4 important SUP Tips for Whitewater or River Surfing


Table of contents

Choose the right paddle board according to the type of river
1.Slow down river
3.Inflatable vs. Hard SUP Boards for Whitewater
4.Other issues to be noted

Whitewater or River Surfing

The epidemic has been spreading unchecked around the world in recent years, limiting people's ability to get out and about, especially in many cities that are not near the sea, and water surfing has become a distant luxury. 

Therefore, some people have started to choose to surf in rivers. To facilitate your progression on whitewater or river surfing, here are some notes that will help you better understand this particular type of surfing. Have a good session !

River Surfing

Choose the right paddle board according to the type of river

Generally speaking, there are two main types of rivers. One is the flat water and the other is the fast flowing water. Moreover, the amount of water in the river may change in different seasons. Therefore, it is important to know the water condition of the river you are going to, determine the type of river, and then choose the right paddle board according to the river.


If the river is relatively slow with no high or low waves, the following factors should be considered first when choosing a suitable paddleboard. Surfing in a river with a relatively still current has a narrower space in front of which to advance compared to surfing on the beach. 

Therefore, when choosing a paddleboard, you need to choose a short and wide paddleboard. Among other things, the length is recommended to be between 6 and 8 feet. The width should ideally be between 30 and 33 inches.


The water flow of such rivers is characterized by rough waves. For example, there is a river in the English park in Munich, Germany, which is narrowed by a small arch bridge with a hole in it. 

According to the theory of hydrodynamics, the river accelerates suddenly, which, together with a high and low drop can of the bridge abutment and the river, creates a turbulent flow with very high velocity below the bridge hole. In this case, especially for novices, the stability of the paddleboard is particularly important. 

It is also necessary to have the flexibility to easily cross obstacles such as rocks in the water, or because of turns, etc.

The width of the paddleboard is recommended to be around 35-36 inches - and relatively short, with a length option of around 9 feet 6 inches. However, for those who want to pursue speed and excitement, consider a longer paddleboard.


When surfing a river where rocks can be hidden everywhere, the best choice is an inflatable paddleboard. When you hit a rock, the inflatable paddleboard will not suffer serious damage and will bounce right off the rock or other obstacle. 

Goosehill, for example, is a company that specializes in the sale of inflatable SUP paddleboards and has a wide range of paddleboards, making it a cost-effective company.

River Surfing


Dangers associated with river surfing is hypothermia, drowning and blunt trauma. If the water is cool, the surfer may dress in a wetsuit, neoprene boots and gloves. 

Even if the temperature is high, it is recommended to use footwear in order to avoid cuts from rocks in the river. 

Care should also be taken not to stand on the river floor where the water is moving. Some choose not to use a leash since there is a potential for the rope to get hung up in rocks, which can cause drowning if the surfer is unable to reach the hook-and-loop fastener due to strong currents. 

Depending on the river, it may also be appropriate to use a personal flotation device and helmet. To reduce danger, the surfer should also train specifically on swimming technique for rivers. 

When falling, one should try to fall as "flat" as possible so as not to hit rocks lying on the bottom of the river. If the surfing is done with the help of water ski rope or other type of rope fixed to shore, there should be at least one person on shore with a knife, scissors or other cutting tools available in case the rope needs to be cut for safety reasons, for example if the surfer gets tangled in the rope.

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