In the mood to try our SUP on a river? A few important thoughts to consider..
- Take a SUP river class from Werner/Starboard rep, Dan Gavere in Hood River, Oregon. He's the man on the river when it comes to sups. http://www.dangavere.com/
- Can't get Dan for a class? Take a basic whitewater kayaking class to learn how to read rivers, peel out, peel in, run eddy lines, and how not to get caught in a strainer. Rivers are dangerous, take it seriously.
Tips for experienced paddlers with whitewater skills:
- Don't wear a leash around your ankle. If you do wear one, attach it to your PFD on a quick release tow belt strap.
- Carry a knife to cut your leash in a worse case scenario.
- Wear a river or surf kayaking helmet. I use Gath. Sweet helmets are good too.
- Wear motocross shin pads. When you fall, you'll either hit your shins on your board or a rock below.
- Stay low at all times. I mean really low. Check out Corran Addison's videos for tips.
- Scout the river. Check the flow (CFS). Make sure your skill level is appropiate for the conditions. Portage any obstructions.
- Use an inflatable board such as Uli or Tomawhawk.
- Use a fiberglass (not carbon!) paddle.
- Don't go alone!
- If you fall in, swim for the board immediately. Get on asap, then get to shore.
- Be willing to sit or kneel on your board if you can't stand up.
- Get info on the river prior to running it from local paddling clubs or online sites.
- Wear a PFD for floatation, warmth, and body protection.
- Wear booties that will protect your feet from sharp rocks.
-Dan Gavere, river sup instruction: http://www.dangavere.com/
-Corran Addison, sup river instruction & videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/Corranaddison#p/u/4/7gAKIXKnbxc
-American Whitewater (river database): http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/view/
The Essential Whitewater Kayaker (or SUP'er), Jeff Bennett, McGraw Hill
* Call me if you have any questions about running rivers or tidal rapids. This is a chapter in my book due out Spring 2011.