Category Archives: SUP Rentals

LOCATION HOTSPOT: USA Raft Erwin, TN

Over the past few years I’ve started paddling more & more. My main focus has been Stand-Up Paddleboards or SUPs. Starting out on flat water and soon migrating to moving water, rivers. It’s opened up even more places to paddle and explore. Naturally after mastering slow moving rivers I began to explore whitewater. Now what used to be boring wave trains in a kayak, are hard and challenging obstacles to stay standing up thru. From my first rapid on the Winooski River, Hugo & JunkyardI WAS HOOKED!

Over the past two years my girlfriend and I have been spending our summers in Vermont and our winters down in Florida. With this option we get the best of both worlds. The warmest months up in the beautiful Green Mountain State and the coldest months down in Florida where sometimes its warmer than the warmest months in Vermont.

This spring, before we travelled back up North, we did a little research. Knowing we were going to driving up through western North Carolina and possibly Tennessee we started looking for outfitters in those areas where we could test out some whitewater SUPs. We quickly came across USA Raft on the Nolichucky River in Erwin, Tennessee. I contacted them and spoke with Matt Moses, the owner of the company, who told us they have some of the best whitewater in the Eastern US. He also had lodging options right there on site. It sounded good to us and we decided to stop and paddle on our way to Vermont.

Two days into our trip up North we arrived at USA Raft, and were impressed by the property. It has several larger buildings to support the staff, retail store, mess hall and lodging options for their customers. Walking around the property was amazing. It’s right on the river with beautiful mountain views within the Cherokee National Forest. The vibe is relaxed and casual, something you’d expect from a paddling outfitter. There is a pond next to the river where they offer weekly Sup Yoga lessons. After speaking with the staff in the office they said there was a Sup Yoga class that afternoon we could join if we wanted. I Love to paddle board but I’m not much for Yoga especially on a SUP so we graciously declined but said we’d love to come and watch.

The weather was beautiful and was expected to stay in the low 70s that night, so we decided to setup our hammocks in the trees near the Yoga pond. After getting settled in we walked back up to the office to rent a few paddle boards to run the 2 mile stretch of river below the outfitter. There were several different SUPs to rent and we decided on two of the Corran Streetfighters. They were short, wide and made of strong plastic and reminded me of a whitewater kayak only with a flat deck rather than a cockpit.

The rocky beach area on property was our launch spot from where we  began to paddle down the Lower Nolichucky River. Almost immediately there were some fun wave train sections of Class I/II. Its a shallow river, on average about a foot and a half deep so there were rocks to maneuver around and small wave trains to follow.  Further down there were some more Class II rapids with many different waves and eddies to play on and around. When we reached the end of the 2 mile stretch we loaded the boards onto my car, which the staff helped shuttle down earlier, and headed back up to USA Raft. 

We quickly ran to the grocery store within just a  few miles to grab provisions for the night, before the evening paddle session. The Hala Sales Rep, Jack Nelson, brought his boards to USA Raft for the yoga sessions and after yoga, the company does a group SUP paddle. We were able to join in, and I jumped on a Hala Hoss and my girlfriend jumped on a Hala Atcha with the StompBox (a retractable fin). As a group we headed down the Nolichucky as the sun was quickly dropping below the mountain ranges. This was the same section we had done earlier in the day, but it was even more fun to share the rapids with 8 other SUPpers of varying ability level. This was by far the largest group of white water SUP paddlers that we’ve encountered! USA Raft’s shuttle driver was waiting for us at the take out with van and trailer which we loaded and headed back up river.

After the typical post paddle drink and chat session, we all went our separate ways. My girlfriend and I were abel to hang out on the porch of USA Rafts tiny house as darkness took ahold of the valley and the stars began to twinkle. The tiny house is rentable on Airbnb and sleeps 6 people! The tiny house was actually made on Tiny House Nations so it has some really specialized features! It has a full bathroom and kitchen, although all miniaturized! But our favorite part is the deck, its wraps around the house and is ideal for relaxing into the evening.

