By Seth Warren:
Last fall I had the crazy idea to go attempt some SUP descents at one of my favorite playgrounds: The White Nile in Uganda. Most kayakers have heard of the place but up until last October there hasn’t really been much SUP action.
Putting ideas into action are always the most challenging part and I owe it to two people for the success of this project: Ken Driscoll and Kirk Hollis.
Ken Driscoll of Glide Paddleboards took the idea and ran with it. He built me two paddleboards for river running and one for surfing the mighty Nile Special wave. They were crafted specially to take on the biggest rapids that have ever gone down and surf our way through the legendary Nile rapids.
I wouldn’t have been able to do this alone, and luckily my old South African friend Kirk Hollis was game for the adventure.
A big challenge in the design process was making them the size/spec so that I could actually fly with them to Uganda.
We had to throw down some serious greenbacks to get them there, but we eventually got the paddleboards on the plane.
We had to be very creative to make our way around Uganda with all the gear once we arrived.
Initially I started to give feedback for the boards, but I can’t take one bit of the credit. These paddleboards were inspired by my project, but 100% Glide influenced. Ken did an amazing job building these boards and they performed beautifully.
It was AMAZING how this board could punch through holes and re-surface!
The SUPs had a super responsive edge making it ideal for threading the needle between massive holes.
I was catching waves on the fly as I paddled down river, you don’t see that too often.
The scenery on the Nile was pretty much un-beatable!
The full story of this expedition is hot off the press as we speak in the current issue of SUP Magazine (hyper link www.supthemag.com)
We can’t reveal all the goods just yet, but it would be if you want to see close up pics like this! We suggest you pick up a copy of the latest SUP magazine at Barnes and Noble or a bookstore near you for the full story!
The Nile project was a huge success and I have to commend Glide for the support to make this happen. We were so inspired by the success of this project that the Nile boards will be fine tuned this summer and released in our 2014 Glide paddleboard quiver!
Check back here on the Glide site for the release of my next Glide sponsored expedition “The KUZI project” a one thousand kilometer down winder up the coast of East Africa! As well, we will be featuring more relics from the Nile trip here on the Glide blog as time goes forward.
See you on the river soon!