River SUP Gear

It's safe to say that we have experience with whitewater paddle boarding. 

Here is the run down of what gear you'll actually need.


whitewater paddle boarding

When Glide started out back in 2010, our entire premise was to create ultra-durable paddle boards that we could use for running rivers. 

After breaking many a board in half on river rocks, we were finally able to create a formulation that made our hard boards the SUP of choice from the Payette River to the White Nile in Uganda.  When the hard board trend shifted to inflatables several years ago, we created the most durable iSUP on the planet.

River running on a SUP is not for the meek.  It can be extremely dangerous if proper safety precautions aren’t taken.  For starters, you will need the proper gear before you even want to think about heading down your local river. 


Helmet - First and foremost, make sure that you are protecting your head with a proper helmet as the odds are quite good that you will land on your share of rocks.  Our friends at Shred Ready have made some of the best river helmets available for many years.


PFD - Most of us tend to tuck our PFD under the bungees or wear one around our waist that we can inflate by pulling a ripcord while we are flatwater paddling to comply with Coast Guard laws.  You definitely want to be wearing a life jacket that doesn’t inflate and deflate when you are whitewater paddle boarding.  Astral has a large selection of life vests that will give you full mobility for paddling. 


Quick Release Leash – This is a really important key to your safety on the river.  Rather than using an ankle leash that you might use surfing or on flatwater, you will want to invest in a leash belt to wear around your waist that also has a quick release. 

The idea here is that if you fall off the board and get your foot stuck between rocks you will want to rid yourself of your board as quickly as possible so that it doesn’t pull you under.  Having the leash around your waist makes accessing the quick release much easier to access than if it were around your ankle. 

Northshore makes a great whitewater leash. Your other option is to use a quick release leash that attaches to your PFD.


Clothing – Depending on the time of year and the temperature of the water, you will want to consider a wet or dry suit.

In addition, you will want a solid pair of water shoes like the Astral Brewer 2.0.  It’s also recommended that you invest in some solid knee and elbow pads like G-Form makes.


Now that you are properly geared up, stay tuned to our blog space for tips on how to navigate a river near you.


Related Topics

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Paddle Boarding with Your Pet for the First Time

Techniques for Paddling on A SUP

Where to Paddleboard in California?