is it just me (lee valley)

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waynebrown
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is it just me (lee valley)

Post by waynebrown » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:50 am

or does anyone else think that lee valley is a tad expensive, £10 an hour is just stupid, if i wanted a day at the course it would cost me £60-£80

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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by Simon Westgarth » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:56 am

waynebrown wrote:or does anyone else think that lee valley is a tad expensive, £10 an hour is just stupid, if I wanted a day at the course it would cost me £60-£80
I do not think very many paddler's will be doing more than 3 hours on the water, so your £60-80 a day, is a little unrealistic.

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Kayak-Bloke
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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by Kayak-Bloke » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:12 am

Not entirely sure about that. I've pitched up at CIWW at 0930 and left at 17:00....

It's probably worth adding I'm local so it only takes me 30 mins to get there. If I had to travel miles I'd probably kick the arse out of it every time. Especially as there's so little water around right now.

Still that full day did set me back... £10
So I'm gonna go with the original poster and say yeah it is expensive.

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janet brown
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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by janet brown » Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:33 pm

Strikes me that Cardiff has really got the jump on Lee Valley! Seems much more paddler friendly? And I agree about costs. From Sussex, Lee Valley isn't really that much easier to get to, but I guess Cardiff entails paying to cross into Wales!

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aria230
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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by aria230 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:12 pm

From what I've read it seems that Lee Valley is a very full-on course that will knacker most people out in a few hours. It also seems that you will be paying for the course, facilities and the priviledge of paddling some pushy whitewater throughout the year. I agree that it is expensive in comparison to other courses around the UK but in reality can we really compare the two?

Just my views and I can see where you are coming from but I think I would be willing to pay that much for just a couple of hours on a 'world class' course.

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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by TechnoEngineer » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:24 pm

I don't think you'll be able to make a value judgement until you've actually been there. I've heard that it's like HPP/CIWW but cleaner and deeper - so I imagine it wouldn't cost a pair of gloves, broken skin or an upset stomach ;)
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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by Sickboy » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:49 pm

I've seen a couple of threads regarding the cost of paddling at lee valley, there's no way you could call it cheap thats for sure, but until I get a paddle in it (still weeks away it seems) I won't make my mind up on it.
Obviously if your driving from wales to paddle the cost per hour of fun will be a lot higher than if you come from London itself.
After many long drives over to Cardiff I can't wait to be able to paddle more regularly on some decent water, Cardiff is great, but once you start adding up the exes, a days paddling becomes a pretty hefty sum. The fuel cost alone is shocking nowadays, if there is only two of us going it makes sense to hire boats there once you work out the mpg difference.
Once we work out the fastest route to Lee valley I'll be looking at 10 quids worth of fuel, split a few ways. Tiz a no brainer for me.
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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by Randy Fandango » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:10 pm

What he said :-)
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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by Simon Westgarth » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:31 pm

Kayak-Bloke wrote:Not entirely sure about that. I've pitched up at CIWW at 0930 and left at 17:00....

It's probably worth adding I'm local so it only takes me 30 mins to get there. If I had to travel miles I'd probably kick the arse out of it every time. Especially as there's so little water around right now.

Still that full day did set me back... £10
So I'm gonna go with the original poster and say yeah it is expensive.
So you paddled all of the 7 and half hours you were there? Unlikely, you got to use all the facilities, hang out a bunch, talk smack to whoever wished to listen and go paddle for probably no more than 3 hours water time. Yeah it's a bargain, as you can jump on and off when and as you wish, which will I would imagine after a fashion will be what goes on at LVWW once they work out the user patterns.

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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by c.blyth » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:08 pm

I am pretty sure after an hour or tops 2 hours of paddling the main course you will be absolutely knackered! Many people would agree with me on this is that it is one of the most continuous and best pieces of artificial white water in Europe if not the world!

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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by Sickboy » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:18 pm

Randy Fandango wrote:What he said :-)
Giles
I was tempted to cut and paste one of your posts on the matter, but you'd probably charge royalties....
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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by morsey » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:08 pm

Simon Westgarth wrote:So you paddled all of the 7 and half hours you were there? Unlikely, you got to use all the facilities,
At Cardiff today, I got on when they ramped up the levels, got off for a drink and then paddled until I was told they had turned the pumps off! 5 hours paddling! :-) I think Simon is generalising somewhat when he says most people will only paddle for an hour or two, and is probably not far off the mark.

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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by hardy » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:15 pm

I agree with Kayak Bloke about Cardiff.When i get there early enough i can easily spend 5 hours solid paddling.I don't go to talk.I fuel up before i go,stop for a coffee and bite to eat,and get straight back on.I also agree that most others don't do this,a couple of hours is usually enough for them.However,i have not yet been to the Lee valley course,and it may well be tougher,and i therefore might get exhausted quicker.I don't plan to go anytime soon though,due to the cost and travel,but it's good for the people in the South East.

