According to Level Six COO Kevin Cook, “We have had quite a few people ask us over the years for a whitewater specific board — and now for 2022 we have 3!”
The brand says it set out to make and design three new boards that would cater to the whitewater market, and this is the fruit of that labor.
“We are lucky enough that Level Six headquarters is only an hour and half away from the Rocher Fendu section of the Ottawa River that has world class rapids and waves, plus not to mention we have three great surfing waves right in town only a few minutes away! So we have a pretty good playground,” said Cook.
The River Runner Inflatable SUP was designed and tested on the mighty Ottawa River which is means it is destined for big waves, strong eddy lines, and boofing over holes. “We used our HD dual layer drop-stitch construction for long-term durability, so it can take the abuse the river dishes out. We went with a 9’8 x 35” x 6” dimension set with a substantial progressive rocker line for riding over holes and waves but went a bit longer in length then most boards you might see so it still has enough speed to ferry around in big current and not get pushed around as much on strong eddy lines. We added raised sidewalls along the edge of the foot pad for extra grip and to help lock you in before you have to brace to hopefully prevent a swim! (Which we did a lot of!) It features a tri fin set up for versatility in high or low volume rivers and has a standard US fin box and thruster boxes so you have a few options to set it up how you like or with your favorite style of fin. It’ll be a great board for experienced whitewater SUPers on challenging water and first timers looking to give it a try. We are seeing a lot of paddlers now trying whitewater SUP as way to spice up their local run and make it fun and challenging again,” he continued.
The River Surfer is next in the 2022 line up. “We have been using our epoxy surf boards on river waves for a while and they typically can get pretty banged up and can be difficult to ferry in current. While we built the River Surfer Inflatable SUP with river waves in mind but it totally can be used in the ocean too. While you’ll never get the same performance as an epoxy board carving on a wave due to the rail shape we made the board as thin as possible without sacrifice stiffness. The river surfer is 8’6 x 33” x 4.7” and uses our mono layer fusion construction which allows the board to be pumped up to a higher PSI which allows it to feel like an epoxy board as much as possible. We added a carbon laminated runner along the sidewall of the board to really maximize the stiffness so the board can carve on a wave. It has just enough volume that you could run some easy whitewater if you are going from surf spot to surf spot, and the quad fin set up allows you to mix it up depending on the wave. It’s a lot of fun!” Cook says.
The Five-0 Soft Top River Surfer
There has been a big movement in our area specifically in the last five years with landlock surfing and every spring the eddies have been filling up with surfers looking to try river surfing with their ocean boards, and many times there are actually more surfers than paddlers. Enter the Five-0 Soft Top River Surfer.
“We wanted to make a board that was relatively inexpensive and durable, something that we could throw in the back of the car and bring with us when we head up to the river as we have so many great park and play spots! The waves vary quite a bit from high volume and dynamic like Garburator to flat and mushy, to short and steep. So we wanted something stable and with a fair amount of volume and the Five-0 was born! Dimension are 5’ x 21.5” x 3” With 38.5L of volume and only $300 USD $395 CDN, so a perfect board for a beginner and casual river surfer looking to surf different waves in river conditions,” Cook explained.