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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,

Are you River Ready?

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Hey there! It’s Natali from team RVR2RVR, and we have exactly 10 weeks until our first River Racing Event, the Back of Beyond River Race in Moab UT.

I want to make sure you all are set up to have a fun and successful season, so I wrote up a training countdown on things to focus on before that big race.

Before you jump right in, I do have a couple questions for you:

  1. Do you feel Rested and Recovered from last year? Have you given yourself enough time to relax? You shouldn’t start any intense training program until you feel fully healed up from the previous racing season.
  2. Do you have a base level of fitness? Before building strength and adding load to your body, you need to have a healthy AND mobile foundation. Do you have any injuries that need to be taken care of first? Can you perform all the necessary primal movements needed to start training? Pushups, Pullups, Dips, Squats, Lunges, Planks and Deadlifts? If you can’t perform these movements, I suggest working on these first. Nothing is worse than injuring yourself because you didn’t start with the right foundation. Start a yoga routine, get regular massage/rolfing, and invest in a mobility set up from Trigger Point, these tools will enhance your training by speeding up your recovery so you are ready to train hard so you can play hard!

Feeling good with the above requirements? Great. Let’s break it down!

Week 1-4

Are you serious and dedicated about having your best year yet?

Ya? Great! Write down your goals and place them around your home, workspace, computer, and bathroom. This will help you stay motivated and accountable to stay on track!

Do you have a specific event you want to win? A race you want to podium? Write down your goals so they are clear and attainable! Make small goals you can achieve everyday, like drinking enough water OR rolling out your body for 10 minutes.

From there write down 1 week, 1 month, 2 month, and 3 month goals leading up to the big races you want to do well in. Scan all your goals often so they stay congruent to what you want, and how you’re going to get there.

Create your perfect WARMUP

Figure out a 20-30 minute dynamic warmup (with your favorite playlist) that wakes up your muscles and gets you in the right head space to go hard. Get this warm up dialed in so you can preform it before any major race. This familiar routine will help you relax and focus on the race vs feeling scattered and nervous in those crucial minutes leading up to the big event.

Tear it Down and Build It Up

Do you have a membership at a gym or a crossfit box? No? Get one. You won’t get the results you want unless you invest in YOURSELF and YOUR TRAINING.

For the next 4 weeks, start lifting 3-4x/week. You have your primal movements down? Great. Time to kick it up a notch and add in strength training. Tear those muscles, correct the imbalances, take your recovery, and build up your strength..the right way. Focus on your muscles working together in full range of motion and proper form so you can perfect the movements in anticipation for increased volume and load.

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

Breath work is proving to be one of the big secret weapons of well seasoned athletes. Laird Hamilton says it wasn’t until he started working on his breath was when he became a better athlete. I agree.

Here’s Lairds 3 tips on improving your breath work:

Tread and breathe (Do this 1x/week)
Treading water is great for practice because it’s so demanding on the breath. Tread while breathing in through your nose and out your mouth. Then breathe in through one nostril and out the other, and switch. Afterward, you’ll feel so oxygenated – like you’ve been wearing an oxygen mask.

Interval breathe (Do this 3x/week)
Try holding your breath when you exercise. For example, I’ll run the beach and breathe normally until the first lifeguard tower – then I’ll hold my breath running back. This makes the training harder than the activity, so the activity itself can become easier.

Breathe for 100 (Do this every night before you go to bed)
Take 100 inhalations through your nose, exhaling through your mouth. Then try taking 100 breaths through one nostril, breathing out through the other. Increase the difficulty by holding your breath after you inhale and exhale – exhale, hold, inhale, hold, exhale, hold, and so on.

Abdominal breathing also improves the flow of lymph, which contains white blood cells, helping boost your immune system so you can stay stronger for your races! So get breathing the right way EVERYDAY!

Namstay? Na….ama…slay!

Want to slay your workouts every time? Focus on mobility. Get a membership to a yoga studio or an online platform of videos that you can do from the convenience of your home. Breath work combined with daily yoga and mobility will enhance your training and elevate you to the next level.  This is something you GET TO DO EVERYDAY! Just 10 minutes a day adds up, I promise it’s worth it!

4 minute Core

The core makes up your entire midsection, both front, back, and side to side. Best way to strengthen your core is with Planks. Challenge yourself by adding in a 4 minute plank hold to your daily to do list. This will help keep your low back strong in those long paddling races, and your mid section on point for bikini season. 🙂

Week 5-10 (Maintain Weeks 1-4 Training PLUS…)

Rack up those miles

Time to get out on the water and build up your endurance! Strive for at least 12-20 hours per week. Make sure and focus on the other parts of racing too: race starts, buoy turns, passing paddlers on the river, drafting, and race finishes in all weather conditions. It’s good to train in the uncomfortable and the unfamiliar so your body never gets “USED” to just one condition of training.

