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Play river, Southern Norway, Syrtveit, Evje, River Otra
What's it like
Although the Otra is the 6th longest river in Norway the whitewater section is only 2.5 km long. The water is guaranteed throughout the year as the river is dam controlled.
This is a great playboating run offering various features depending on water levels:
The bottom wave is the main playspot during the summer months when the river is between 50 and 60 m3/s. The wave is quite steep with large eddies either side and a sweet lip on the surfers' right. A swim here is fine as the river pushes into a large flat pool just after the wave.
The playhole is good when the river is slightly higher, between 90 and 120 is best. This is a nice small retentive hole with turning waves on both sides. There is an eddy in the middle of the river that is possible to catch once you have got the knack!
Named this in the time of the old Pyranha Mountain Bats, this hole isn't very retentive or very good for modern moves but a couple of ends are possible on the way down. The hole is always there but is best in low water if you want to eddy out and go back in or high water if you want one big hit.
Named this by the rafting companies for obvious reasons. It has hold swimmers and given some kayakers a real beating so unless you know what you are doing stay away. However some nice moves have been pulled here! Stay well away in high water (around 80 is best).
The shelf is a nice river feature on the way down and provides a nice boof spot. Make sure you hit your boof as the landing is very shallow.
Again a nice river feature to play on the way down (excellent spot for wave wheels). Fine in most water levels as it blows through, just take a look and use your own judgment.
How to get there
The river is situated 1 hour North of Kristiansand (the very southern point of Norway) on road number 9. Syrtveit is between Evje and Byglandsfjord. The river is next to the road so you can't miss it.
Put In: This is really easy to find as the start is just below the dam. Once you get to Syrtveit, keep driving till you find the dam. There is a turning circle just off the road where vehicles can be left, but please use your common sense and keep your vehicles out of the way as rafting companies need room.
Take Out: Again this is easy to find as it is land marked by the rafting center. Again parking is obvious and is plenty full.
The locals are all very friendly and there is usually someone around should you need advice or somebody to chat with.
Mark Burton, Adrenal
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