12 - 18 years
Lyon (LYS) Geneva (GVA)
Airbnb Style / Bungalows
River Running Class III
Join this EWWS Camp designed specifically for intermediate paddlers looking at their first whitewater experience abroad with the European Whitewater School. This is the perfect opportunity for you to experience what the buzz of the EWWS, the whitewater kayaking school for teens of reference in Europe is all about and work with their world class line up of coaches & river guides.
An unforgettable experience in one of the most classic whitewater destinations in Europe; the Durance Valley in the French Alps. Immerse yourself in stunning scenery, learn from the best and make life-long friendships with teen paddlers coming from all over Europe!
The Durance Valley in the French Alps is renowned for its exceptional whitewater, with rapids and waves that cater to paddlers of all skill levels. From the fast-moving Class II and III sections to the more challenging Class IV and V sections, the Durance River and its tributaries provide an adrenaline-packed experience for whitewater enthusiasts. The crystal-clear waters, dramatic mountain scenery, and pristine natural surroundings make it a perfect destination for kayakers from all over the world.
This is mainly going to be a class III river running trip, but we will adapt to the skill level and eagerness of the group to push their skills, so paddling easier or harder sections of whitewater is definitely in the cards. The coach line up for the Camp include our resident world-class coaches David McClure, Quim Fontané and Agata Sobieraj Jakubiec. Our coaches are 100% committed to ensuring that our young paddlers have a fun and enjoyable experience while learning and improving their whitewater technique, water reading, and group management skills in a safe and supportive environment.
Depending on the number of paddlers who sign up for the Camp we might divide into two groups - depending on the level of paddling skill. This is an absolutely great opportunity for our young paddlers to learn from and paddle alongside teen paddlers from other countries. We can't wait to welcome everyone and embark on this incredible adventure together!
FLY IN/OUT & PICK UPS -You'll need to book a flight arriving to Lyon (LYS) before 16:00 on Thursday the 25th of July. If you cannot find a flight matching this requirement let us know so we can figure out an alternative.
DROP OFF – Aim to book the flight leaving on Thursday the 1st of August after 17:00 from Geneva (GVA).
Our goal is to provide an exciting and safe experience for young paddlers while focusing on developing their whitewater technique, water reading, and group management skills. Please note that this plan is just to give you a general idea of a river hit list. The schedule will depend on the weather conditions and water levels.
DAY 1 - This will be a transfer day from Lyon to our base camp around Guillestre. The drive will take us about 4 hours. Once we arrive to our destination we will make ourselves comfortable in our home for the week and have a first team meeting to explain the workings of the week.
DAY 2 - On the first day on the water, we'll get to know each other and familiarise ourselves with the Guil river, we will provably start with the Middle. We'll practice basic skills like boat control, paddling technique, and safety procedures. This will help us build a strong foundation for the rest of the camp.
DAY 3 - We'll tackle the class III rapids of the Ubaye river - an absolute classic river with a characteristic greyish color from its dense sediment. The Ubaye offers varied whitewater from boulder gardens to a stunning gorged in section.
DAY 4 - On the fourth day, we'll head to the lower section of Gyronde river. This river offers alpine & continuous grade III rapids putting our newly acquired river running skills to test. A fast and furious ride down one of the most popular glaciar-fed rivers in France. We'll also spend some time discussing river conservation and the importance of respecting the environment.
DAY 5 - Park&Huck on Fournel river - this tinny creek offers an exciting and unique opportunity for young paddlers to develop their boofing technique with its famous series of artificial drops surrounded with magnificent scenery. This will also provide a good opportunity to train our safety skills with the throwline as some of the waterfalls create sticky towbacks that will allow us to practice a range of safety drills.
DAY 6 - We will hit the continuous Guisane, another of the great classics of the area.
DAY 7 - On the final day of paddling, we'll spend the day on the river that offers the most suitable conditions for our group, depending on weather and water conditions. If the group is strong enough and ready for the challenge we could look at doing the triple crown of the Guil; Chateau de Queyras, Ange Guardien & Triple Step.
DAY 8 - Byebye French Alps! Transfer day to Geneva for all paddlers heading home. We will help you with the check in process and only leave the airport once you're safely through security and on your way back home.
