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Brittany Parker

RVR 2 RVR and ASDT Unite – ‘Cinco De Moab’

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There’s a certain energy that comes with having a large group of just women on the water. Egos are left at the beach that we launch from. Laughter erupts from the water as the girls swim through rapids or fall off their board after attempting a headstand. Which is why we jumped on the opportunity to run the SUP activity at the AndShesDopeToo ‘Cinco De Moab’ Rendezvous.

We spent the weekend taking girls down the Colorado River in conjunction with Paddle Moab. Some girls had never been on a SUP before and some were terrified of the river but everyone conquered a fear or pushed past their comfort zones. It was an uplifting spectacle and we are so honored to be part of these women’s first experience standing up on the mighty Colorado River. We passed around Lifestraws so everyone could leave having drank from the river and having a little piece of the Colorado running through their bodies. Connecting to the river is priceless and a life changing experience…thanks to all the ladies who showed up and absolutely crushed it!

Bend, OR 2017 Clinic Wrap-up!

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When I say Bend, Oregon what’s the first thing to come to mind? Is it craft beer? Mountain biking? Trail Running? What about surfing? Bend has got it going on in all of these areas, it’s an outdoor junkies utopia. Really, I don’t know what Bend doesn’t have! Which is why we came back for another RVR 2 RVR clinic, we try to add new locations each year but there are some places that call to us to come back and Bend is one of them.

The town always welcomes us with open arms and this time was no exception. The first thing I did was put on the wetsuit, grab my Badfish Sk8, and hit the new and improved surf wave at the Bend Whitewater Park. As to be expected amongst the river surf community all the surfers were so gracious, they gave me tips, and cheered me on when I finally figured out the complicated drop-in method and got my first surf in. I was buzzing and obsessed. My arms were telling me no but the sweet green wave was telling me “Come on, just one more.”.

After feeding the surf bug we cruised over to Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe, a hop and skip upstream of the whitewater park, to meet our students for the weekend. Tumalo has been a huge player in the growth of the paddling community in Bend which makes them the ideal shop for us to partner with. If you’re ever in the area and need to rent or purchase any paddling gear Tumalo will stoke you out with all the latest stuff. Their staff is extremely knowledgable and passionate about everything paddling.

The crew stoked on their new Heidi Michele Design hats at the Craft Kitchen and Brewery.

One of the most important things to us when teaching in a town is promoting local business and putting as much back into the community as possible. For our meet-and-greets we’ll partner up with a local brewery or restaurant to host the event. Craft Kitchen & Brewery has a great community atmosphere with big tables for community seating or big groups. They set us up with some growlers of their delicious beers and were so accommodating and patient with our big group. 

We’ve introduced a new element to our clinics this year and that’s pre and post Trigger Point Therapy guided mobility sessions. Injury prevention is just as much part of paddling as the paddling itself. Trigger Point has hooked each one of our students up with a full on recovery kit (foam rollers, MB2, MB5). We spent each morning with a pre-paddling roll-out session. Each student felt that this cut down on their expected soreness from the day on the water.

The middle channel of the Bend Park has features that are adjustable and are all controlled from our friend and Bend Park’s Waveshaper (yes, that’s his job title) Ryan Roberts. During our clinic on Sunday we go over holes vs. waves and how to identify a friendly and unfriendly hole. Never have we had the ability to be at one feature and watch the transformation from a wave, to a hole, to an unfriendly hole until Bend. Ryan took time out of his day to explain these different wave features while adjusting the bladders in the park to give our students a perfect visualization of how and why a feature behaves like it does and what it looks like. Big thanks to Ryan and Bend Parks and Rec!

Ryan Roberts the Bend Waveshaper schooling us on river features.

Our group consisted of a few Bend locals, one of the only sup paddlers in Reno, and a return client from Portland. We dialed in their strokes, had them bracing, running some of the bigger features, and surfing river waves (some for the very first time).

