July 20, 2014
I get asked all the time… can you REALLY run decent whitewater on a paddleboard, or is it just a case of huck and chuck as most photos make it appear? The answer is a simple and astounding YES. Very much so. The REASON you see so many photos and video’s of people paddling into rapids, and swimming out of them, is that they’re on the wrong equipment.
Imagine for a second you’re a kayaker, and you take surf shape kayak into the river. What would happen? It’s no fun at all. You’d spend more time rolling than padding. The same applies to SUP. Given that most “river SUP designs” are in fact nothing more than surf shapes blown up, it’s no wonder that SUP paddling on rivers looks like a complete waste of time.
But if you have the right equipment, it’s a whole other game. We are running solid class 4 with relative ease, and some baby class 5 rapids are just starting to be tackled. Board designs like the Streetfighter, that make hard whitewater easy in the same way that a creeking kayak design makes hard rapids easy (compared to a playboat), are really opening up things. Whether its steep drops and boofs (helped by the boof buddy) or big volume pumping water and waves attacking you from all sides, the Streetfighter is the great equalizer: rapids that I can’t even begin to run successfully on other designs I do with ease on the Streetfighter.
It’s no wonder that the Streetfighter is the best selling whitewater paddleboard in the world!