Ashley Bean

Ashley Bean


Carbondale, Colorado

Favorite Hala board

Atcha 86

How many years have you been SUPing?

11 years

Which SUP discipline(s) can we find you competing in this year?

Whitewater Racing

Tell us a little bit about yourself

SUP has been my summer obsession since the very first time I set foot on a paddleboard. It's the perfect complement to my winter passion--skiing--as it helps me maintain my core strength and improves my balance. When I first started whitewater SUPing in Colorado in 2012, not a lot of folks had seen SUPs on the river, and plenty of them had questions. Some really doubted it was an appropriate way to get down the river, and we were dubbed by some as "river rollerbladers" in reference to the once-popular sport. Some wrote it off as a fad, but we knew it was only a matter of time before we saw SUPs on every river. It was fun to be a part of a "new" sport, and in my quest to find other people to SUP whitewater with, I started racing.

My first race was FIBArk's downriver sprint--it was my 3rd time ever SUPing downriver, and I came in last place, but I made a whole bunch of new friends and left with a huge smile on my face. After chasing those same friends downstream for a couple of seasons, I finally got the hang of the racing thing and ended up on the podium a few times at FIBArk, GoPro Games, CKS Paddlefest and GoreFest. Whitewater racing is both wicked fun and super difficult, it has pushed me to new skill levels that I would not have reached without competing, and I have met some of my best friends at the starting and finishing lines.