✔️ Loco Parentis (24h supervision) from point of drop off until hand over or check in completion at return airport.
✔️ All meals included except one eat out and meals during travel.
✔️ Accommodation in bungalows or an airbnb-style accommodation around Guillestre.
✔️ World class, personalised, low-ratio coaching led by Quim Fontané & Agata Sobieraj.
YOU WILL ASLO NEED
➕ Flights, in case you need to fly in or out at the beginning and end of the camp.
➕ Your own kayaking gear. If you don't have a creekboat the EWWS has a complete fleet of recent models for rent. Boats can be rent starting at 25€/day. Available boats include; Rexy, Zion Slalom L, Black Jack, Scorch S, Scorch M, OG, Tutea...
➕ A suitable travel insurance.
➕ About €80,00 spending money.
HOW HARD IS THE WHITEWATER IN THE FRENCH ALPS?
The whitewater in the French Alps varies in difficulty depending on the section of the river you choose to paddle. For young paddlers, there is a range of class II-III+ sections, which are suitable for beginners and intermediates. Our main focus is on providing a safe introduction to class II-III+ river running. With experienced guides and instructors, we are committed to ensuring that our young paddlers have a fun and enjoyable experience while learning and improving their skills in a safe and supportive environment.
WHAT BOAT SHOULD I BE BRINGING WITH ME?
If you plan to join us, you should bring either a creekboat or a half-slice kayak that is suitable for your size. Creekboats are typically longer and more stable, making them a great choice for paddlers who are still building their skills. Half-slice kayaks, on the other hand, are shorter and more agile, providing excellent control in tight spaces and faster response times. Regardless of which type of kayak you choose, it's important to ensure that it is the appropriate size for you, as this will help you to learn more efficiently and safely on the river. If you are not sure which boat to choose we are more than happy to assist you!
I DON’T HAVE A NECESSARY BOAT 🙁 WHAT NOW?
Not to worry, we can rent you a boat – We have a few Rexys, Scorches, Zions, Black Jacks, Tuteas, OGs and Queen of Hearts you can choose from. Let us know your body weight and dimensions and we will bring the one that will suit you the most. Rent starts at 25€/day.
HOW DOES THE ACCOMMODATION LOOK LIKE?
Currently looking for the best base we can find, we'll keep you posted.
MY ENGLISH IS NOT THAT GOOD… IS THIS OK?
Can you think of any better opportunity to study English without even noticing it? Sessions will be run in English but in case you don’t understand or you have any questions, our coaches do speak French, Spanish and Catalan. Other Burners may be able to help you as well. Don’t worry, we will find the way to understand each other and your English will improve by the day!
WHAT KAYAKING GEAR DO I NEED TO BRING?
We are going river running, this means that there are some pieces of gear and safety equipment we expect all paddlers to bring with them. On the first place you will need to bring a drysuit or a combination of drytop + drypants or drytop + wetsuit. You will also need a pair of grippy river shoes, a full-cut helmet and a river running lifejacket. Other mandatory safety equipment every paddler needs to have every time we go paddling include; whistle, throwline and river knife. Boats must have airbags!
Are you missing any piece of gear? Not to worry, the EWWS runs an online shop and we can sort you out - as an EWWS you can enjoy a 10% discount for most products of our shop.
WHAT SORT OF STUFF DO I NEED TO BRING WITH ME?
We will be sending out a detailed list with all the things you'll need to bring once we get close to the camp. However, in short you will need; sleeping bag, documents (ID, passport…), some pocket money, your favourite board game, a book, an open mind, lots of motivation…
HOW DO I BOOK MY KAYAK ONTO MY FLIGHT?
It is generally easy to book your freestyle boat onto most airline companies. However, some companies have length limitations that would exclude most creekboats. It is important to read the sport baggage policies of the companies you are considering to fly with before booking your ticket. Here is a quick breakdown of the fares of various popular airlines:
Ryanair - 35€ for the regular Sports Equipment, 55€ for a Large Sports Item. It is possible to check in up to 2 Large Sport Items per person per flight. The maximum weight allowed is 20kg, but you might be allowed to fly paying an additional fee of 11€/kg up to 32kg. In general quite a friendly company for both freestyle and creekboats.
