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Cardiff International White Water
Watkiss Way
Cardiff Bay
CF11 0SY

Introducing the latest craze in the world of water sports: river boarding. An exhilarating, fast-paced adventure for thrill-seekers looking to amp up the action, river boarding (also goes by hydrospeeding) brings you closer to the rapids by letting you navigate the white water with just your body and a board.

The basics of river boarding

As the name suggests, river boarding invites white water enthusiasts to ride the rapids without a raft, using just a river board to propel themselves through the twists and turns of the course.  Guided by our expert instructors, you will take the rapids head-on, speeding down as you lie flat on your board, your upper body snugly fit inside.  

When you go hydrospeeding, you’re using your own body to navigate, helped along by fins (or flippers) attached to your feet which help you steer in the right direction. River boarding courses usually feature a range of passages and a fair number of waves, so you’re guaranteed an action-filled experience.

If you are wondering why the sport goes by two different names, fear not – we’ve got the answers! It’s all about the board you use to speed down the white water rapids. In river boarding, plastic boards specifically built for the purpose are used to provide extra buoyancy.

Hydrospeeding, on the other hand, is named after the foam board alternative used on the courses (known as hydrospeed). Riding the river rapids on a hydrospeed is great if you want to ensure a softer ride and cushion the impact of any bumps.

Essential equipment for river boarding

Aside from a river board (or a hydrospeed) and fins, essential river boarding equipment includes a wetsuit designed to keep you warm in the water, a life jacket and a helmet which keeps you safe from the rocks. If you’re going hydrospeeding in winter, consider wearing an extra layer of thermals beneath your wetsuit for extra warmth.

We also recommend wearing sturdy footwear with laces, as well as bringing along a towel and a bathing suit. For the shallow waters, you could even kit yourself out with some knee and elbow pads, or even opt for shin guards and gloves as well.

Is river boarding safe?

All of our courses are conducted with the safety of our guests in mind. We provide all the essential safety equipment for each of our hydrospeeding sessions, along with guidance on how to use it. We start the course in calm waters, where our instructors cover the basics of propelling yourself through the rapids with a board and flippers.

Confidence on the water and strong swimming ability are also a requirement for all participants. We’ve set up minimum age restrictions to ensure everyone taking part in our hydrospeeding courses can comfortably swim the recommended 25 metres unaided.

Find out more about our river boarding sessions.