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Tom Drake
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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by Tom Drake » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:44 pm

By the looks of it I reckon it'd be well worth £10 an hour seeing as it's very continuous and is one of a kind in the UK. I doubt many people could last more than 2-3hours constantly paddling around the course. Although living within half an hour of the site, it's much better economy for people who live in and around the area as there is little driving involved for when there's not much water around, whereas HPP and Cardiff and other options for when there's a lack of water are quite a drive on top of paying water fees.

I really do hope they will do some sort of season pass or discount scheme somewhere along the line like HPP do.

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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by SimonMW » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:54 pm

I haven't spent enough time actually paddling at Cardiff myself to speak from direct personal experience. However I have done a lo of filming and photography there, and quite a high percentage of people I noticed were on the water almost constantly, only getting off for a quick cuppa or food.

I think the important aspect about Cardiff is that you can pay your money and distribute the time you spend on the water as you like. With Lee Valley it appears that you will be forced to stay on constantly for your allotted time to get the most out of the fee. I don't think that will work long term. After all, when people go paddling on a river they often go for the day. While the main Olympic course might be really tiring, paddlers could always take a slight breather by going between the legacy course and the main one. Even if paddlers spent some time in the cafe etc, the beauty of CIWW is that paddlers can actually do that and get back on the water when they like. Lee Valley it seems doesn't have the option, and in fact might be shooting themselves in the foot where use of other facilities such as any cafes etc are concerned, because paddlers won't be able to afford the time to simply hang out there.

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Tom Drake
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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by Tom Drake » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:12 pm

I agree with that too it will be a hop on hop off course for paddlers, if they did decide to make it so you could pay for a day and it wasn't that expensive, would they make enough money from the cafe to make up the money they might have made running it in 3 hour blocks. Maybe. It would certainly be better but then could they get as many people on the olympic course in one day as numbers are limited.

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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by Alec Ferris » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:19 pm

They can afford to because there are plenty of guys like me living in the area who can't spare the time to go elsewhere. It's like iTunes charging significantly more than Amazon and 7Digital- people won't bother to take time to go cheaper/
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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by waynebrown » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:35 am

Simon Westgarth wrote:
waynebrown wrote:or does anyone else think that lee valley is a tad expensive, £10 an hour is just stupid, if I wanted a day at the course it would cost me £60-£80
I do not think very many paddler's will be doing more than 3 hours on the water, so your £60-80 a day, is a little unrealistic.

you would be surprised, i know many people who paddle at ciww that go for the entire day

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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by shanclan » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:46 am

The Cardiff model works well because people can relax between runs, do a bit of surfing, watch other people, use the cafe and have a look round the shop. There is no pressure, and as a result the place has a really good atmosphere both on and off the water. I tend to go there for 3-4 hours, but there are lots of people who are there for longer.

The unintended consequence of hourly pricing is that you will damage this atmosphere. People will get on the water and try to get their money's worth. At Cardiff, people are happy to take their time - queuing for waves, waiting for people to finish surfing before dropping down, helping rescue boats and equipment etc. There is good co-operation between users (rafts, slalom, kayaks, canoes, occasional courses etc). If the clock is ticking at Lee Valley, I can see this being different, with the potential for some tension.

I suspect that the hourly model comes from a spreadsheet rather than a more rounded analysis of what is best to create a satisfied community of returning users. It is a bit worrying that they have probably had to model £30-£40 per park and play visitor to make the numbers work which is probably double what Cardiff is doing.

Expect to see a lot of rafts....

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waverley610
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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by waverley610 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:36 am

Totally agreed on why Cardiff works so well and the atmosphere has always been so good when I've visited rain or shine.

In contrast a visit to LV; Three of you rock up to parkn'play and get a one hour slot, (say Cardiff is around 20/30mins a circuit with play).
You get washed off a wave or two and your group is split up, everyone's playing on different features and you miss that shared experience that's part of the fun every where else.

So in an hour you could easily be spending 40minutes paddling solo, not get to sit in an eddy while watching/learning how a feature works, get taken out
by a raft or maybe just take a swim and loose 10mins on the water.You might even assist a swimmer to the bank or get his/her boat/paddle back.

Only two runs completed, you've only just began to get confident/dialled in. Time for a break.... Oh it's time to get off! That really sucks.

I just can't see it working. Roll on the changes.

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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by Randy Fandango » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:57 am

I would hazard a guess it's pricing structure is based on the idea that (unlike Cardiff) if you opened a map with Lee Valley in the middle and drew a circle around it with a 40 mile radius, you'll find at a wild guess you've covered the homes of about 10 million people.
This means a lot of people who aren't travelling somewhere "for the day" will happily pop in for a cheeky hour and that others going there for 2 or 3 hours won't particularly gripe at paying 20 or 30 quid because they're not driving a huge distance or paying big fuel bills.
Giles

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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by shanclan » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:34 am

Randy Fandango wrote:I would hazard a guess it's pricing structure is based on the idea that (unlike Cardiff) if you opened a map with Lee Valley in the middle and drew a circle around it with a 40 mile radius, you'll find at a wild guess you've covered the homes of about 10 million people.
This means a lot of people who aren't travelling somewhere "for the day" will happily pop in for a cheeky hour and that others going there for 2 or 3 hours won't particularly gripe at paying 20 or 30 quid because they're not driving a huge distance or paying big fuel bills.
Giles
Agree. So it's more of a Starbucks model than creating local inclusion or a national resource.

