|Playspot: France, South, River Durance, La Clapiere.|
What's it like
This is a fast breaking wave, re-created by builders clearing debris from a fallen bridge during winter 2001/2002. The Durance is a glacier fed river and so during the summer the wave is running all the time. However after a good rainy day the river swells and this is the best time to be here. The wave stretches almost half way across the river from left to right (as you sit in the eddy line facing up-stream). The sweetest part of the wave is the middle. To get here, paddle up to and in to the smaller section near the eddy line and ferry glide across at an angle of about 45 degrees. All wave moves are possible here from spins to Arial blunts. The eddy line is good and long but in flood there is a section where you'll have to pull yourself over rocks or set up a rope to make things easier. It's also a prefect place for practicing loops (see pictures).
At normal water levels (i.e. on an average sunny day) there's a fairly big bounce on it, which makes for interesting blunts, spins and wipeouts. However after rain the wave gets less bouncy and breaks more.
In flood it is important to note that a lot of big debris, i.e. trees, will be floating down!
How to get there
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For water level info, call either of the following: Sylvain Chevalier from Wonderland (Riot importer for France): +33-610303287, L'Artisan du Sport (kayak shop on the other side of the river): +33-4-92431255 or Reves Rafting: +33-4-92435656.
Since the area is well known for kayaking you'll meet people from all over the world. This is the take out point for Reves Rafting, so be prepared to meet a raft or two :-)
Nearest weather station (°C):