Lela Winton

Lela Winton


Asheville, North Carolina

Favorite Hala board

Atcha 86

How many years have you been SUPing?

12 years

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

Whitewater Racing, SUP Cross, River Surf

Tell us a little bit about yourself

Hi I’m Lela, a waterwoman born in the mountains of Western North Carolina. I love to work and play on the river, year round. I have been a raft guide for 25 years; I am currently working as a rafting trip leader and whitewater SUP instructor on the Nolichucky River in Tennessee and the French Broad River outside of Asheville. I love fusing the skills learned from rafting, canoeing and ocean surfing into whitewater SUP.

I have a first SUP descent of the class IV-V Naranjo Chorro River in Costa Rica and a personal record 10-foot waterfall drop. I definitely want to run more waterfalls, that’s a personal goal. There is only one SUP I’d trust on a waterfall, and it's the Hala Atcha. I am thankful that when I’m in big whitewater I don’t have to worry about the performance of my equipment.

But let’s be real. Sometimes I swim in class III, sometimes I style a class IV with a smile and sometimes if it’s scary that day I’ll portage. For me it’s all about my ability to go paddling again tomorrow.

Take care of your river and your river will take care of you ❤️