Hydrospeed, an adrenaline-filled whitewater board sport, offers a great way to get back to nature – being a more immersive experience than whitewater rafting, as you are in these choppy, challenging waters, rather than on them. This exciting experience is great shared with friends or family, practiced in stunning natural landscapes and able to be done by participants over 8 years old (dependent on the location).
This physically demanding activity offers thrills like no other, as you propel yourself around natural obstacles and over waves and pools, following the route led by your experienced instructor. So get your padded wetsuit on, grab your helmet and hydrospeed board and head out on the whitewater of one of these top 5 rivers in France…
The Durance River
Located in the south-east of France, this beautiful river runs through the Ecrins National Park. The Durance River offers an 11km white water course to propel, swim and maneuver your way down, boasting an exciting mixture of calm areas to float down and relax, whilst taking in the stunning scenery of this region, and grade 3 rapids to test your hydrospeed skills. This white water course ends in the bright blue waters of the stunning artificial lake, Serre-Ponçon, a great family-friendly destination, known for its water sports.
The Durance River is a paradise for whitewater activities, with rapids from grade 2 to grade 4/5, so there’s a spot for every whitewater enthusiast to test their skills. The Ecrins National Park, which the river runs through, is one of France’s 10 National Parks, located just south of the city of Grenoble, a stunning area home to snow-capped mountain peaks, green valleys and glaciers.
The Aude River
Head to the Aude River, a haven for hydrospeed lovers, located at the heart of a region known for its stunning natural beauty, east of the Pyrénées Ariégeoises and north of the Pyrénées Catalanes. This river, in the middle of all this natural splendour, and leading to the Mediterranean Sea, boasts glorious gorges and turbulent waters, best enjoyed by hydrospeed. Offering participants a number of natural obstacles, this fun, family activity – suitable in this location for children over 12 years old, is a great holiday experience and great sport to try as a group.
Try up to grade 4 white water on this thrilling river, learning techniques crucial to the sport and to maximising safety – such as duck diving and eskimo rolls. This stunning river in the south of France, offers hydrospeed enthusiasts incredible views of the Pyrenean foothills and boasts spectacular views of the mysterious rugged landscape of the Gorges de Saint-Georges.
The Cure and the Chalaux Rivers
The Cure river and the Chalaux river, which meet in the Lac du Crescent in the heart of the Morvan Regional Natural Park, are two great spots for trying the thrilling sport of hydrospeed. The Morvan Regional Natural Park, these rivers’ home, is a thickly-forested area with stunning lakes and woodland, an area thriving with wildlife and waterfalls; this is both a natural paradise and a paradise for this sport. These rivers are a hotspot for whitewater sports such as tubing, rafting and kayaking… but even better for the more intense, immersive sport of hydrospeed.
The Cure, a choppy, fast flowing river that is also great for whitewater rafting, offers a variety of routes for beginners as well as more challenging routes and rapids for more experienced hydrospeed participants. This great hydrospeed location can be reached by car from Paris, at only around a 2 hours’ drive, making it a great spot to visit as part of a trip to the big city or as a weekend get away from the hustle and bustle.
The Roya River, in the south-east of France, close to the Italian border, poses challenging whitewater courses to its visitors. Hydrospeed your way through the stunning steep gorges of the area, past rocky scenery and successfully navigate the river’s fast-action rapids. This river, close to the beautiful Côte d’Azur city of Nice, is perfect to head to for sunshine and wild white water courses.
This 60km long river, offering a number of great stretches of white water, is at the heart of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region and offers great intermediate routes for those who’ve tried, practiced and love the sport of hydrospeed. For great beginner’s options, head to the Breil-sur-Roya section of the river – also a great spot for canyoning.
The Herault River
This river is a perfect spot for both hydrospeed and its sister sport of tubing, with great rapids to traverse, rocky channels to navigate and fast-flowing waters for the ultimate adrenaline rush. This 6km course will put your new found technical skills to the test, with rapids, waterfalls, steep passages and strong currents to test your endurance and give you the ultimate whitewater thrill.
Head to the Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert section of this river for great hydrospeed, as well as opportunities for hiking and via ferrata, in this stunning area known for its caves, caverns and incredible medieval village. Just 40km north-west of the city of Montpellier, this is the perfect spot near the country’s south coast for hydrospeed experiences, in the stunning surroundings of the Occitanie region.