Select Page

It’s pretty amazing and undeniable to see how fast stand up paddling has taken off. Especially in whitewater. While many have enjoyed it’s benefits along the coasts for decades, it’s meteoric rise in the rivers has far exceeded everyones expectations. In it’s beginnings we were forced to use inadequate equipment because there simply wasn’t anything else. But there was always a belief that once we had the “right boards” we could run rapids many thought impossible.

This past summer I had the opportunity to SUP some first ever successful descents of true class IV rapids. Most notably Dowd Chute on the Eagle River and the Numbers stretch of the Arkansas, including what I believe was the first successful stand up of #5. I had run the numbers two summers ago on another board but with limited success. This time around it got stomped.

And now, courtesy of the Jackson SUPerCharger, I feel another level was reached. Barrel Springs on the Colorado River is a section of river 10 minutes from my home that is a true multi move class IV, that if you fall, it will hurt you. Badly. I had heard of a claimed descent there but from what I have seen they put in below the meat at high water for poser pics. No disrespect to them, it looked cool, but I have never heard of or seen anyone attempt it from top to bottom on a SUP.

About a month ago fellow JK team member Stephen Wright called me and said he wanted to come up and kayak Gore Canyon and then run his new JK Karma down Barrel, would I like to go? For sure I told him, but I wanted to stand up paddle it for the 2nd time (I had done it two weeks prior but without anyone other than a good friend with a cheap camera) Stephen was stoked to try out his new creek boat as well as document the SUP attempt and I was equally fired up to route the whole thing on a board.

We put in below Upper Death and ran all the way thru Shoshone with Barrel Springs being the highlight. After Stephen easily made his way down in the Karma, he set up in a few locations and captured the afternoon perfectly. That guy has skills in a boat and behind the camera! Not only did he get some awesome images but I was able to get POV footage as proof it got run standing. I had one quick slip on the upper half but overall, it went clean.

And now our summer is done and it’s back to the ski slopes here in Colorado. But all I can think of is “what’s next?”. Rapids once thought unrunnable on a board were handled this summer on the SUPerCharger. No stunt man posing at the lip of a waterfall where everyone knows you simply fell into a deep pool. But rather making critical moves in tight spots in shallow rapids that will break your hip and chip your teeth if you fall. I’m not trying to make the cover of magazines, I’m looking toward what is possible to stick……standing! And this board has proven it can do way more than anyone expected, except me. I knew it back then, all we needed was the right board. And now we have it. Thank you Tony Lee (designer) , EJ (the man) and Joe P. (godfather of paddling) for believing in it. I can’t wait to see what others are able to do on the SUPerCharger that makes my descent down Barrel look like a lap in the kiddie pool.

Now its your turn. Get one, go out & get sum’ ! Class I-V, after that day on Barrel with Stephen I have no doubt Jackson has made THE board that will allow you to…… Stand Where You Can.


Check out some video action: