Hi Davide, tell us a little about your experience paddling:
It’s a funny story. I actually grew up hating the water. But around 6 years ago my wife took me out on Lake Tahoe. We rented a couple of paddleboards and spent the afternoon paddling around the lake. And from about 20 mins into paddling, I was instantly hooked. I told her I wanted to buy boards the next day, and we did.
2 years later we discovered we could take the boards down rivers, with no rapids to start. We went on a multi-day self-supported trip in Utah to start and had a great time doing it. And then eventually from there, we started to venture into more white water with first taking lessons. Paddling on the river quickly became an obsession for us and for me.
I became an ACA certified water SUP instructor and opened the school last year. It’s been great. We travel, take our SUP’s everywhere, and on top of doing our lessons at our home location in Northern California, we do multi-day river trips and tours in Costa Rica, Mexico, and the Salmon River in Idaho.
What are some of your favorite places to paddle?
There are a few great places I’ve paddled across the world. I would say the Socha River in Solvenia is top two. It’s a small volume river where the color of the water is aquamarine and the river carves through these intricate channels and slot canyons in white limestone. The whole setting is spectacular. There is white water paddling inside a labyrinth that you can do on SUP which is a blast. It’s just the whole scenery of Slovenia- the outdoor destinations, mountains, forests, lakes, glaciers, it’s a really beautiful place and cool destination to bring Americans. Most people don’t even know it exists.
The other spot I really love is in Costa Rica. The rivers there are some of the most difficult sections I’ve paddled. But also incredibly beautiful. It’s in a canyon surrounded by jungle and wildlife and waterfalls. And the difficulty of the rapids can be unbelievable. It’s a constant heart-pounding excitement but a really special place to paddle as well. I will say though, this trip is more for someone who is pretty experienced, definitely not for a beginner.
But more information on these tours can be found on our website.
Location Overview- tell us about your water environment
We operate on the South Fork of the American River in Coloma, California. It’s an interesting spot because gold was discovered there so a few museums popped up commemorating the discovery and a few parks are associated with it as well.
The spot we do lessons on is dam controlled by a hydroelectric plant. They have a contract to release water for local businesses running trips so some days they will release more water or less. During the summertime, they release water almost every day and the wintertime mostly just weekends. Which is cool because if they didn’t, once the snow melted during the winter, the river wouldn’t be able to be paddled and that would have been the end of our season. But the way it is set up now with the consistent flow we can run all year.
The section of the river I run I have permits to be on. It’s well suited for beginners and can go up to class 1 or class 2 and there’s even a jump up to class 4 for people who are ready. The water temps range from about 40 degrees to mid 50’s in the summer. We have great river access, state parks, county parks, and campgrounds in the area as well.
Do you have any signature services or paddle activities?
Our signature services are really our trips overseas but we run beginner lessons as well and most of the people who participate in our trips sign up through our beginner classes. We run trips to Main Salmon, Idaho in mid-July, international trips in Costa Rica around New Year, a Mexico trip the end of spring, and a Europe trip usually in the summertime.
What is your season?
We typically run year-round but our main season is June through October. We can take people on the river year-round but you really need the proper clothing to do so.
Are there any local attractions paddlers may also be interested in?
We have a bunch of different watersports in the area. Things like jet skiing, water skiing, stuff like that. Almost all the lakes in Northern California have the ability to do that.
Do you have any recommendations for local food and drinks?
Coloma Clube in Coloma is probably the closest place to check out. It’s pretty remote where we are located but it’s a great place to grab a drink and hang out.
Local places to stay?
We have a couple of campgrounds to stay at. One is called Camp Lotus and the other American River Resort.
10% off beginner lessons
Whitewater SUP is the ultimate river experience!
I was ﬁrst introduced to Stand-Up Paddleboarding on the crisp, blue waters of Lake Tahoe. I was captivated from the very ﬁrst paddle stroke. When I later discovered that I could take a SUP down a river my life was literally turned upside down. The exhilarating feeling of shredding rapids on a SUP has become my greatest obsession! I now spend over 100 days a year river SUPing, rain, snow or shine. I am a certiﬁed river SUP instructor with the American Canoe Association and I am also certiﬁed in Swift Water Rescue and as a Wilderness First Responder.
Interested in taking a SUP on the river? Want to learn how to shred rapids on your SUP? I would love to be your coach! Come take a class with me, and I’ll help you achieve your river paddling goals!
I am partnering with WET River Trips to offer classes on the South Fork of the American River in Coloma, CA. I plan to continue offering classes this Fall/Winter/Spring as long as there is interest. If you or someone you know wants to schedule a class please click on the register button and complete the registration form.
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