Get Back Up
by Jim Sullivan
Well we have had little rainfall for a little while now and some great sunny weather this summer. This has been a good combo to kick off a new adventure on the Deerfield River: Stand Up Paddle Boards. Stand up paddling has been around for over a hundred years with deep routes in Hawaiian surfing. Recently though, manufactures have been hitting the inland market with new designs that are more suited for fresh water paddling. Standing up is such a cool way to explore our local rivers and lakes.
We now have demo boards at Zoar Outdoor. Liquid Logic has created the Versa board a combo sit on top / SUP. It is stable and has the feel of a recreational kayak only you’re standing and using canoe strokes. NRS has a new inflatable SUP coming out for next season and we have the demo to play on. It is a stiff inflatable board that is lighter and allows you to walk around to different positions on top of the board. It feels like standing on a raft tube, a little spongy but stiffer then you would expect. We’ll be getting more boards to try very soon including a Surftech inflatable and possibly others.
Team Z has been pushing these boards past their max. They are really only rated for up to class two whitewater, but Jim, Ben and Sara have had some after work adventures on Fifebrook and the class three waters of Zoar Gap. Check out our silly video below and you might laugh as much as we were. Other employees have also given the Gap their best try, but so far the Gap is winning and we are more often gaining cheers and laughter from spectators. Mike Porter completed the first SUP decent of the class four Dryway section of the Deerfield River on the Liquid Logic Versa Board. Congrads to him for really pushing the limit.
If you want to try it out we will have demo boards available on Sunday 9/26 at the Zoar Gap picnic area at 10:00 AM. Call Zoar for the release times and we will try to let people try them from below the Gap down to S-turn.