Five Questions With Dan Gavere | Rapid Magazine | Rapid Media
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Five Questions With Dan Gavere Photo: Jennifer Gulizia

A former world freestyle kayak champ, Dan Gavere put SUP on the radar of whitewater enthusiasts in 2012 after attempting the first standup huck of Oregon’s iconic Celestial Falls. Now, when he’s not creating instructional SUP films, competing on the river, or in Thailand gear testing for Starboard, Gavere has a packed schedule that includes hosting some of the biggest whitewater SUP events, including the recent Payette River Games.

WHY SUP RIVERS?

It’s fun, easy to get started and challenging to master. You can climb back on and keep going, which makes learning a lot more fun compared to having to learn how to roll a kayak. The higher center of gravity makes it more challenging, and also more dynamic and rewarding when you nail your line on class II and III runs. The home run you mastered years ago be- comes completely new.

WHO PADDLES OVER A WATERFALL?

I loved dropping water- falls during my years as a kayaker, so it was natural for me to try it on a SUP. Any drop feels five feet higher and more exciting. Just like in a kayak, I try to be aware in those brief moments of free- fall, where there is nothing less than pure focus and enjoyment. Landing is the tricky part.

WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT SUP?

Standing on a board is different from kayaking because it allows you to move around and use it as a walking and jibbing bounce board. It’s easier for re-running rapids, performing rock transition tricks, and carrying out cool little maneuvers like the one I’ve been working on lately called the river ollie, or jump boof.

WHEN DID YOU MAKE THE MOVE?

I first transitioned from my kayak to kiteboarding because I was starting to get really bad back pain. Kiteboarding was easier on my back. But I was tired of get- ting skunked on windless days during my kite sessions and needed to get my excitement in when the wind didn’t blow. I wanted to get back to the river.

WHERE IS WHITEWATER SUP HEADED?

I know there’s a lot of skepticism amongst kayakers, but the sport is growing. More people are trying it and it’s brought new people to the river who never kayaked and exposed them to the lifestyle. Most skeptics haven’t tried it. They just need to feel that paddle and board connection. You have tons of leverage and power with the long shaft, and you can set up your lines way easier because of your elevated viewpoint.

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This article first appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of Rapid Magazine. For more great content, click here and subscribe to Rapid's print and digital editions, or click here to read the current issue.

 

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