You should also be practicing: paddling through rapids, navigating the current, eddy (buoy) turns, peel outs, or paddling through gates all while varying your intensity and speeds throughout the workout.

If you miss a paddle day, no problem. Get in the gym and train your paddling muscles with bands, cables, dumbells or the classic rowing machine. Your body will still get a lot out of it and your muscles will stay strong until your next paddling day.

HIIT yo’self so you don’t WRECK yo’self

Intervals are my favorite things ever. Short, sweet, and to the point. The classic ones we all know of are Tabatas. 4 minutes of torture, 1 minute recovery of bliss. Interval Training plays a huge role when you’re getting closer to race season. 3x/week max

Balance, Speed and Agility

You’ve spent awhile building up your strength, so now it’s time to power up the muscles and get them moving faster. Think, plyometrics, hill sprints, agility ladder drills, and medicine ball throws. This is the fun part of training. HAVE FUN and GET CREATIVE! 3x/week max

Week 11: You’ve done the work, time to reap the rewards!

Timing is everything

Your races are probably every weekend for the next few months now. So, let’s break down a sample week so you are smart about how you recover between races.

Day 1. Recovery Day. Great day for a massage, immune boosters, turmeric, and Netflix.

Day 2. Roll out. Do Yoga. Increase your Range of Motion. Hold a 5 min squat. JUST MOVE.

Day 3. Paddle, play, surf, and get back on the water. Don’t push it.

Day 4. Burst it out. Perform a few intervals to keep up your intensity. NO more than 30 min max.

Day 5. Eat right. Fill up your storage, and avoid the alcohol. It’s all about consuming the right nutrients from here until the race.

Day 6. Meditate. Visualize paddling your course or actually get on the water to keep your skills in check. 1 hour max.

Day 7. Race Day. Max Effort Given with Max Recovery Received. Think hot tub, sauna, lots of fats and good nights sleep for recovery.

Remember, you’re done getting strong for the season. There’s no value in training between races, it’s better to be undertrained than over trained from here on out.

Maintain your Routine

Nutrition, Recovery, Health and a Positive Mindset are your cornerstones of a successful athlete. These are just as important as your races. Make sure you find a routine and stick to it. Try not to go too far out of your norm.

Nutrition: Hopefully at this point you know what foods fuel you, hurt you, and make you gassy. Figure out the ones that will help you during racing season and stick to them.

Recovery: DAILY Yoga, Mobility, Ball and Foam Rolling every damn day. ’nuff said.

Health: Keep up with your vitamins, minerals, BCAA’s, and micro-nutrients. Think of these as your support team. You won’t be able to get very far with out them. So invest in them now and know what works and what doesn’t before you have to rev up your performance.

Positive Mindset: Meditation. Visualization. Verbal Confirmation. Find that mental space where you feel unstoppable and tap into that before every race. The mind is more powerful than we give it credit for.

I hope this information helps you figure out a clear and attainable workout plan in helping you achieve your best race season yet! The more focused we can be when we train, the faster and stronger we become when we race.

Moral of the story? Don’t discount training. Set goals, achieve goals, rewrite goals. Write a plan and stick to it! Try this out and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts!




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’


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.


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.


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!

Boise Clinic Re-Cap

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It was a blistering 90 degree day when we rolled into Boise. Blinky (the van) was over the heat and needed to chill for a couple days. Downtown Boise is hip with farm-to-table restaurants, tattoo parlors, and breweries but the city was quiet when we passed through. We made our way to Idaho River Sports and it seemed that all of Boise had retreated to Quinn’s pond. Quinn’s sits catty corner to Boise river’s whitewater park and is one of soon to be four connecting lakes that are currently under construction.

The pond was filled with stand up paddle boards and kids screaming as they playfully jumped off the dock. Idaho River Sport’s (IRS) rental crew was wiping sweat from their faces; for every board that was returned there was someone there ready to take it out. Despite the Summer frenzy the staff was so friendly and welcoming.

IRS provided us with a place to park our vans along with food & beverages for the ‘Can I Surf That’ screening and BBQ the night before the clinic. We were lucky to have the majority of the staff join us for the BBQ as well as some of the core surfers in the Boise river surfing community. It’s been awhile since I’ve watched ‘Can I Surf That’ and seeing everyones excitement from seeing it for the first time made me start wondering if it’s time to pursue part II.

