Paddle Articles

Understanding Eddy Currents in Rivers

We aren't going to lie, we are baffled sometimes how one stretch of water, be it in a river, or even a bay during a tide swing, can have completely different speed and dynamics than something mere feet away. And we are also always looking to understand the waters as best we can for safety...and let's be honest, speed!

So if you have ever been curious about eddies, where to be, and where not to be when you are paddling in certain directions, this article is for you. We reached out to Davide Sartoni, who's experience and understanding of River SUP and water dynamics blows our mind. Enjoy!

Understanding Eddy Currents in Rivers

As a river flows past an obstruction, water backfills the space downriver of it, forming an Eddy. Whitewater paddlers often use eddies for scouting, regrouping, and resting spots while systematically moving down rapids. Eddies are also used as safer areas to recover swimmers and equipment during a rescue. In order to effectively and safely move in and out of eddies, paddlers need to better understand the hydrology of these features.

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