Our Sunday got a little chilly but Palate coffee shop saved the day and provided us with a carafe of hot coffee for our clients. Palate is a small house converted into a coffee shop located on NW Colorado Ave and Bond Street. It is the embodiment of quaint and cozy. The wooden floor boards creek beneath your feet as you walk into the intimate perfectly lit space. The owners and staff are as warm as the red brick fireplace that burns in the corner. We’ve spent a lot of time in coffee shops all across the country and Palate sits in our top five.

Palate, the coziest coffee shop ever!

 

 

Jody, the owner of Palate, killing it with the latte art.

Seeing our vision come to life with every clinic is so gratifying. Every town we visit it feels as though we leave a little bit of ourselves with the community. Bend feels like a second home to us and we can’t wait to come back!

California Love

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Natali and I wanted some beach therapy before our first clinic in Bend, OR so we took a little detour to the West Coast. We met up with our friend Tyler Lausten with TL Surf in Santa Cruz. Tyler bounces back and forth between Santa Cruz and Durango. His shaping HQ remains in Santa Cruz and his main focus is shaping custom wave skis for adaptive surfing athletes. His shapes are currently being ridden by some of the hardest chargers in the paralympics and adaptive surfing, he’s a five-time National Champion, and a volunteer for the high-fives foundation‘s surf camps. He took us out to some of his favorite surf spots, opened up his home, and gave us the low-down on where to buy the best donuts in Santa Cruz (Kelly’s French Bakery). Thanks Tyler!!!

We fell in love with Santa Cruz, the beaches weren’t crowded, whales lined the coast, the people were friendly, and the scenery was breath taking. It’s a #vanlife friendly place with plenty of overnight parking lining the coast with views that people pay millions to wake up to every morning.

On our way North we made our way to Muir Woods. Instead of paying to go into the park we decided to keep driving down a winding and narrow road that the big rig (aka VANna White) has ever been on in search of a nice hike…we found just that at Muir Beach.

Astral Designs has recently made some solid trail running shoes called the TR1’s and we were eager to try them out in the rainy conditions. We laced up our TR1-Treks and Meshs and hit the trail. The coastal hike was lined with a plethora of flowers and foliage giving off a scent that was perfectly alchemized with the salty air. We trudged through the mud, spotted whales and salamanders, and took in the soothing coastal elements. It was just what we needed. Now we’re prepped, rested, and ready for Bend!

-BP

Van Life Playlists Comin’ Back!!

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Hey RVR 2 RVR followers!

We’re officially on the road at the start of our tour. We’re in Santa Cruz right now enjoying some beach therapy. Our first clinic is in Bend this weekend!

We spend so much time driving so good music is crucial. Which is why I’ve created the Van Life playlist series so you can get an ear full of what we listen to for those long drives, work outs, and chill-out sessions on the river.

Volume 9 is out and ready for your listening pleasure. You can expect a new playlist bi-weekly. Be sure to hit the Follow button under @bp_sups in Spotify to get notifications and full access to all my playlists.

Enjoy the Ear Candy!

Yours Truly,
BP

What’s New for 2017

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Photographer: Heather Jackson

We’re almost ready to launch our schedule for 2017. It’s going to be a big year for us and we are so excited to hit the road this April. This year we will be offering some new mini clinics.

We realized not everyone wants to or is ready to commit to an entire weekend of whitewater and river surfing instruction. There are many of you who still would like some time to really dial in your skills on flat water. In select locations we will be offering three hour intro to river skills on flatwater. This class will be catered to those who are hoping to get into river paddling but aren’t quite ready for moving current.

This three hour class will boost your confidence and get you ready for your first on river clinic or paddle. We’ll go over paddle strokes, focusing on technique for those strokes that are essential to successfully navigating rivers. We’ll make sure you’ve got your stances, braces, and pivot turns dialed before hitting the river.

Look for our schedule on our website this January. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get regular updates on new blog posts, tour updates, special deals, and more.

Make 2017 about improving your skills and making sure you’re safe and prepared to paddle the veins of this Earth.

Whitefish Wonder

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Our clinic in Whitefish, MT could not have gone better. This clinic fully embodied what we envisioned our clinics to be when were in the Costa Rican jungle planning. Sonny and Kim we’re so hospitable and they connected us with a killer film crew called Traveling Rhino Productions. This crew came out and really put in the work to get the shot, including paddling downriver in a canoe full of thousands of dollars of gear. It was no small task.

