SUP Icebreaker Winter River Paddling

The kewl thing about standup paddling is that you can do it almost anywhere…

I received this note and pics from a friend in Alberta, Canada a few days ago…
He visited us in Santa Barbara this Fall and had us rolling on the floor with his sick sense of humor…we may be getting together again in January…if we’re still trunking it, he’ll be sweating…

The pics are all of Scott’s brother, Warren, (kewl name…;-) on the North Saskatchewan River that runs through Edmonton…

“Well, I felt like it was time to do a little “ice breaking” on my SUP today.

The weather was one of the nicer days we have had in the last few weeks with the air temperature a balmy -5 Celsius (23 F) and the water temp -2 C (28 F).

Thanks to a 6/4 full suit – with a 2 mm shortie over top – big wool socks with 5 mm booties – poly pro gloves with neo gloves over top and a neo hat – I was fine for about 35 of the 45 minutes I spent on the water.
Only my feet and fingers got cold near the end.

It was truly a fascinating paddle. Riding up on ice flows the size of my truck, only to have them break under the weight of me and the board was a great experience. Also – did you know that “slurpee” type ice forms on the the up river side of rocks on the bottom of the river? I didn’t – the formations I saw were amazing.

Big Thanks to my brother Scott for not only getting me into the great sport in the first place but for also providing the support van (with the heater on high) and to Perry Nelson for the great photos.”

Here’s another crazy (brilliant crazy) Canuck…Corran Addison, the guy that we’re working with on the ECO SUP’s…running the Class 3 “bigwater” Lachines, near Montreal…

“Today was the first day out for my new Whitewater SUP design. And it was an astounding success. It is, by far, the best paddling SUP in rivers that I have paddled yet. To date, all the river runs I’ve made have been with SUP’s designed for surfing waves – whether that river or ocean – and the very thing that makes them great on waves, makes them very hard to paddle, and handle, in whitewater wave trains and currents.”

“We’ve run these rapids several times on normal “ocean” SUP shapes… and while it is possible, it’s certainly NOT easy. The rocker, bottom and rail shape are all wrong, and as a result every little current and wave tries to flip you over. It’s not like paddling out through 6′ surf, where between waves the ocean is realitively calm and constant – out here in the lachines its the extreme in “river runing difficulty” for a craft like an SUP because there are so many converging currents, boils, eddies and choppy waves coming at you from all directions – and this doesn;t even count the wave trains you have to go through.

So its a perfect testing ground for a SUP designed specifically for whitewater river running.”

A note of interest – it was about -5C (23F) this day, and Dry Suits were a must!

We just shipped a 12′ Hobie to Minneapolis, MN…no excuse not to get out there and bust up the ice flows…Spring is ALMOST here!!!…;-)

WARDOGSUP Icebreaker Winter River Paddling

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