Whitewater SUP Basics

Whitewater SUP is an exhilarating blend of adventure and challenge, pushing the limits of paddleboarding into the thrilling domain of rapids and river waves. At Glide, we've harnessed our passion and pioneering spirit to develop paddleboards that thrive in these demanding conditions. Below, we delve into the essentials of gear and techniques for mastering whitewater SUP, reflecting our commitment to quality, innovation, and the pure joy of paddleboarding.

Gear Up for the Adventure

Choosing the Right Board: Our journey into whitewater SUP began with a determination to craft boards that could withstand the rigors of river rapids. Our inflatable SUPs, built with quadruple layers of military-grade PVC, represent the pinnacle of durability. Designed for stability and responsiveness, they're ideal for navigating the unpredictable waters of whitewater.

whitewater paddle board

When we started Glide in 2010, our whole reason for existence was to create a SUP that would survive the carnage that rivers can dish out.  As whitewater paddlers who had always taken kayaks down whitewater, we were looking to see how a stand up paddle board would do in rivers. We ended up becoming early pioneers in the sport of whitewater paddle boarding. We now have one the most widely respected whitewater and river sup worldwide the Glide O2 Lochsa.

river stand up paddle board

Essential Equipment: Before you hit the river, ensure you're fully equipped with:

  • A helmet from trusted brands like Shred Ready, for vital head protection against rocks.
  • A high-quality Personal Flotation Device (PFD) that offers full mobility for paddling, such as those available from Astral.
  • A quick-release leash, crucial for safety, allowing you to detach from your board if you find yourself in a precarious position.
  • Appropriate clothing, including a wet or dry suit for thermal protection, and sturdy water shoes like the Astral Brewer 2.0.
whitewater sup board

Mastering Whitewater SUP Techniques

Navigating the River: Understanding river hydrology is key. Learn to identify and use eddies for rest, recognize the dynamics of rapids, and the function of hydraulics and river waves for an exhilarating experience of river surfing.

whitewater paddle boarding

Core Techniques:

  • The Peel Out: Transition from calm eddy waters into the flow of rapids with precision and control.
  • The Eddy Turn: Use this technique to pause your downriver journey, finding sanctuary in the calm of an eddy.
  • The Ferry: Cross the river efficiently, minimizing downstream drift, by mastering this pivotal maneuver.

river surfing

Adopting the Right Stance: Switching from a neutral to a surf stance enhances your control in rapid waters. Utilize the tripod effect by using your paddle as a stabilizing third point of contact, crucial for navigating the tumultuous river sections.

inflatable paddle board

 

Inflatable vs. Hard Boards

While each has its place, inflatable SUPs shine in whitewater scenarios. Their robust construction and full-length deck pads provide the durability and cushioning needed for the unpredictable river environment. Our boards are designed with a focus on stability, featuring a wide tail and a versatile fin setup for optimal performance.

how to whitewater paddle board

Inflatable vs. Hard Boards

While each has its place, inflatable SUPs shine in whitewater scenarios. Their robust construction and full-length deck pads provide the durability and cushioning needed for the unpredictable river environment. Our boards are designed with a focus on stability, featuring a wide tail and a versatile fin setup for optimal performance.

whitewater paddle boarding

Conclusion

Whitewater SUP is not just about the thrill; it's a profound way to connect with the river's power and beauty. With Glide's innovative boards and a solid grasp of essential techniques and safety gear, paddleboarders are well-equipped to navigate the challenges and joys of river SUP. Whether you're exploring serene eddies or surfing river waves, the adventure of whitewater SUP awaits. Join us on this journey, and let's embrace the river's call together.

 

 

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