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After a year of owning a SUPercharger, I’ve finally give myself the chance to test it on whitewater. It’s not like I didn’t use it last year. Leaving on the side of Lac Saint-Jean, we spend amount of time playing around the boards (owning a SUPercharger and a SUPerfishal) on the lake but when it was time to hit the rivers, my first reflex was always about choosing a boat for the big (surf or creek, you decided).

Last weekend, Véronique, my wife and I, had the chance to have our two boys under grand-parents supervision so we can sneek a river run together. In between the birth of our two little boys (2.5yo and 6m), Veronique didn’t do much whitewater, so this was going to be her first time in a while. So the run had to be short, easy, scenic and close by, a perfect romantic whitewater getaway! We went and did the bottom section of the Nouvelle river in Gaspésie, famous for it salmon fishing, it’s a 5 km run of almost continuous class I-II rapids in crystal clear water.  Clear sun, warm temperature but cold water. It was perfect to bring out the SUPercharger for my first time in rapids! Véronique decided to use her Zen 65 for a cruising run hoping to have a good show of me swimming everywhere.

We put in at a local fishing spot, starting from an eddy to a class II rapid. Has I was waiting for Veronique to put-in, it didn’t take me 2 minutes to shed my overconfidenc, immerge myself in the learning process and became able to testify how cold the water was. No even 5 meter for the shore, still in the put-in eddy, I was swimming and Verorinque laughing. Great start. My first lesson was that the basic of river running still apply. Do not stand on the eddy line, it’s unstable! Water was really cold (6oC or 40oF) but since it was so warm it didn’t bother me too long.

Now that the river had welcomed me with open arms and was ready to play, I had no reason to fear the splashs! So we went and cruise the river, enjoying the beauty of the run. The new sensation of standing up had me thrill of every smalls waves & playing with my balance in the current. The only drawback was the speed in my maneoeuvers. In a kayak, I love to do quick slalom line down rapids, on the SUP, I had to give myself more room to manoeuver since my beginner skills will not allow me to quickly turn around and get that ferry or catch that wave. But don’t worry, it will get there eventually! I didn’t swim again but I did fall on my butt on a feet wave train, yes, not a meter, a feet. And maybe less, I was watching from above!

The SUPercharger was the SUP of choice for the run, it is super stable and the design is made to handle whitewater with ease. The Nouvelle river was a perfect river to be introduce to SUP riverrunning. Easy and wide rapid, clear water and wild enough to forget about the road that follow the river.

For a first try, I’m definitivly buying into the river SUP. Don’t know if I will push it to class IV running but, eh, I wasn’t expecting to be running class V+ when I started kayaking either.

You will see me again on a SUP in a river near you soon.



Patrick Levesque