Whitewater | River SUP

SUP Resources

The allure of running rivers on a SUP is great, but the safety concerns are huge. When you tackle whitewater rivers, safety should be the first thing to consider.

Safety Considerations

SUP paddling on rivers is fun, but no board makes you invincible. You should receive proper training from a local paddling school or swiftwater training program before you paddle the river. Always paddle with a personal floatation device (PFD) and helmet. Leashes can become entangled in rocks or woody debris so it is not recommended you use one. If you choose to use a leash, attach the leash to your person with a quick release device, like the a Re-Leash. Carry a river knife in case your leash becomes entangled.

Learning to River SUP

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. All of the River SUP clinics we provide are taught by the most experienced paddlers. People like Dan Gavere, Brittany Park and Michael Tavares come to Boise once or twice a year to provide clinics supported by Idaho River Sports. All will agree, take a SUP Intro class then move up to a moving water class only after you have the skills needed.

SUP Surfing

River surfing SUP boards are typically designed as SUP boards because paddles are proven tools in whitewater river environments. Surf SUPs 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. SUP paddles allow for correction strokes and ruddering to keep you on the wave and allow for powerful cutbacks. Paddling a surf SUP in a lake or pool will help you understand its balance point and your comfortable stance.