We had a rockstar team of students and after each day we all met up at a local distillery. This was our vision! Not just focusing on the lessons but also putting just as much focus on community and promoting local business. Can’t wait to come back next year!

We can’t thank all of you enough!

3 Key Things to Keep in Mind When Shopping for a Whitewater Board

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There are three key points to keep in mind when shopping for a stand up paddle board specifically for running whitewater.

1. Stability (Width and Thickness)

This is the first and most important thing to look for when shopping for a board. A wide board will be more stable and allow for more room to move your feet–something we do often on the river. Standard widths for whitewater range from 33-36″.

We’ve seen a lot of companies go different ways when it comes to thickness. Many inflatable boards made for whitewater have opted for a 6″ thickness. This will be the most stable and have the most floatation. For the smaller or more advanced paddlers companies are realizing the benefit of going with a thinner rail of somewhere around 4.75″. Two benefits of this would be for better board feel and easier maneuverability. 

2. Rocker

Rocker is the curve a board has from nose to tail. In this case we will be looking at the nose rocker. Nose rocker comes in handy by helping you get up and over the rapids instead of submerging which creats instability.

Notice the rocker on this Badfish Stand Up Paddle ‘River Shred’

rivershred-rail

3. Durability

One thing we all know about rivers is that their bottoms and banks are covered in rocks. Rocks form rapids after all. Using composite lightweight boards is not recommended for running rivers, they’ll easily get dinged and damaged.

We recommend inflatable stand up paddle boards or a composite board designed specifically for rivers and durability.

Inflatables are great because they’re lightweight, extremely durable, easy to store and travel with. The downside to inflatables is their surfing capabilities are rather limited and you may sacrifice rigidity and responsiveness. But inflatable technology has come a long way in the past few years with different technologies to increase rigidity.

Check out the Badfish SUP’s new River Shred a whitewater specific inflatable.

rivershred-mike

Photographer: Heather Jackson

Composite & Plastic There are composite options for whitewater as well. You’ll find some boards that are made of plastic (similar to a kayak). These boards are very durable but often times clunky.

Badfish has designed a composite board specific for running whitewater called the MVP . This board is made out of a durable material called Innegra. With durability you often times will sacrifice weight. The benefits of the composite is its rigidity resulting in being more responsive and better for surfing waves on the fly while traveling downstream.

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-1-33-03-pm

Photographer: Heather Jackson

 

Remember, if you’re new to the rivers we always recommend taking a course whether it be a river sup or river safety course, such as swift water rescue.Look for our 2017 schedule launch in December to see if we’re coming to a river near you. Please feel free to contact us with any gear or paddling questions!

Happy board shopping paddlers!

 

 

 

 

2016 is a Wrap!

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Well, we did it! We started a business and just completed our first season. And as first time business owners it went extremely well. We’ve learned so much from this first chapter that you better believe we’ll come back next year stronger than ever.

If I had a single piece of advice for someone thinking of starting a business I’d say always prepare for the worst. Have a plan A, B, C, and D. This doesn’t mean don’t be optimistic but being prepared is better than being blind-sided.

As we reflect over the past six-months we really would like to thank everyone who made this year possible. To Jacob Quinlan being there in the early stages helping us develop our website and being our graphic designer, Heather Jackson for taking such killer photos, and all the shops that believed in us enough to invite us into their hometown and community. The relationships that we created along the way have been the most rewarding part of our journey. Every shop or outfitter we’ve taught through has asked us to come back again next year and that, to us, is a big compliment.

Cheers to our sponsors for believing in us and supporting us in our new venture…

Badfish Stand Up Paddle, you guys rock! Thanks for trusting us with the trailer and providing us with the best whitewater and river surfing equipment. Badfish is family! It’s because of your boards that people are experiencing the life-changing feeling of surfing a river wave.