EasyJet - The fee is 55€ and only one item per passenger is allowed. You can check in your kayak without problems as kayaks are amongst the items that are allowed on the airline's sports baggage policy. Up to 32kgs. Friendly for both freestyle and creekboats.
Eurowings - Up to 32kg allowed, it has a cost of 50€. Generally a friendly company for both freestyle and creekboats.
Norwegian Airlines - Max dimensions stated on website are 250cmx79cmx112cm. This is more than enough for any freestyle boat and borderline for most modern creekboats. Likely that they would not care about 20cm extra as width and height of the kayaks are much less than their max allowance. 32kg max. weight allowance makes it a good company to chuck your kayaking gear inside your kayak :).
Cost is very reasonable at 30GBP (if booked online) or 50GBP directly at the counter.
Vueling - Kayaks are not on the allowed item list, but surfboards are. You will most likely not have any problems convincing the employees your kayak is actually a paddleboard. The weight limit is 32kg and the maximum length 270cm, which is good for all freestyle boats and many creekboats. The cost is 45€.
Lufthansa - Kayaks are not on the allowed item list, but surfboards are. You will most likely not have any problems convincing the employees your kayak is actually a paddleboard. The maximum length allowed is 3,15m and the maximum weight is 32kg so this is a creekboat-friendly company. The cost is quite elevated, at 70 - 150€ depending if it's a domestic flight or an international flight.
Aer Lingus - Kayaks are not on the allowed item list, but surfboards are. You will most likely not have any problems convincing the employees your kayak is actually a paddleboard. The maximum weight allowed is 23kg and maximum length is 240cm, so freestyle boats are a go, but it is not a friendly company for creekboats. The cost is 40€.
Wizz Air - Kayaks are not on the allowed item list, but surfboards are. You will most likely not have any problems convincing the employees your kayak is actually a paddleboard. A slightly odd company as the price depends on the season and it's higher during the summer months and lower during the winter. Not the most kayak friendly company so better to be avoided if you travel with your boat.
We highly recommend that you book your sports equipment in advance to avoid higher fees in the airport check in, or even worse, finding out that the flight is full and not being allowed to bring your kayak with you on board.
Also, packing your kayak nicely in a bag or using a "sock" for surfboards will maximise the chances that everything goes smoothly and that you don't have any problems.
I AM UNDER 16 AND TRAVELLING ALONE. WHAT COMPANIES ALLOW U16s TO FLY IN THEIR OWN?
Ryanair - This company does not allow unaccompanied minors under 16 years to travel. U16s can travel only in case there is a responsible adult over 16 years of age.
Easyjet - This company does not allow unaccompanied minors under 15 years to travel.
Eurowings - This company allows minors as young as 12 years old to travel unaccompanied. Children between 5 and 11 can also fly if they are accompanied by a sibling over 16 years of age. The company also offers an unaccompanied minors service at an extra charge for passengers younger than 12 years of age. DIRECT FLIGHTS ONLY!
Norwegian - Maybe the best company out there to fly if you are an unaccompanied minor as they accept ages ranging from 5 - 15. From 5 - 11 you will need to contract the Unaccompanied Minor Service. This service is available but only optional from 12-15 and once your 16 you'll be considered an adult.
Vueling - This company allows minors as young as 12 years old to travel unaccompanied. Exception - Italian kids must be at least 14 to be able to travel alone.
Lufthansa - This company allows minors as young as 12 years old to travel unaccompanied. Children between 5 and 11 can also fly if they are accompanied by a sibling over 16 years of age. The company also offers an unaccompanied minors service at an extra charge for passengers younger than 12 years of age, although it is also possible to book for up to 17yo. DIRECT FLIGHTS ONLY!
Aer Lingus - This company allows minors as young as 12 years old to travel unaccompanied. DIRECT FLIGHTS ONLY!
Wizz Air - This company does not allow unaccompanied minors under 16 years to travel. U16s can travel only in case there is a responsible adult over 16 years of age.
REMEMBER: Some countries have specific requirements for any children under 18 years who wish to travel into, out of or within their country. You must contact the country’s embassy website or national authorities for more information before you make your booking, and commence travel as these requirements can vary depending on the country, and can change regularly.
If in doubt, please use the live chat in the corner to make sure the camp in French Alps is suitable for your age and experience.