I've been running the river on a Glide SUP Mongo lately. glidesup.com/boards/mong/ This board is like an epoxy..but with a bulletproof coating. i am rough on river boards and have been know to break a few. The Mongo is much tougher than I am. So far! I treat it like an inflatable, and not even a scratch.
It is a traditional surf board design so it probably wont get much use on class 4, but on class 2-3 it is great. Splats, squirts and it surfs EVERYTHING!
Next month I'll have it on the pacific coast of Mexico..stay tuned!
The rigid board on the river is all about durability vs. weight. Paddling is a balance of controlling and using kinetic energy while riding water down a slope. The more mass/weight a board has the more potential energy their is and thus the more kinetic energy that there can be. For some this increased energy van be hard to handle. Think very heavy object moving downstream and needing to be pulled into and eddy by carving and paddle strokes; many people may not have the ability. While the rigidity, durability and stability are a plus (some are even more affordable) there is always a downside. Whether it is too much of a downside depends on the paddler and what they need from the board. Everything breaks; most durable material is rotomolded plastic, but even that depends on the amount of plastic used and the shape which gives structural integrity. Other materials (thermo molded, carbon composite, secret materials) are lesser but are lighter and more manageable on the river.
I have seen 4 Glide Retro boards break on logs in a lake/slow moving river this season, by beginners. They had holes on the rails, bottom and nose. Like I said everything breaks.
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