Whitewater SUP – technically difficult and spectacular.
We have a few tips from the Starboard River SUP pioneers from Bavaria.
Going with the flow (Pictures: @andy_klotz_fotographie und @georgiasphoto)
Of course, there are also slow flowing waters where you can do leisurely river paddling with a high nature enjoyment factor. Depending on the water level and current speed, you can even use your regular touring or all-rounder board for this. However, rivers with whitewater character are a complete “game changer”. Both in terms of paddling technique, safety equipment, board, skills -and also the adventure factor. Three die-hard river fans and river SUP pioneers from Bavaria reveal here what makes stand-up paddling in whitewater so appealing and what demands it makes.
What do you like about white water SUP?
Whitewater has been a lifeline for me since the beginning of my paddling career 35 years ago, if not the lifeline that has shaped me and also my personality. White water, whether in a boat or with a SUP, always offers a very special nature experience. Challenging, sometimes dangerous passages let you block out everything else and focus your full concentration on the here and now. This also makes you mentally strong. Above all, I have found friends for life through whitewater paddling, because you never paddle difficult whitewater alone and share joys as well as sorrows with each other. A good and well-rehearsed team is the basis of a successful whitewater experience and possibly also your lifesaver in the event of a failed trip or in emergency situations.
For me it is the best combination of enjoying nature and feeling the power of water. Every few meters the river changes its face and with every water level it changes again. You can learn and explore, every day brings something new.
I love to paddle in this seclusion, which is not accessible to all. Here I can fully enjoy nature. You become one with the river and can constantly find new lines in the water flow.
7 Tipps for your firs white water tour:
NEVER GO ALONE!
If you get into a difficult or dangerous situation, you always need a partner who can save you. Therefore, never paddle alone – even if you think you know your way around.
Guiding and Training
Take your first paddle strokes in whitewater with specially trained river guides or SUP instructors. Fast flowing waters require a high level of paddling technique. Coaching and tours are offered in Bavaria with www.sup-club-chiemsee.com
From the guide you learn not only to “read” the river and recognize the danger spots, but also more about the special equipment. Because of possible rock contact and the current, safety equipment is indispensable: Vest, helmet, schooner if necessary, and either no leash at all or only with quick-release waist belt, as well as warm clothing. A river board like the one in the photos from Starboard is especially reinforced, has several small fins that are offset more towards the center of the board and an all-rounder shape with a wide tail for stability.
Of course, the weather check is also part of a quiet tour on the lake. On a river tour, it is elementary: because it also includes determining the water level and whether it could change during the day.
The peculiarity of rivers is that some sections can be much more dangerous than others. You have to know where the dangers lurk. If you can’t see around the next bend in the river, first walk ahead and check the spot.
When you get tired, the accidents happen. If you know your skills, fitness and mental strength, you can manage them. Never paddle alone! This has already been mentioned? Then let’s do it again. Because it is one of the most important rules in white water.