Our flatwater river transitional skills clinic on the Quinn’s began at 9 a.m. The boise adjustable wave was only going to be set for surfing until noon that day. I couldn’t come to Boise and not surf their wave. So I woke up at 4:45 not knowing sunrise wasn’t until 6:15 am. Suited up with my friend and local surfer Brooks Roberts. After about 25 attempts I got a surf, it lasted a glorious two minutes. Thanks to Brooks for helping me break through the mental block of acid dropping into a wave.

Everyone who signed up for the clinic wanted to really fine-tune their paddle strokes essential for river paddling (Draw, Cross-bow, etc..) as well as their foot-work before jumping into the river. It’s amazing how much you can learn on flatwater to prepare yourself for the river. We taught them skills that you should be able to do with your eyes closed before hitting the river.Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 9.42.20 AM

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 9.44.03 AM

Big Thanks to Idaho River Sports for being so hospitable and welcoming. We can’t wait to come back when the next phase of the park is finished.

Bend Clinic Re-Cap

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After Canada, we ventured south to Oregon…the land of hops and ales. Based southeast of Mount Hood with the famous Deschutes River flowing through it, Bend Oregon is a really cool town with a booming community and hip vibe.

Our first stop was to meet one of our students, Gregory Dixon, a professional Tele Ski Instructor for the PSIA, and a really great person to know. He opened up his space to our gypsy crew and made us feel right at home. After we completely overtook his house with rounds of laundry from our Skookumchuck adventures and power drainage from all of our devices needing to get recharged, we onewheeled over to Tumalo Creek Canoe and Kayak to meet Sue, our connection to the shop and one of our other students in the course.

Tumalo Creek Canoe and Kayak is right on the Deschutes River, and a stones throw away from the Bend Whitewater Park. They offer rentals for every water craft you can imagine, and are fully stocked with any and all items to help you outfit your next water adventure. We decided to meet up there first, let the students purchase any last minute items for the weekend, and then walked next door to Craft Kitchen and Brewery, where we planned our Meet and Greet. The shop really helped us spread the word to the community about our clinic, and we were happy with the turnout.

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 12.25.20 PM

In our clinic was Sue Fox, one of the head honchos for Tumalo, and her employee, Greg Dixon. Also we had Angela Salido, who lives right on the river with her partner who helped support part of the planning for the whitewater park. Next we had Heidi Michele and her partner Brock Butterfield, 2 avid bus enthusiasts who had recently re-located to Oak Ridge Oregon, a small yet booming town for mountain biking and all things adventure. They invited their friend, Megan Jarvis, a local who had only been on a sup a few times, and shocked us with how quickly she improved in just a few days. We had several others drive from northern oregon to increase their whitewater/surf skills, both Cheryl Johnson and Leilani Gibson took on the major trek to join us for the weekend. Our last paddler, Kenny Good, heard about our clinics and decided to drive the many hours from Reno, NV to build his skills to shred at his local spot, Sparks Whitewater Park on the Truckee River.

The weather for the weekend looked to be a bit chilly, but ended up being an advantage for us considering the park wasn’t as busy and we were able to have it mostly to ourselves. Day 1 was all about getting the crew dialed on their whitewater skills including ferries, peel-outs, and eddy turns to help their successes for surfing. Day 2, Brittany educated them on fins, types of sup surf boards, and how to read friendly/unfriendly waves. We started the crew at a pretty small wave on their knees so they could get comfortable with entry, edging, and swimming back to the eddy. After lunch, the crew was eager to stand up and try their best at surfing the bottom wave in the main surf channel of the park.

We had great success and every single person was able to get their surf on. There’s something magical about seeing the spark in someone’s eye right after their first surf. It brings out a sense of child like giddiness that doesn’t really go away. We call it PERMA-SMILE. It’s contagious and it’s all you can think about until your next ride. Everyone caught the surf bug that day, “Just one more” was all we heard until the cold set in and forced them to stop.

We couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to come together and support one another throughout the weekend. Seeing the communities grow around the parks is really exciting for us. This was the vision we had when we first created RVR 2 RVR, and the hopes that we could be part of that growth. We can’t wait to come back to Bend, to spend more time on the river getting to know the locals and the latest and tastiest beer. Tumalo Creek was such a great shop to collaborate with, and you better believe we’ll be back next spring to hang out and surf with them again.