Warning: Flanking the main wave are two pourovers which are very sticky. To enter the wave you have to go very near the pourovers. The results of paddlers entering the pourovers aren’t usually pretty. Also, it can be very hard to actually get on the wave, as the eddy pulsates and the eddy line is very powerful. As a result this is one of the few that is not suitable for beginners or nervous intermediates.
Description: When it is running this is without a doubt the best weir on the Thames. In fact it is one of the best playspots anywhere. Depending on the level it can form a very powerful, deep, bowl shaped wave with plenty of pile in the middle to keep you on it. The stanchions of the weir structure puts ribs into the wave face that are ace for giving your boat that extra bit of lift to get it skyward bound. It is a fickle beasty and the quality of the wave depends to a large extent on the amount of gates open and the level of the pool. Ideally the “rock” (large concrete boulder) on river left should poke out of the water about 6 inches. As the pool level rises and the rock disappears, the wave turns into a deep and very retentive hole. It is still great fun, but extremely hard work.
As a general rule of thumb:
1, 2 or 3 gates open – No fun at all. (apart from Slalom)
4 gates open – Sometimes a fun fast wave for longer kayaks, soul surfing.
5, or 6 gates open – Can be retentive for playboats, fast bouncy wave, most wave tricks possible.
7, 8 or 9 gates open – Very likely to be fantastic, steep, fast, bouncy and retentive, if the pool level is still lowish.
10 gates open – This can be amazing, but as the pool level rises, the wave is more likely to turn into a hole. Whilst still a lot of fun, its not really what Shepperton is famous for, and isn’t for the faint hearted.
Directions: Coming from outside London, exit the M25 Junction 11. Follow the signs to Chertsey. At the T junction (second set of traffic lights) turn right towards Shepperton. Pass over Chertsey bridge (look upstream to see Chertsey weir) and keep driving. At the roundabout take a right towards Shepperton. After about a mile, look for signs to Church Square. Turn right, down that road, and drive along it for a few hundred meters until you see the turn off for ferry lane (dead end sign). Drive down Ferry Lane, soon you will come across the river and lock. Park near the lock if there is room – if not drive another couple of hundred yards and take a right to a large free car park. Walk across the lock and down a footpath to the Weir. The Canoe Club are happy to let you put in off their piece of grass next to the river. They have asked that we avoid slalom competitions, and that you park/change sensibly so as to keep relations with the locals at their best.