Harnessing the power of water to go fast, this, in essence, is the meaning of hydrospeed. Going down a river in hydrospeed is a unique sensation. It’s the only river practice in which the body merges with water to become one thing. The descent thus becomes a dance in which currents, both superficial and deeper, are physically perceived.
HOW IT WORKS
Hydrospeed is a water sport that is practiced with the help of a river bob, called hydro.
The hydro has a catamaran-shaped hull, a front bulb, two lateral floats, spaces for housing the arms and pelvis and can be equipped with handles.
The activity consists of running through a stream of water by positioning yourself on your stomach with your arms inside the hydro, directing it through the movement of the arms and torso.
Before starting the hydrospeed activity, the instructor explains the basics of conducting and safety in the water.
Then, a test is done in calm waters, to gain confidence and put into practice what has just been explained in theory.
And now, after the last checks, let’s go!!
WHEN and WHERE to GO
You can practice hydrospeed wherever there is a water course with sufficient flow. This condition tends to occur in spring, when streams and rivers bring melted snow from the glaciers.
Some of the best areas to practice hydrospeed in our opinion are:
- Italy – Val d’Aosta – Dora Baltea River: called the “Colorado of Italy” for the impetuosity of its rapids. Only for experts or true daredevils.
- Italy – Veneto – Brenta River: it’s one of the favourite locations of some Olympic rowing champions.
- Italy – Lombardy – Valtellina – Adda River: rapids, waves, surf, tides and much more… a real river of adrenaline.
- Italy – Piedmont – Valsesia – Sesia River: the Sesia Gorges are one of the most suggestive frames in Italy.
- Italy – Trentino Alto Adige – Val di Sole – Noce River: one of the capitals of extreme water sports in Italy.
- Italy – Umbria – River of Marmore: at the foot of the waterfalls, with wonderful views.
- New Zealand – Queenstown – Kawarau River: you’ll test your endurance on some grade 2-3/4 rapids.
- Spain – Murillo de Gallego – Gallego River: this river passes through some stunning rugged canyons and forested areas and offers an intense 6km descent that will leave you wanting more.
- France – Ubaye River: one of the most beautiful (and turbulent) mountain rivers in Europe.
DOCUMENTS AND REQUIREMENTS
To practice Hydrospeed you need to know how to swim, be in good physical shape and not be afraid to dive into the turbulent waters of a stream.
Sports centers generally limit the possibility of practicing this sport to people aged 18 to 60, but it is good to check before booking.
RECOMMENDED CLOTHING and EQUIPMENT
The sport center provides all the equipment needed to practice hydrospeed:
long neoprene wetsuit (generally 7mm), neoprene boots, fins, water jacket, helmet, life jacket and of course the hydro, some also provide thermal gloves (depending on the temperature) .
We recommend you to bring:
- thermal t-shirt to wear under the wetsuit in case of bad weather;
- cotton socks that can get wet;
- contact lenses (if you really can’t avoid wearing glasses, remember the strap);
- necessary for the shower.