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Take Your Stand Up Paddleboarding to the Next Level

Paddle a river.

Mastered the out-and-back lake trip? Time to try a one-way journey. Paddle down a river and discover new sights the whole way. Look for sections of mellow water that match your skill level; ideally walk the section first, looking for rapids and other hazards. Unlike with flatwater, it’s more likely you’ll end up in the water, so consider wearing a wet- or dry suit and, for more difficult or whitewater sections, a helmet.

Particularly in places like Colorado with lots of rivers and no coastline, river-specific SUP equipment is growing in popularity. Such boards, like the Hala Radito inflatable, tend to have a swallowtail design for extra stability (great in tighter spaces) and a retractable center fin (great in shallows). River boards are also generally shorter, typically 9 to 10 feet, for increased maneuverability, since reading currents and reacting quickly to obstacles are critical to a successful river paddle.

Article posted on the REI Blog.

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