GUIDE TO THE RIVER TAY
(Wee Eric and Thistlebrig waves)
NAME OF RIVER: Tay at Thistlebrig
WHERE IS IT?: 10 minute drive north of Perth
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Either run the Stanley section above down to here, or park in the Thistlebrig car park (NO 10624 32024) and walk down the steps opposite to where the path meets the river. Thistlebrig wave is accessible from the eddy on river left behind the line of rocks. You will see it across from you when you first come to the river. Wee eric is further downstream - put into the river here and paddle 100m or so downstream. The wave should be obvious near the right bank.
TIME NEEDED: Any length
ACCESS HASSLES: None known
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Gauge available here. The waves need a fair amount of water, though too much and they will wash out. Other waves on the Stanley section come into condition at higher flows. Wee Eric runs between 2 and 3, Thistlebrig is best around 3.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: So… many… steps...
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Around 2 on the gauge Wee Eric is eddy serviced, though the wave is very flushy and the hole (furthest from the bank) is very shallow. However at these levels it can be great for learning to surf as front surfing is very easy, especially for longer playboats. Higher levels improve the wave and flat spins are easy to pull off, however eddy service is lost and you will need to walk back up each time. The seal launch down the wall (look for the convenient boat sized gap) is great fun though! At most levels, there is a back wave behind the main which is always eddy serviced. It is generally good for front surfing only and is smaller and flushier. Above about 3 on the gauge the wave starts to wash out.
Thistlebrig is a much bigger and more intimidating feature, and not simple to pull off any moves, but it is a thrilling ride! Be careful of surfing this at lower levels as there is the occasional rock - Wee eric is a better idea when levels are below 2.5ish.
Jennifer Hartnett showing off her flat spin on Wee Eric, photo by Kirsten Rendle.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Kirsten Rendle