three: £59    ( DIY means you save on the cost of two way postage )

We offer pre-prepared latex seals so you can fit your own at home or even in an emergency when you are away at an event.  The seals come with a very detailed set of instructions on how to effect the repair, please see separate document to see if you think you can manage the job.  The DIY seal replacement will work perfectly on all DAM Watersports gear and on most other brands utilising the modern stitched and multi-layer taped construction ( phone for advice )  The DIY seal attachment is very secure and reliable, it does not affect the quality of any future return-to-manufacturer seal replacement, even if you make a mess of it.

( We are available on the phone to talk you through the process if required )


DIY Seals for older non-DAM dry suits. Neck £16  Wrists £14  Socks/Ankles £17  inc postage

Any two:  £28     Any three: £42

We are able to supply latex seals for the older glued construction type of dry suit, but are not able to supply adhesive because of packaging and postal restrictions.  ( Bostick Leather Adhesive is widely available and is a suitable glue )

For Sale Lomo Dry Cag Large £20.00

Lomo Dry cag Large I’m 6ft 2 and 40” chest –

Needs new neck seal – Unsure on condition not worn for 6 months but wore regular – price £20.

Thanks    John Allerton

Click here for contact details……

Alpine Paddling – Lower Guil 30/7/17 by Sarah Gille

Chris on the lower Guil

A very pleasant and easy run, dropping into a flattish section of the Durance that ends at the St. Clément slalom site.  There used to be some intricate navigation to reach the put-in, which was epic with a trailer, but there is a new dirt-track road which makes even a cycle shuttle fairly benign.

After a rainy night the sun broke through and we set off to the river with the spikey mountains.

The drive down to the get in was a bit scarey as we passed some precariously balanced rocks that were soon to be eroded into the valley below.  We got changed into our storm soaked kit and split into 2 teams to head down the river.

We bounced along and played in a few waves as we passed some brave rock climbers and a 100m waterfall.

We were all having a lovely time.

Soon we reached the cloudy strorm drenched river on the durance and continued our journey of the day.

More Photos……

Cathy on Lower Guil
8tuart on the play wave

Alpine Paddling – Lower Durance 30/7/17 by Mark Benson

Ciaran on Pont Neuf

“The Sunshine run”

The Durance from St. Clément down to Embrun is a fine introduction to bigger water (especially in the afternoon). You can get off above the Rabioux wave, which is the only serious drop, and either portage it, or finish. Or inspect (or not) and take your chances – but be warned, there are always a lot of spectators to cheer your run, whether it ends in success or a swim!

After a relaxing lunch-stop at St Clement’s, the shuttle to Embrun completed (thanks, Marianne), the thirteen of us set out on the yellowy flood water. The swift flowing river meant that gaps between rapids were never too long and the rapids themselves had fewer rocks to scrape over and lots of large wave trains. The high level made for some squirrely water, causing Dom a surprise swim on our fun trip down to the Rabioux wave. Once eddied out above the Rab, we took it one at a time to make the run, Keith signalling from below.   A wide left run-in was favoured by many, resulting in some last minute adjustments and a couple of swims.

Kit and kayakers re-united, we wasted no time getting on with the journey; wave trains were now bigger and the water just as squirrelly. Frequent waves, haystacks and small stoppers made for a fast, fun paddle down to the Embrun wave. Hannah was caught out by the increased tow-back from the now swollen stopper, but soon got herself into an eddy to be re-united with her kayak. Various members off the group got themselves back up to the wave for some play-boating. All was going well until Helen took a tumble out of her kayak. Valiantly swimming her kayak into the main flow, Helen began a long swim-cum-group rescue effort. The fast flowing water made it difficult to stop Helen’s kayak, so in the end she had a long clamber along the rocky bank before getting back on the river for the last 50 metres to the get-out.  All in all, a good day out with the Durance at a very nice level for the “Sunshine Run”.

We finished with a swim in the lake at Roche-de-Rame whilst the rest of the group made their way back to the campsite for pizza.

More Photos…..

Hannah on wave at Pony Neuf
8tuart on the wave train at Pont Neuf

Alpine Paddling – Upper Guisane 29/7/17

Tom Beer on the Upper Guisane

Upstream from Briançon among the ski resorts of Serre Chevalier is a long run on generally easy water which may be too low early in the day. There is one long rapid, S-bend – which is harder (possible portage on the left) and has few break-outs, but is essentially a big bouncy boulder garden when the water is at a reasonable level.  We ran the river in four groups as there are few eddies or stopping places on this fast Alpine toboggan run.  Bertrand, a local French paddler asked to join us in the car park and he joined the first group.  From Lille, where there is a small artificial slalom course, he tried to get every eddy and mostly succeeded.

