A word about running rivers on a stand up paddle board…whitewater rivers are dangerous. Badfish boards are designed to make SUP paddling on rivers more fun, but no board makes you invincible. You should receive proper training from a local kayak school or swiftwater training program before you paddle in the river. Always paddle with a personal floatation device (pfd) and helmet. Leashes can become entangled in rocks or woody debris. A leash can enhance safety because staying connected to your board and being able to quickly re-mount your board is usually better (in most cases) than taking a long swim. If you choose to wear a leash, attach the leash to your person with a quick release device, like the Re-Leash. Carry a river knife in case your leash becomes entangled. Progress slowly by learning to paddle comfortably on flatwater, then Class I moving water. Paddling your board in flat water will teach you a lot about the balance point and will improve your experience on the river.
A word about surfing the river…Our river surfing series of paddle boards are designed as stand up paddle (sup) boards because paddles are proven tools in whitewater river environments. River Surfers are meant to be paddled out of the eddy, onto a wave on your feet or knees. Not having to pop to your feet from a prone position once on the wave, increased volume and the unique shape, allow a rider to surf much smaller waves. A SUP paddle allows for correction strokes and ruddering to keep you on the wave and allow for powerful cutbacks. Paddling your River Surfer in a lake or pool will help you understand its balance point and your comfortable stance. In general, we paddle our River Surfer with our toes forward, feet shoulder width apart, even with the handle and build speed in the eddy. As we cross the eddy line we jump to surf stance (we are both goofy) just as we enter the wave. Mike always has the paddle on his frontside (left) where Zack likes to keep it on his backside (right) its personal, see what feels right. Here is a more detailed blog post I did on getting from the eddy to the wave on the CKS Blog. Here’s are a couple of good technique videos we made to help. Subscribe to our You Tube page and our Vimeo Page for our latest videos.