Naish’s Chuck Patterson just returned from a whitewater SUP river trip with “SUP the Mag” and also fit in some filming for the new “H3Mexico” SUP movie.
“I haven’t had much experience paddling on rivers with rapids so I was super stoked to be part of a world class group of athletes making the 5 day, 88 mile whitewater river journey on the Main Salmon river in the beautiful mountains of Idaho.”
Without knowing what to expect or what boards could handle the turbulent waters, Chuck opted to bring a Naish 10’0” Mana Soft Top and the Naish ONE 12’6” Inflatable SUP.
Jamie Zahner guided the group along with his crew from Middle Fork River Expeditions, who followed alongside everyone with four huge inflatable rafts outfitted with everyone’s food, clothes and camping gear. Every day, the group would paddle about 15-17 miles down river, hitting several big white water rapid zones where they would stop, observe and learn what the best route to paddle was and then make the plunge.
Every rapid turned out to be a major learning experience where equipment and skill ruled the outcome of successfully making it down safely. Chuck naturally put himself in some pretty challenging positions where he quickly learned the “dos and don’ts” of white water SUP.
“Every evening we would get to our beach camp completely exhausted and set up our tents and fish, swim or just nap before dinner. Waking up after a good night’s sleep in the middle of nowhere was a dream. No cell phones, computers, cars etc. to worry about – just the clean, quiet mountain air and Mother Nature.”
On the third day into the trip, many of the athletes decided to try out the whitewater river specific SUP boards that were shaped more like a river kayak, which made maneuvering easier and offered a more stable ride thru the nastiest of rapids.
“This was definitely a game changer and fun to experience and it really helped me understand what I needed to do better in riding the boards I brought.”
On the fourth day, the group paddled 25 miles of medium rapids along with some long, slow, flat sections where the river widened, making for some great flat water training.
By the last day everyone was really dialed-in and comfortable choosing their own lines and successfully paddling whatever came their way.
“It was so amazing to experience the challenge of paddling whitewater! I have definitely found a new stoke and respect for what it takes to run these incredibly difficult rapids. I can’t wait to do it again! This was truly an experience of a lifetime.”
Welcome back Chuck! Can’t wait to see where you’re off to next.