Hydrosped on the icy rivers
The mountain guide Claude-Alain Galen and the canyon explorer Gilles Jeanet are real daredevils. They literally cut their way through the ice canals of the longest glacier in Europe - the Swiss Aletsch, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This sport is called hydro-diving, and is available only to the elect, those who are not afraid to be washed away by torrential streams or drown in underwater cracks and for the sake of a lethal dose of adrenaline are ready to go a lot. Galen and Gilet are just one of them.
This is how it looks in the photo ...
In general, hydrospading does not necessarily imply icy water. This extreme discipline has evolved from traditional rafting and kayaking and involves just a quick movement through the water on a special board.
Some are the origin of hydrospacing from the early 1970s, when Robert Carlson from California began training rescue teams for rafting and invented a special board for this, which was called the “Carlson Riverboard”. Hence, the options that sometimes are called hydrospading - riverboarding and sledging.
Around the same years as Carlson, a group of mountain guides around the French Alps also had the idea to construct their own board. So appeared hydrospid. Hence the name of this extreme discipline.
Extreme is that athletes float along a mountain river on a special floating board in a diving suit and armor (helmet, kneecaps, protection of elbows) to protect against strikes on rocks. Flippers are used as the main means of controlling and defining the trajectory of the alloy.
The term "whitewater" (literally "white water") means a rather turbulent flow of water, the surface of which becomes white from foaming. As a rule, these are mountain rivers. It is in such conditions that rafting alloys take place, and in the equally turbulent waters they are engaged in hydrospacing.
In mountain rivers, the flow of water has to overcome many obstacles in the form of stones or fallen trees. This creates special hydraulic conditions that would be very unpredictable for an ordinary swimmer - for example, it can suddenly be dragged into the water. But for extremes, on the contrary, this opens up additional possibilities.
For athletes with hydrospid flow will be less dangerous, because their body is protected by a board, more manageable and will always keep them afloat.
Hydrospid allows the athlete to stay on the water in a horizontal position and thus significantly increases its buoyancy and reduces the risk of sudden tightening under water.
Professionals of hydrospading are able to “read the river” - they feel the physics of water so well that they are able to predict the behavior of the flow and adapt to it.
In Europe and America, hydrospedition has been practiced for more than a decade, there even exist federations of this sport. In Russia, despite the popularity of mountain rafting, this discipline is still very poorly developed. Nevertheless, equipment for hydrospacing can be purchased - the cost of the board starts from $ 200.