Whitewater paddling: Testing the Red Paddle Co. Wild
SUP Review: Red Paddle Co. Wild white water SUP
I met up with Jordan Curet who represents Red Paddle Co (Red) in the US, on Friday August 18 for a demo of the Wild MSL board. We planned to paddle a four-mile stretch of the Colorado River outside of Kremmling, CO. The Wild is specifically designed for white water paddling and I was excited to try out the board. My previous experience on white-water has been on an all-around board which functions fine in the white-water, but I was interested to try the Wild and compare it to my past experiences.
The Wild MSL is 9’6” long, 34” wide and 5.9” thick (2896mm, 864mm, 150mm). Red takes a simple approach to graphics for their boards. They are clean and do not have an overabundance of color. The MSL construction involves fusing a second layer of hard-wearing polymer to the core at the raw material stage of production The high-tech industrial process saves weight while making the boards stiffer at lower pressures.
The first thing I noticed about the Wild is all the grab handles. When I thought about white water paddling, you tend to fall off more than if you’re on flat-water; having extra handles at strategic places would be helpful. The Wild has five handles, one at the front and back, and three across the midsection. The handles on the side are very helpful to pull yourself back onto the board or flip the board over if necessary. One disadvantage I found with the side handles is they are positioned right where I want to put my feet. I found myself on slightly uneven footing which was a bit of a distraction while trying to focusing on paddling through the rapids
We approached the canyon on the Colorado with anticipation. The Colorado river is around 40 yards wide for the most part but narrows down in the canyon to around 6.5 yards. I attacked the first section of rapids on the Wild, with one paddle stroke I was able to turn the nose of the board – very responsive board. The Wild is very easy to maneuver in the rapids. I found myself turning too much at times because I was use to paddling a bigger board.
The Wild does come with four fixed fins and one center fin box you can use to attach a fin based on river conditions. The front has ample rocker which is ideal for white-water. The board also comes with Red’s world class Titan pump. The Titan has two cylinders which pumps air into your board at up to 60 mph.
Overall, the Wild is a great board for white water, so if you’re looking to step-up and tackle the rapids, I recommend giving the Wild from Red a try.