There was enough water in the river to make the run down through the town of Le Monêtier-les-Bains interesting and bouncy.  Next we came to the S-bends just before the village of Les Guibertes.   The level was lower than normal – there

 were several hard moves round boulders at the entry to the rapid which required a little concentration.  We ran the rapid and most picked out the right line (further right on entry) and had no mishaps.   We re-grouped at the raft get in at Le Freyssinet and continued on down through the small villages of the valley to meet the minibus at Chantemerle.

After lunch most retured to the campsite to paddle on the slalom course while a few paddled on down the Lower Guisane to the pre-positioned car.   Later that day the skies darkened and we were hit by a large thunder and lightening storm.  Pitch one had now had the new addition of a small swimming pool in the middle of it – bonus.

More Photos….

Graham Devaney on the Upper Guisane

Club weekends and major events for the Club 2017 to 2018

Club weekends and major events for the Club 2017 to 2018 – for more detail check the online Club Calendar…..

22 – 24th September 2017 Anglesey Weekend #4 Click for more and to book a place – based at Outdoor Alternative Rhoscolyn  – coordinator Peter Massey.
11th October 2017 Club AGM and paddler of the year Awards (Talk from the Alps trip)
27 – 29th October 2017 Dave Blake 5 O weekend at Anglesey Outdoors
8th November 2017 Real Paddling Film Festival (World Tour of films) More information……..
29th March to 2nd April 2018 Easter Bank Holiday Scotland Trip based at Blackwater Hostel – Click for more and to book a place….
31st March – 14th April 2018 Nepal Sun Kosi River Trip – coordinator Keith Steer.
29th April 2018 Club Open Day at the Compound at the Docks.  Try different  disciplines, junior session, come and try it session for non-members, Sunday tour of the docks. Bring and buy sale for any canoe or kayaking gear.
4th – 6th May 2018 Anglesey Weekend #1  Click for more and to book a place – based at Tyn Rhos Trearddur Bay  – coordinator Peter Massey.
25 – 28th May 2018 Pembroke Bank Holiday Weekend Click for more and to book a place – based at Whitesands Camping  – coordinator Jenny Brown.
15 – 17th June 2018 Anglesey Junior Club Weekend #2 Click for more and to book a place – based at Anglesey Outdoors LL65 2LP coordinator Keith Steer.
29th June – 1 July 2018 Anglesey Weekend #3 Click for more and to book a place – based at Bodfan Farm, Rhosneigr  – coordinator Jenny Brown.
15th July 2018 Hilbre Island Race – Club event for all  More information……..
20th July to 5th August 2018 Alpine Holiday Alpine Rivers Holiday – Briancon France  Coordinator Keith Steer
16th to 30th August 2018 Sea Kayak Alaska – Coordinator Keith Steer
27th to 30th September 2018 Anglesey Weekend #4 Click for more and to book a place – based at Outdoor Alternative Rhoscolyn  – coordinator Peter Massey.

Alpine Paddling – Ubaye Race Course – Friday 28/7/17

The Ubaye Racecourse – Martinet to Le Lauzet

The Ubaye Racecourse is the classic Ubaye run. A consistent stretch of class 3+ to 4 whitewater with fun big and bouncy rapids and surprisingly warm water. 15 rapids in quick succession, including named rapids like Dent de Requin (Shark’s Tooth) and Rouleau de Printemps (Spring Roll) make this section a must for your kayaking bucket list. The scenery is outstanding with views over the wooded valley, and at the end of the descent the river narrows through a sheer sided gorge. Put-in at the rafting base just past Le Martinet. Take out below Le Lauzet at La Source campsite.
Class: IV. Gradient: 15 m/km. Flow: 30 m³/s.
Paddling time: 2 hours. Distance: 8 km. Best months: May to July.

The best way to describe this river is big boulders and bouncy all the way. The team split into 4 groups and set off down the pinball course. The views were stunning, the rapids fairly continuous and the rafts were numerous. One raft guide flaunting pink bikini bottoms over his wetsuit shorts seemed to be more than happy to help empty boats for the girls. This was the first day without a chilly breeze making every wave train a refreshing splash. We got to the Roman Bridge for a group photo with 1 more rapid to go. Or so Ian said! There were at least 3 more rapids with a tricky bend alongside the gorge that caught us off guard. Gibbo thought we’d lost Hannah to Narnia as she went onto the wall and temporarily disappeared.

While waiting for the shuttle we were impressed by the ‘French approach’. Leaving the van and trailer at the get out and whipping out a mini-motorbike to shoot back to the get in. I guess this is only one step up from Keith on a bike and a motorbike would never make it in the weight allowance.  On the drive back the Keith set the 7.5 minute shopping challenge. Those that made it back were treated to an ice cream, those that didn’t were presented with an empty box.

More Photos…….