 The next morning we got up and joined USA Raft for their most popular trip, The Nolichuky Gorge with a river side lunch. First, the raft guides did their safety spiel and tried to scare us all away before boarding the bus, but it didn’t work! We gathered our gear and loaded up. The bus took us up river over a sketchy, twisty, turny mountain pass. Thanks to our skilled driver, we made it safely without problem. I’ve always found, the narrower, the steeper and the twistier a shuttle ride is, the better the rapids following it are… so we just got more and more excited as we continued up river. At the top we unloaded and helped carry the rafts down to the river and off we went. The river was on the low side, but still plenty of fun. We had 6 people in a 6 person raft so we had no problem maneuvering around the rocks and getting through the numerous class 3-4 rapids while enjoying breath taking canyon scenery. About half way down the river we stopped at a river side lunch spot and the guides unloaded a feast! it was set up buffet style and we helped ourselves. After lunch, we continued downriver and landed back at USA Raft. Yup, thats right, they are right on the river at the perfect take out location after a morning of fantastic whitewater in the Nolichuky Gorge!

After rafting we reluctantly headed out of town. USA Raft was so welcoming that we found it hard to leave, but we’ll be back again!

A huge thanks goes out to Matt Moses the owner at USA Raft for hosting us and sharing his truly unique place in TN.

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Location Hot Spot: Weeki Wachee River, FL

Florida is known for its beautiful natural springs and crystal clear rivers. The Weeki Wachee River is one of those must see places in the state.

“The Seminole Indians named the spring “Weeki Wachee,” which means “little spring” or “winding river.” The spring is so deep that the bottom has never been found. Each day, more than 117 million gallons of clear, fresh 74-degree water bubbles up out of subterranean caverns. Deep in the spring, the surge of the current is so strong that it can knock a scuba diver’s mask off. The basin of the spring is 100 feet wide with limestone sides and there, where the mermaids swim, 16 to 20 feet below the surface, the current runs a strong five miles an hour. It’s quite a feat for a mermaid to stay in one place in such a current.” – WeekiWachee.com

Mermaid_Chelsea_web-700x700 Yes… you read correctly… Mermaids! Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is the only place in the world to see mermaids.
Click here to read more about the State Parks Mermaids. 

OK… Back to the paddleboarding. I put in at the state  park where the friendly staff at Paddling Adventures showed me the map and went over the rules of the river. I walked my BIC 12’6″ Wing down the crushed stone path and into the crystal clear waters of the river.  After pushing off I immediately began to see all kinds of fish and wildlife. Your not allowed to paddle all the way to the head springs so after a 300 yard paddle upstream I turned around and began floating with the swift 5 mph current.

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Even with the overcast day the water had a deep blue color and the bottom was easily visible. I had to turn around about 1.5 miles down to make it back before they locked the gate at 3pm. I’ll be back to paddle and make sure to give myself enough time to enjoy the 5.5 miles to Rodgers Park.

If you dont have your own board you can always rent one from SUP Weeki, a local business who rents and shuttles on the Weeki Wachee River.

Click the photos below to see more of the quick afternoon SUP on the Weeki Wachee River.

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Stand Up Paddleboarding in Vermont – a list of rental shops and guides

We have compiled a list of local Vermont shops and Guides that rent paddleboards, host free demo days and guided tours.  There are many amazing river, lakes and ponds to SUP on in Vermont, and these companies will take you there!

Paddle Surf Champlain

Experience the fun and freedom of Stand Up Paddleboarding — SUP — on the Northeast’s premier mountain lake.

SUP, Stand Up Paddleboarding in Vermont
Stand Up Paddleboarding in Vermont

What’s better than taking in the spectacular Lake Champlain sunsets, gliding past lush and colorful shoreline, enjoying Green Mountain and Adirondack vistas, all while taking part in a growing new sport rooted in the Hawaiian spirit of Aloha …

Wednesday Night SUP’er ClubAn everyone-welcome weekly group paddleboard tour; Departing from the Oakledge Park beach, 6-8 p.m. every Wednesday.

