Summertime means afternoons on a secluded beach, or if you’re really lucky, running some whitewater far from civilization. Sure, you could spring for a canoe or raft to get out on the water, but let’s be honest, a minimalist (and more packable) approach is the way to go. Our friends at Boardworks SUP have models for everything from mellow days cruising Hawaiian beaches to whitewater runners for the brave (or crazy) paddlers. Lately we’ve been putting a couple of stand-up paddle boards to the test fly-fishing on some high mountain lakes, and even running a few rapids when our knees aren’t shaking a little too much.
For flat water touring, our favorite model is the fourteen foot Great Bear. Designed in conjunction with Canadian SUP explorer Norm Hann, the Great Bear features an extra wide tail and gear tie downs for long open water paddles. Boardworks has also partnered with the StandUp4GreatBear Foundation, donating a portion of profits from every board for conservation efforts in the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia.
For the more adventurous paddler, the inflatable whitewater line-up features a collection of best-in-class boards and accessories to run even the scariest rivers. A small team of paddlers from Outside Magazine recently got a chance to put one of the popular Badfish MCIT boards to the test on a once in a lifetime run of the lower Colorado, to great success. Our experience involved a few more falls into the water than they had, so we’ll plead a little ignorance on the finer points of balancing down a rocky river. The three chamber system allows for customized inflation, and extra flexibility and support. The rigid deck platform channels water away from underfoot and provides a perfect platform for riding out even the gnarliest whitewater.
Whether you’re looking for a mellow fishing platform to pack in some gear and your dog to a beach campsite, or sending some serious river runs, Boardworks SUP has the perfect boards for any day on the water.
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