|Go Big Aerial playspot: France, East, Lyon, River Rhone, Hawaii sur Rhone (the French call it La Feysinne).|
What's it like
This is a huge, fast wave, partly breaking, mixed with holes. Not for beginners or for the faint at heart. Don't paddle alone here. Powerflips are powerful, many and not far between and a swim can be dangerous. Not because of holes or strainers downstream, but the river is fast and wide and so it's a long swim to reach the shore (the sweet spot is in the middle). To get a feel for this baby's dimensions, try to spot the boat in the picture below (taken in 1996). More pictures are avaibable under 'Galleries' (see below).
Most of the time the wave is breaking but it can be totally green, depending on the water level. At low water levels (end of August and September), there are eddies on both sides of the wave (the river-left one is better). You must constantly paddle in these eddies, they are not very easy. At high water levels, you have to catch it from upstream and disembark after every surf. It is not easy to catch then, and when you're in, it's very difficult to control, as it is so fast and enormous.
At all water levels, the hole on the extreme river-right (see picture) is very dangerous and can be killing, so be careful.
To have an idea of the water level, look at the two metal strainers just upstream of the wave: if you can see them, the level is quite low. At very low water levels, you can see 20 or 30 cm of them. If you don't see them at all, there's a chance that the eddies don't exist anymore. At very high water level, there's no wave anymore but a huge hole that most mortal boaters wouldn't like to be pushed into. NB even at low levels (see picture above), a very powerful hole can form on river right. This used to be almost certainly terminal, but it seems it is not as deadly anymore now. As always, PLAYAK.COM cannot be held responsible for loss/breakage of any organic/anorganic material.....
How to get there
On the freeway from Geneva, take the "Peripherique Nord" in Lyon. After a big bridge over the Rhone, under which the spot is located, keep turning right, and you are there! This sounds simple and once you know the way, it is simple, but the first time is a bit tricky, so let's make that a bit more detailed.
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Lyon River Festival (See the Playak / Kayak Session Calendar).
Nearest weather station (°C):