Family Jam! Drop-in session for kids and parents. Anything goes, including frisbees, hula hoops, paddle skis and SUP jousting. Every Friday, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

CONTACT:

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WND & WVS

WND&WVS is all about the passion of getting out on the water and having a killer time in all possible conditions.

Burlington VT SUP Shop
Burlington, Vermont’s only exclusive Stand Up Paddle (SUP) and water sports retail store.

Surfing, stand up paddling, windsurfing, and kiteboarding are the athletic pursuits of virtually all water men and women who love to glide across the water under the power of wind and waves. 

Free demos:

Saturday (weather permitting) from 1-4,

Thursday night from 5-7.

They have a solid fleet of boards available for half day (3 hours), full day, or overnight rental.

Get all the rates and info at WND&WVS.com

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Smuggler’s Notch Resort

Canoe, Kayak, and Stand-Up Paddleboard(SUP) Rentals & Shuttle
Daily on the hour 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
 

SUP, Stand Up Paddleboarding in Vermont
Stand Up Paddleboarding at Vermonts #1 Family resort


Explore the scenic Lamoille River at your leisure. Our guides will shuttle you upriver, launch you with basic paddling instruction if needed, then send you on your way. Feel free to take a picnic lunch, bathing suits, fishing poles, stop on a beach or just enjoy a relaxing day on the river. Single kayaks and SUPs are $40, canoe and tandem kayaks are $70. One canoe or kayak rental is included in your Adventure Connection Package.

NEW! SUP YOGA
Wednesday, 9:30 am – 11:00 am
 
What better way to enjoy the art of Yoga than floating on a paddleboard on a beautiful, calm, serene pond setting in the mountains of Vermont! Practice traditional poses on the water along with free time to Stand Up Paddleboard. Never tried either? No problem—this is geared toward all levels from beginners to advanced as you challenge yourself. It’s easier than you think. $40 per person. 

www.Smuggs.com for more info and to book your adventure today!

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GearX.com

Every Thursday evening throughout the summer, we are hosting Stand Up Paddleboard Demos on Lake Champlain from 6-8 (weather permitting)

Stand Up Paddleboarding in Vermont, SUP demos
Thursday night SUP demos at the waterfront in Burlington Vermont, Stand Up Paddleboard Demos

 These demos are free and open to the public – we just ask that you RSVP. I know, it sounds too good to be true – but you better believe it. Please RSVP by email to events@gearx.com. Sign up early as demo slots will fill up quickly.

Equipment Provided: SUP, Paddle, PFD

Location: We will meet at boat launch (please do not park in the boat launch parking lot) near the US Coast Guard Station.

Check out their site for more details: www.GearX.com

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Umiak Outdoor Outfitters 

Umiak offers kayak, canoe and stand-up paddleboard rentals on the beachs at Waterbury Center State Park’s Day Use Area and North Beach in Burlington, VT.

SUP Rentals, Stand Up Paddleboarding in Vermont
SUP Rentals in Waterbury VT and Burlington VT

Rent a kayak, canoe or Stand-Up Paddleboard for a couple of hours or all day. Boats are available on a first come, first serve basis only.

10 AM – 6 PM, 7 days a week, July and August

Get on a SUP board $20.00 for 2 hours

Find directions to their rental locations and all the pricing at Umiak Outdoor Outfitters

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Stratton Mountain Resort

RENTAL RATES

Stand-Up Paddleboard Rental Full Day (10am-5pm): $59

Paddle Only: $10
Life Jacket Only: $10

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Stop by First Run in the Village or call 802-297-4321.

go to SUP at Stratton Resort

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Village Sports Shop – Lyndonville VT

Daily Rental Price: $35

Weekly Rental Price: $200

for more info go to: Village Sports Shop.com

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