AdventureX Coaching Trip on the Tees

Day 1
I arrived in Darlington on Friday to meet AdventureX Prize winners Tim and Scott for a 3 Day White Water Coaching trip.
Our first stop was at Barnard Castle on the River Tees. The river was low but there were plenty of small features to learn new strokes and skills, and to also gain understanding on how to read moving water and choose the best line to take through a rapid. I gave them Guidance and let them decide with that information in mind on how they were to take each rapid and feature.


We paddled 15 miles down to Piercebridge which included a long stretch of flat water that provided a good opportunity to work on some basic forward paddling technique and stoke efficiency. After a long day on the river our dinner was earned. We made our own pizzas before heading into the local town to review the day and wind down with a beer, or two.
Day 2
On the second day we had planned to use the Tees Barrage White Water Course, but it was closed as there was a technical problem with their pumping system. There hadn’t been much rainfall so local rivers were low but after spending some time looking at maps and surveys to source nearby white water action we decided to head to the Tees again and run the 10 mile stretch above our get in the previous day at Barnard Castle.
We found a long stay car park in Middleton in Teesdale right by the river. On this section the rapids were quite spaced out so we did a few walk backs on few of them to work on make the most of the available white water. There were a few play sots that we spent some time on learning more about edge control and using the water to control the boat. We had some great fun surfing waves and learning how to get on them.


We then travelled further west to a friend’s B&B who provided us with a fantastic dinner that we were longing for after another long day on the river. We had a good amount of discussion throughout the evening and it was pleasure to be in such good company. We headed to the local pub where we got involved with the local annual conker championships. It was such a fun event even with me going out in the first round after my conker exploded in my own attack.
Day 3

After a good sleep we headed back over to the River Tees and after some rainfall through the night, the levels were good. We tackled the section from High Force to Low Force. Although quite a short run there are some fun rapids on this section which we ran a few times with both Tim and Scott showing of the boof stoke they had been working on over the 3 days and also choosing their own lines in style. It was great to see there smiles after their success.

Low Force had a couple of entertaining drops. The first of which was quite retentive and a good boof stoke was key. The second drop was also a little tricky and it was good to see the boys both styling the drop
All in all the trip was a great experience all round. It was a pleasure to meet Tim and Scott and to be introduced to their welcoming friends. They were great out on the river too and I'm sure I will bump into the on the water again soon pushing hard lines.