Trigger Point Therapy, thank you for donating boxes upon boxes of your MB5’s. Our clients were stoked to receive them in their goodie bags and learn how to use them. You’re products have kept our bodies in-line and in-check, helping us maintain a happy and healthy body on the road.

Astral Designs, your shoes rock and so do your pfds. Thank you for keeping our feet happy and our bodies afloat. 

Healthy Skoop, thank you for being such a huge contributor to our goodie bags! Making it so easy to boast about how awesome your product is. Your superfoods and proteins kept us going during those big pushes from river to river.

Heidi Michele Designs, hats on hats on hats on hats! All the hats!!! Everyone was stoked on your hats. How could they not be? You make designs help us express our love for nature and resonate with all of us. 

Werner Paddles, we’ve been all about the Legend this year. Probably the best whitewater paddle to date. And thank you for catering to our little hands with your ‘Small Fit’ paddles. We love that Werner is made in the USA. Werner is a company we are so proud to be representing!

Sol Gear, we can’t thank you enough for providing us with goodie bags that came in all kinds of wicked colors.

Watershed, thank you for providing us with dry bags of all shapes and sizing so we could keep all of our clients stuff warm and dry when out teaching. As another company that makes all their stuff within the USA; we’re pumped to support you. Plus, your drybags are absolutely bomber!

Huppy Bar, you came on as one of our supporters later on and we’re so happy to represent you. You’re one badass chica who loves the river just as much as we do. You care about where your ingredients come from and know that we are what we eat. You, as well, have helped support our life on the road!

Last but not least, a huge thank you to all of our clients. You showed that you were willing to do something for yourself to become a stronger and safer paddler. Some of you drove over 8 hours to take our clinic…what a compliment!! You weren’t the only ones learning at our clinics, you each taught Natali and I something and we are forever grateful. Seeing you all improve over the weekend filled us with so much joy, its those moments that get us through all the hard times and inspire us to keep moving forward. Welcome to the paddling community!!!! We love you all!_r6a6483

Keep checking back for regular blogs from Natali and yours truly. We’re working on our 2017 tour schedule so stay tuned to see if we’re coming to a river near you!_r6a7439

(All Photos by Heather Jackson)

Kelly’s Whitewater Park: SUP River Surfing Clinic

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Our blog has been a bit delayed and only because of all the prep that had to take place to get us ready for Outdoor Retailer. After each clinic we write a recap highlighting the place and people that we taught. The Cascade clinic happened about a month ago but was still a memorable one.

Kelly’s Whitewater Park in Cascade, ID holds a special place in our hearts. Between the Payette River Games and the park itself being a perfect place for training we couldn’t not hold a RVR 2 RVR clinic at the park.

We partnered up with the local shop River Gear, the owners are two married avid water enthusiasts out of McCall, ID Kelly and Damon. They set up and organized a BBQ the night before our Intro to Surf clinic; we talked about the future of the whitewater park and hopes of making Kelly’s a regular stop for RVR 2 RVR.

Everyone who showed up had different levels of experience. Some never surfed before and others live right down the road and frequent the park. This would be the first time we’ve held a surf clinic without the river skills lesson on Day 1. Normally this would have proved to make the learning and teaching process rather challenging but everyone was so patient with one another that it went very smoothly.

The wave that we focused on is perfect for teaching, with a smooth entry, big eddie, and whitewater all the way across making it very retentive. For those who surf there regularly they got an opportunity to try more advanced board designs like the Badfish (INSERT LINK) Cobra and River Surfer. We worked on improving their weight distribution to encourage stronger more dramatic turns. It was great to see those light bulb moments that will result in them moving their surfing to the next level.

For some of the beginners it was new for them just to swim in moving current. Jumping into the river was them taking the next step to push past their comfort zones and gain a new respect for the river. We put all the beginners on the Badfish Inflateable River Surfer and by the end of it each paddler was getting into the wave and experiencing their very first surf!!!

We’ve been asked to come back next year with our full curriculum. We love teaching at whitewater parks; it’s the perfect venue and will definitely be back to teach a downriver skills and river surfing course come 2017. Big thanks to River Gear and Kelly’s Whitewater Park for making this clinic such a success! See you next year!