River SUP Gear

Embarking on a whitewater paddleboarding adventure is both thrilling and demanding, requiring gear that can stand up to the challenge. At Glide, we've honed our expertise in crafting the best inflatable SUPs for the rapids, ensuring you're well-equipped for whatever the river throws your way. Here's a comprehensive guide to the essential gear for river SUP, reflecting our passion for innovation and safety in paddleboarding.

Key Highlights

  1. Introduction to Whitewater SUP: Whitewater paddleboarding is a thrilling combination of surfing and navigating river rapids, requiring skill, courage, and the right gear. Glide specializes in creating durable, high-performance paddleboards ideal for this adventurous sport.
  2. Choosing the Right Board: For whitewater, an inflatable SUP with a rounded but slightly pointed nose, wide tail, and constructed with four layers of military-grade PVC, offers stability and maneuverability essential for river running and surfing.
  3. Board Features:
    • River Surfing Boards: Designed for maneuverability with a tri-fin setup for control on river waves.
    • Whitewater Inflatable SUPs: Boards with ample deck space and a full-length deck pad ensure stability and comfort when navigating through rapids.
  4. Protective Gear:
    • Helmets and PFDs are crucial for safety, providing protection against impacts and ensuring buoyancy.
    • A quick-release leash is vital for emergencies, allowing paddlers to detach from their board if necessary.
  5. Apparel and Accessories:
    • Wet or dry suits offer thermal protection, while water shoes with good support enhance grip and protection.
    • Protective pads for knees and elbows are recommended for additional safety during falls.

Essential River SUP Gear: What You Need to Know

Introduction to Whitewater SUP: Whitewater SUP combines the exhilaration of surfing with the unpredictability of river rapids. It's an adventure that demands not just skill and courage but also the right equipment. Glide's history of innovation, starting from our early days in 2010, has positioned us as leaders in durable, high-performance paddleboards perfect for the whitewater enthusiast.

whitewater paddle boarding

Our History

When Glide started out back in 2010, our entire premise was to create ultra-durable paddle boards that we could use for whitewater.  Our founders used to head down rivers in kayaks so why not try a SUP board?

After breaking many a paddle board in half on river rocks, we were finally able to create a formulation that made our hard boards the whitewater SUP of choice from the Payette River in Idaho to the White Nile in Uganda.  

When the river hard SUP board trend shifted to inflatables several years ago, we created the most durable iSUP on the planet with four layers of military grade PVC fused together. You will still see hard boards out there but by and large, the trend is towards whitewater inflatable sups.

whitewater sup board

Choosing the Right Board: For river running and surfing, an inflatable SUP designed specifically for whitewater is key. Look for a board with a rounded but slightly pointed nose and a wide tail for stability and maneuverability. Our boards feature four layers of military-grade PVC for unmatched durability and performance in rough waters.

river paddle board

Board Features for River SUP:

  • River Surfing Boards: Smaller in length and designed for maneuverability, these boards excel in river wave riding. A tri-fin setup offers control, essential for the dynamic movements of river surfing.
  • Whitewater Inflatable SUPs: Stability is paramount when charging down rivers. Opt for a board with ample deck space, and a full-length deck pad for added comfort and traction. A length of around nine to ten feet with a rounded nose is ideal for navigating rapids.
  • The Whitewater SUP recommended worldwide: We would like to introduce you to the Glide O2 Lochsa whitewater and river sup.
river paddle board surfing

Protective Gear:

  • Helmets: A high-quality helmet, like those from Shred Ready, is non-negotiable for protecting against impacts with rocks and other obstacles.
  • PFDs: Unlike casual SUP outings, whitewater demands a non-inflatable life jacket for constant buoyancy and safety. Brands like Astral offer vests designed for paddling flexibility and security.
  • Quick Release Leash: Essential for emergency situations, a waist-worn leash with a quick release mechanism ensures you can separate from your board if trapped.
woman whitewater paddle boarding

Apparel and Accessories:

  • Wet or Dry Suits: Depending on the water temperature and season, appropriate thermal protection will keep you comfortable and safe.
  • Water Shoes: Choose shoes with good support and grip, such as the Astral Brewer 2.0, to protect your feet and enhance your stance on the board.
  • Protective Pads: Consider investing in reliable knee and elbow pads for added protection during falls.

whitewater sup board



river stand up paddle board

Whitewater SUP is an unmatched adventure, offering the thrill of surfing with the wildness of river currents. With the right gear and a Glide SUP, paddlers can confidently tackle the rapids, knowing they're equipped with the best in durability, performance, and safety. Remember, the river's unpredictability demands respect - gear up appropriately, understand each river's unique challenges and your whitewater ventures will be exhilarating and safe. 

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