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Golden Transcript, Elevation - August 1, 2007

By Megan Quinn

Megan Quinn

FACING THE WAVES: Riverboarders get up close and personal with rapids

Among tubers and weekend kayakers who practice their moves in Clear Creek, wetsuit-clad, helmeted adventure-goers can be seen whizzing headfirst through the water on colorful, sled-like contraptions. They're riverboarders, seeking a thrill and not afraid to get a little (or a lot) wet.

Riverboarding, also known as sledging or hydrospeed, looks somewhat like boogie boarding or body boarding. It involves lying stomach-down on plastic boards with handles and navigating river rapids by using different kicking methods. complete article»

 
 

 

Richmond Times Dispatch - September 19, 2007

ripboarding_james_river

Day on river takes on new meaning, new view by Andy Thompson

RICHMOND - Attention all whitewater lovers for whom navigating rapids in a boat has lost its ability to thrill. Shane Bolling has just the sport for you: It's called riverboarding, and it might best be described as a hybrid of river kayaking and boogie boarding.

As Bolling sees it, the key to riverboad experience, and what sets it apart from more traditional whitewater conveyances, is perspective. "I would say that a riverboard will take a much smaller rapid and make it seem much more intense than if you were in a boat, be it kayak or raft, because you're right on top of the water.

 
 

Vail Daily

By Edward Stoner

Vail Daily article

Face to Face with Whitewater by Edward Stoner, photos by Shane Macomber

VAIL - Shane Bolling reassured his student. A lower learning curve, he said, allows beginning riverboarders to ride Class III water - something that takes a while for a novice kayaker to work up to. Bolling headed for the put-in spot near the 17th tee of the Vail Golf Course - just upstream from a set of three rapids in the cold, swift water of Gore Creek. "Your slightly-above-average weekend warrior can get a kick out of it," he said. The lower learning curve offers a lower barrier to entry, he said, whereas with kayaking, it's a good idea to take a basic lesson, get some experience on progressively harder water and then take some roll lessons before tackling Class III water. Riverboarding started in New Zealand and France in the 1980s. Bolling says it's growing in the U.S., and that his sales are doubling each year. He estimates that there are several thousand riverboarders in the U.S., and he thinks that number will continue to grow. complete article»

 
 

On a Riverboard, It's Down the Creek without a Paddle

By David Howard - To the uninitiated, riverboarding looks as sensible as sliding down a ski jump on a cafeteria tray. But its practitioners insist that it's not nearly as hard or dangerous - or even scary - as it looks. The sport addresses anzieties straight on. "When you're rafting or kayaking, what are you afraid of? Falling in," said Ken Taylor, an enthusiast from Atlanta who on weekends heads for the Ocoee River in Georgia. "We're not up there worried about staying upright; we're already in the water."...One day this spring, Klye Brown, 18, and Heath McClain, 20, Alabama college students, readied themselves to test that premise on the Nantahala River in western North Carolina. They had driven all night to get to the Nantahala Outdoor Center, a water sports center, and weren't deterred by the rainy weather or the cold water. They strode upstream along the banks following the lead of Shane Bolling, 36, the owner of RipBoard, a businesse in Golden, Colorado, that sells and services riverboarding equipment, who was taking visitors out for demonstration rides at the Nantahala center's Spring Splash event.complete article»

 
 

Washington Post

The Boards of Summer

By Caroline Kettlewell - Sure everyone else is wakeboarding, windsurfing and whitewater paddling this summer. But you want to ride the cutting edge, don't you? You want to do the thing that (almost) no one else is doing. Well, slap on the sunscreen and get ready to get wet.

Riverboarding - When you meet Chris Washnock, he doesn't seem crazier than the average person. He has a friendly, low-key manner, a ready grin and a responsible day job with a major beverage company. You realize that Washnock, 35, is not quite like the rest of us only when you are standing with him at the very edge of churning Class IV rapids that thunder past in a froth of whitewater. The rest of us would take a cautions step back Washnock jumps in. complete article»

 
 

5280 Magazine

5280 Magazine

Great Outdoors - Wave Warriors

By Kelly Bastone - For riverboarders, the gnarliest water in the West is right here in our own backyard.

