Donna Hawkins

Grid reference SK 296587

Nearby Postcode DE4 3RT


The Matlock Slalom is held on the River Derwent, which runs along the A6 between Matlock and Matlock Bath. The division 2/3 slalom is held annually in April, when the river is usually still high enough to present an enjoyable challenge for all paddlers.

The river can be accessed at all times of year from the car park at Artistís Corner, about a mile south of Matlock. The river meanders gently down to the slalom site beside the "Colour Works" on the A6.

Below the bridge, the river falls down a slight rapid with good breakouts to right and left. The first challenge is presented by the rock "Killer" which lurks in the middle of the riverÖ no problem if you avoid eye contact!

The course design will undoubtedly contain some tricky move around the rock, but allow scope for the more wary paddler to take an alternative route.

The course then progresses across another flat stretch of water before a second small drop at the bottom of the course. The water here changes depending on the riverís mood, but the course will usually involve a surf across the "friendly" stopper.

This stretch of grade 2 rapids should provide the opportunity to demonstrate your white water skills, but may not be the best place for your first div 3 event, especially after a period of heavy rain.

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JS Grading: B/C

B: Slightly moving water, giving some eddy-lines, but not enough to worry paddlers; and with at the most one small drop which paddlers simply have to run down.

C: Faster current, sharper eddy-lines, some drops that can be intimidating, possible to set crosses on small waves, often rocky.

Even courses that are usually easy can become dangerous in exceptional high water conditions. If in doubt, seek advice or stay off the water.