Alpine Paddling – Lower Durance Thursday 27/7/17 by Liam Wong

Liam on the Rabioux wave

St Clement to Embrun 20km

What an experience, my first river in France! It was certainly one I’ll never forget. After an early morning wake up, we had a quick shuttle to St Clement. While the bus shuttle was happening myself and many others took on the rapids before preparing ourselves for the river ahead (Lower Durance). The shuttle back finally arrived and we all headed off; some headed to the slalom course and others headed straight down towards the Rabioux wave. After a long paddle and many play waves the group finally assembled at the Rabioux wave. First time for many, all the LCC group took on the challenge… it was certainly the hardest I have paddled.

After the safety team had set up, the whole team made their way to the wave. A few swims later, (many less than previous years , I believe) we all came out full of confidence and ready to continue.  A few memorable moments from the Rabioux that may be shown via GoPro from Sarah Gille. We decided to have a lunch stop at the side of the wave which quickly turned into a WWSRT, with some throwline coaching from the professionals, we all felt confident at the end. A huge lesson learnt for me… pack my own throwline before hitting the wave (I had a small telling off).

Anyway, after waiting for Graeme and Mark, we finally continued to make our way down the river, a large group but a very organised and well trained group. Some very good waves and many more rolls followed before finally hitting the Embrun wave. It was another challening wave that many member of the group played and surfed. After playing for a good 30 minutes we decided to head down to the get out. At the get out we had drag up the hill (15 steps!) but well worth every minute. An enjoyable river with challenging parts that I would certainly recommend to any paddler.

The river followed with a shop in Inter-sport and a supermarket run. All members eventually arrived at camp and shared their experiences over dinner.

A great day, that I will always remember.

More Photos…….

Hannah paddling the Rabioux wave on the Durance

Alpine Paddling – Gorge du Verdon Tuesday and Wednesday 25-26/7/17

On Tuesday we set of on a two day adventure to the Verdon Gorge. After doing a supermarket shop the day before, we packed up the minibus and set of bright an early for the four hour drive. We arrived about midday, unfortuntately to find that the river that usually releases on a Tuesday wasn’t to release because of the drought. This didnt dampen our spirits though, as the Verdon Gorge is one of the world’s greatest areas of ourstandng natural beauty and it was definitely worth going just to see it! We found a little stoney beach (which we marked as a good place for our wild camp that night) and settled down for lunch and a relaxing afternoon in the sunshine, swimming an reading.

Later that afternoon we headed off to swim a popular part of the gorge. Dressed in our paddling kit, we floated down rapids (feet up, bums high to miss the rocks!), swam though syphons and even jumped off rocks into the deeper water below. After a climb up the gorge and through the mountain tunnels, we set off on a scenic drive to the highest viewpoint of the Gorge, to see Europe’s Grand Canyon-an abslutely stunning spectacle.

Graham swimming through a siphon
Ciaran in the gorege

The Gorges Du Verdon (in French: Les Gorges du Verdon or Grand canyon du Verdon), in south-eastern France (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence), is a river canyon that is often considered to be one of Europe’s most beautiful. It is about 25 kilometres long and up to 700 meters deep. It was formed by the Verdon River, which is named for its startling turquoise-green colour, one of the location’s distinguishing characteristics. The most impressive part lies between the towns of Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, where the river has cut a ravine to a depth of 700 metres through the limestone mass. At the end of the canyon, the Verdon River flows into the artificial lake of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon (in French: Lac de Sainte-Croix).

Because of its proximity to the French Riviera, the gorge is very popular with tourists, who can drive around its rim, rent kayaks to travel on the river, or hike. The limestone walls, which are several hundreds of metres high, attract many rock climbers. It is considered an outstanding destination for multi-pitch climbing. The variety of 1,500 routes encompass cracks, pillars and seemingly endless walls, and range in distance from 20m to over 400m. The climbing is generally of a technical nature.

We stopped at a little hotel bar for a drink (and for some-steak and chips!), before heading back to the beach to cook our tea and set up camp for the night. We arranged a collection of ground sheets, mats, blankets and seeping bags and with no light pollution and zero cloud cover we slept under the stars.

Our bivi site on the banks of the Verdon

On Wednesday we had breakfast on the beach, packed up camp and drove to the lake at the end of the Gorge. It was a lovely, warm and sunny day. A few paddled into the Gorge whilst the rest of us paddled around the lake, stopping along the way to play ball games and for balance and rolling practice-some of us got wet! We then all met back on a beach by the edge of the lake and settled down for lunch and a leisurely afternoon of swimming, playboating and rolling practice in the clear water. We set off back to camp mid afternoon, and after a spermarket shop arrived back at camp to light the BBQ.

More Photos……..

Sainte Croix du Verdon lake
 This is the largest of the Verdon lakes. The stretch of water is approximately 10 km. long and 3 km. wide, making a total of 2,200 ha.