Floating belly-down on a riverboard, I'm accelerating face-first into a wall of whitewater. There's none of that above-it-all sensation you feel on a raft, where an inflated rubber buffer smooths out the aquatic turbulence beneath you like a magic carpet. Instead, I'm swimming in the current, gripping what amounts to a kid's snow sled that dives under the wave and leaves my head to slice through the rapid. Bin an instan I'm on the flip sied, noggin perfectly in tact.

Riverboarding is an up-and-coming whitewater sport, a niche activity with a following in places where the water is plentiful and wild like Washington, North Carolina, South Africa, New Zealnad-and Golden, Colorado. The allure of riverboarding is that you're immersed-instead of riding on the surface, as in a kayak, you're down where the water is frothy and fun. And unlike kayaking, which demands some degree of technical skill even in class II rapids, riverboarding requires a few techniques beyond a simple flutter-kick

Shane Bolling, a scruffy thirtysomething guy with brown hair and broad swimmer's shoulders, introduces riverboarding to newbies like me on the the class II and III rapids of Clear Creek in Golden. He discovered the sport while on vacation in New Zealand, where it's called "sledging" and in 1998 he started importing the 2-foot by 3-foot river craft into the United States. Now Bolling's Golden-based company, RipBoard, manufactures three models of riverboards in Commerce City. Bolling says sales double every year.

 
 

 


boarder-cross

BoarderCross Race Series9News business reporter Gregg Moss

July 2007 - Gregg Moss from KUSA - NBC affiliate in Denver, CO tries riverboarding with Shane Bolling of RipBoard inc. As part of Gregg's week long series of wild rides on 9News - Gregg and his producer Jordan Austin board Clear Creek. The video of their adventure and interview with Shane can be found here - take a look!

 
 

Look for more RipBoard stories - Outdoors magazine


Riverboarding articles archive:

boarder-cross

BoarderCross Race SeriesTravel Gear Show hosted by Kris Kosach

Spring 2004 the Trave Chanel show - Travel Gear did several whitewater sports of which one was riverboarding. We had a fun time working with Kris and showing Kris the ins and outs of riverboarding.The segment was shot on the South Fork of the American River.

 
 
Fortune Magazine

Rapid Transit

Riverboarding - it's like rafting without the raft - is the next wave in white-water fun. David Stires takes a ride on the Wenatchee River in Washington State and says, "The sport's junkies claim it's safer than rafting and kayaking, and by the end of the trip I begin to believe them." He writes, "It's exhilarating: I feel as if I'm going 60 miles per hour as I surf what seemslike a tsunami coming right at me." David describes his white-knuckle trip through rapids with increasingly scary names: Rock & Roll, Son of Satan, Meat Grinder in the July 21, 2003 issue of Fortune Magazine.

 
 
Blue Magazine
RIVERBOARDING: A new trend for whitewater junkies

RIVERBOARDING: A new trend for whitewater junkies

Although riverboards resemble little more than oversized bodyboards, they are surprisingly capable whitewater vehicles. Boarders surf steep, breaking waves that kayakers only dream of catching and flush unharmed out of holes that would topple a raft. The best riders add to the fun with a litany of tricks, some borrowed from bodyboarding. Other tricks, like submarine wave exits—where the boarder buries the board in the trough of the wave, kicks hard to go deep to the bottom, follows the fast current, submarines along the bottom where it’s quiet and dark and pops up 30 to 40 feet after the hole (and the backwater danger)—are unique to the river.

 
 
Paddler Magazine
Riverboards Increase on Rescue, Play Markets

Riverboards Increase on Rescue, Play Markets

If you're out on the river this summer and spot a sturdy piece of flotsam with a person attached, watch carefully-it might be Shane Bolling trying to steal your surf wave. Then again it might be someone coming to rescue you.

Bolling says riverboarding, more than any other sport, places you face-to-face with the living, breathing force of the river. "It gives you a chance to swim a rapid safely and enjoy it, as opposed to getting sucked under and tossed out" complete article»

 
 
American Way Magazine
TAKE ME TO THE RIVER

TAKE ME TO THE RIVER

TAKE ME TO THE RIVER Looking for a new way to keep your cool this summer? Pick up a Riverboard and get your sweaty, grumpy self to a river, pronto. Riverboarding combines the best of kayaking, boogie boarding, and white-water rafting, to deliver an adrenaline- and water-soaked ride down your favorite stretch of river. Riders lie facedown on the chest-size boards, their flipper-clad feet kicking and churning as they dive headfirst into the rapids.

 
 

 
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