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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by scottdog007 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:37 am

I went to have a look at the place yesterday (Sunday) and got there at 1:30pm just to see a raft going past, and for the next 2 hours they had nothing on the course. They run the water for 1 hour with no one using it and then turned the water off for the next hour. So where are all the rafters? I sat on the balcony with my family eating a BBQ and having a Corona. There were masses of people there come to watch. Just there weren´t any rafters.

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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by Randy Fandango » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:40 am

That's my guess.
I would hazard that apart from for competitions, they're not expecting or really after kayak tourism (except as an occasional "one off") but more after providing an albeit expensive, conveniently local facility for paddlers in the SE.
Or more realistically raft punters in the SE.
Giles

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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by Randy Fandango » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:41 am

shanclan wrote:
Randy Fandango wrote:I would hazard a guess it's pricing structure is based on the idea that (unlike Cardiff) if you opened a map with Lee Valley in the middle and drew a circle around it with a 40 mile radius, you'll find at a wild guess you've covered the homes of about 10 million people.
This means a lot of people who aren't travelling somewhere "for the day" will happily pop in for a cheeky hour and that others going there for 2 or 3 hours won't particularly gripe at paying 20 or 30 quid because they're not driving a huge distance or paying big fuel bills.
Giles
Agree. So it's more of a Starbucks model than creating local inclusion or a national resource.
That's my guess.
I would hazard that apart from for competitions, they're not expecting or really after kayak tourism (except as an occasional "one off") but more after providing an albeit expensive, conveniently local facility for paddlers in the SE.
Or more realistically raft punters in the SE.
Giles

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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by Randy Fandango » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:47 am

scottdog007 wrote:I went to have a look at the place yesterday (Sunday) and got there at 1:30pm just to see a raft going past, and for the next 2 hours they had nothing on the course. They run the water for 1 hour with no one using it and then turned the water off for the next hour. So where are all the rafters? I sat on the balcony with my family eating a BBQ and having a Corona. There were masses of people there come to watch. Just there weren´t any rafters.
I would guess that whoever should be marketing the place to whoever fills rafts (stag do's, work jollies, etc.) has failed to get into full swing yet.
Added to which it's the Easter break which probably isn't a great time for much of the above.
Not to mention the general lack of belief that the place was ever actually going to open at all if the kayaking is anything to go by....

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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by shanclan » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:55 am

They will be doing a soft start. It's a new facility with new staff etc. - someone has already broken a bone on the course. They need to build up the rafting operation carefully until they can operate it safely at full tilt. They will have no problem filling it with rafts full of staganendoos.

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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by HarryWats0n » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:01 am

Another rant about prices - Whats up with the rafting prices? Why are the prices at lvww very similar to HPP & the tryweryn? surely they should be in proportion with the kayaking prices.

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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by Randy Fandango » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:06 am

HarryWats0n wrote:Another rant about prices - Whats up with the rafting prices? Why are the prices at lvww very similar to HPP & the tryweryn? surely they should be in proportion with the kayaking prices.
Because their main business is/will be rafting and they have to be competitive (especially as I guess that unlike paddling the majority of rafting is done as a "one off" so people will be more inclined to travel to do it so convenience of location whilst important wouldn't be the whole story).
Giles

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Re: is it just me (lee valley)

Post by Simon » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:19 am

Randy Fandango wrote:
scottdog007 wrote:I went to have a look at the place yesterday (Sunday) and got there at 1:30pm just to see a raft going past, and for the next 2 hours they had nothing on the course. They run the water for 1 hour with no one using it and then turned the water off for the next hour. So where are all the rafters? I sat on the balcony with my family eating a BBQ and having a Corona. There were masses of people there come to watch. Just there weren´t any rafters.
I would guess that whoever should be marketing the place to whoever fills rafts (stag do's, work jollies, etc.) has failed to get into full swing yet.
Added to which it's the Easter break which probably isn't a great time for much of the above.
Not to mention the general lack of belief that the place was ever actually going to open at all if the kayaking is anything to go by....
I think they were marketing the place over the Easter weekend by having it open and the course pumps working despite having few punters, so all the locals could come and see it.

I was at a family BBQ in Enfield on Easter Saturday as my partners family live nearby, and the local buzz about the course and rafting was impressive, everybody had been to see the course (despite not being boaters) and everybody was planning to get groups of mates together and go rafting this summer.

What impressed me (as an ex, long-term, HPP Raft Guide) was that the commercial side was up and running from day one. The cafe, the raft centre, the advertising and marketing. This place was designed from day one to make money and pay back its costs. I suspect that they will be looking at the kayaking pricing carefully, and it will soon be be like airline pricing, variable charges depending on time of day/week to maximise use and maximise profit. The initial charges are just a first guess and will soon change.

Simon

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