Gear for river SUP?
Posted this a few weeks back on another site and thought it would be good here too. What gear do people like/use/prefer for river SUP?
Strutter Sweet Helmet-I have hard bill, on helmets in surf is a no-no is what I have been told, but its common for rivers and blocks sun off my irish face. Helmet is no brainier. Standing that high up and catching a fin (go fin-less, short fins, or flip-up skeg like on my board)
PFD-Astral YTV- (Not rescue, but one is on order for Swift Water Rescue course in Sept.) Low profile, no bells and whistles, and hardly noticed. I wear my lower and the YTV allows for lots of arm movement to paddle and to swim.
Gerber Knife-River Shorty has been a standard for MANY years and is never not out of reach. Some WW kayakers put a flip out blade knife in pocket, but if I need to use knife, I want it easy to get to and fast. Knife in pocket takes too long to retrieve, but could have one for backup if knife falls out.
Badfish Re'leash- Quick release leash with unique brass piece that can be attached anywhere on a standard Type III pdf and this allows you to not have to use waist-belt w/ring on a rescue vest (Type V). I have 6' non-coiled but want to put a coiled longer leash on due to it being a foot to short for board.
Long sleeve loose rash guard with 50 spf and board shorts for warmer weather-Long sleeve to keep sun off and to kinda protect skin.
3/2 mm full NRS Radient wetsuit for water/air temps below 100 degrees total (not shown).
G-Form Knee Pads- They breath great, lightweight, and special foam gets harder depending on force of impact. Becoming a standard for river running and many other sports. Will be buying (new this season) combo shin/knee pads. When you swim you want them for our rocky rivers. Remember to get feet out in front when you do swim.
Teva Gnarkosi Water shoes for foot protection a MUST! Rocks in any river can do damage, and if you have old ranches/farms along river, they use to dump trash, vehicles, and equipment into them. Teva has a thicker sole so next ones may be Astral Brewers to get better feel on board (thinner sole), but teva's are great shoes to walk around town or go on hikes in, plus bonus they drain.
Werner Stinger Stinger was designed for river by one of, if not the best kayak paddle maker. Blade is reverse tear drop shape so you can put "Just the tip" ;D, in water or engage entire blade when needed. Smaller tip is perfect to negotiate around rocks w/o getting blade between rocks. Blade is almost ALWAY in water when in river rapids/waves because you need to use it to brace so you do not take drink. Plus rivers have currents coming at you in all directions, so paddle in water allows you to control board, eddy, and surf.
Board-I am sure by the picture you can tell what brand it is, so I will leave it at that. Plastic roto-molded (like WW kayak) is best bang for your buck on river. Priced around $800-$900 (much cheaper then higher-end iSUPs), can take a beating for years on end(look at an old kayak), 36" wide x 9'-2" long (short and wide for rivers. Easier to move board around, eddy, ferry, and width for stability), lowered standing area (iSUPs have you high on board thus higher center of gravity), 10" thick nose (designed like a Creek Boat (kayak) to be able to blast through waves), flip-up skeg (when you hit something it just flips up, also has a fin-box for traditional fins), go-pro attachment (for the movie selfie of yourself cascading down river), 2 hard handles (tip/tail), three rubber coated soft handles (sides and middle, so climbing back on is easier), Boof Buddy(for taking drops (boofing) you can hook foot under and lift, soft foam and has does not entrap foot, but leash can wrap), and dry storage compartment. Only CON is its heavier then iSUP, my old river iSUP was 29 lbs, and my plastic board is 43 lbs. That makes it a b*tch to portage and carry to/from river.