Whitewater SUP in South Africa | Riot Stand Up Paddle Boards
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Whitewater SUP in South Africa

These last few weeks have found me back in my native South Africa, running some really fun rivers. The Vall in the Orange Free State, the Tugela in Kwazulu Natal, that was running at a medium level (really fun) and then on the coast the uMgeni and uMkomas rivers. We were on the uMgeni at the same time as the renown Dusi marathon – a kayak/running biathlon unlike any you’ve ever seen where paddlers take their Olympic style race kayaks down 100km of whitewater and bush. The uMkomas was very high and was the highlight of the trip with several huge rapids, massive holes and stressful moments trying to sprint from hole to hole, avoiding a beating as much as possible. Success was only partial ;-) .

Africa is unique. The rivers have a “silty smell” to them, and a character that is truly unique. Even though these four rivers differ completely, they remain more alike to each other than they do to any other river I’ve run. It’s Hot. It’s Humid. And for the most part resembles a tropical jungle. Pythons, Poffadder and Cobra lurk in the grass and reeds. Kudu, Impala, Springbok jump and run through the trees and bush, offset by the occasional water buffalo, Wildebeest, Ostrich, Baboon and one very friendly Meerkat. The road in resembles a rutted out mountain bike trail more than a road, but hey, this is Africa.

On the flip side the water is warm, and for the most part devoid of anything that wants to eat you. For the most part…

Stand by for the full video of this wonderful adventure.

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