For the Love of Fun. Learn more about all things RAVE.
The tally is in! We've asked over 20k people on Facebook, “Where is the best place to paddle board in the fall?” After many excellent responses and research on plenty of great spots , we've chosen as our #1 pick, John Pitek's submission of Boothbay Harbor in Maine where he paddle boards with his wife every year on their anniversary.
His recommendation, Boothbay Harbor, Maine, is the “boating capital of New England” according to the Boothbay Area Chamber of Commerce. A well-known deep water port north of Boston, it is a mid-Maine point for many boaters and paddle boarders who can find quiet waters to explore in and around many low-lying islands, promontories off the mainland, and bays. And as New England’s hardwood forests create vibrant fall foliage, we thought Maine was also the best choice for viewing fall foliage from a paddle board. For those looking for colorful fall foliage on their SUP trip, visiting this area in mid-October will be the best bet for peak colors. We can’t wait to go there ourselves sometime with our SUPs, and then after a day on the water we’d like to find a local restaurant for fresh lobster dinner!
Although Boothbay Harbor jumped out at us as the best place for a fall foliage SUP adventure, there were many other excellent recommendations all over the country including:
Deer Lake in Burnaby, British Columbia: This county park area outside of Vancouver has hills covered in forests full of reds, oranges, and yellows with excellent skylines of the city. Deer Lake is excellent for paddle boarding while in the city. Colors start to peak in October and change through November.
Grand Lake in Tulsa, Oklahoma: Home of the Pelican Festival, Grand Lake offers an abundance of wildlife including hickory creek goose , rare brown pelicans & bald eagles. This popular lake get's a lot of use from fisherman to cliff jumpers. Pull up to one of the sandy beaches for a picnic in a fall afternoon on your paddle board. Peak season for a fall color SUP spin on this lake will be in the last week of October through the first week of November.
Lake Coeur d’Alene in northern Idaho: This lake is huge! It spans over 25 miles at the northern end of the city. Surrounded by the Spokane Valley and Rathdrum prairie, it offers miles of green pine mixed with yellow aspen and red and orange hardwoods is at peak color in early October.
Mackinac Bridge area, Lake Huron, Michigan: The big water of Lake Huron may be chilli, but worth a paddle overlooking the Mackinac suspension bridge that connects the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. The many little bays along the shoreline of Lake Huron are great places for paddle boarding and for seeing peak for fall foliage in early October.
Lake Winnibigoshish, Chippewa National Forest, northern Minnesota: Minnesota's top walleye fishing lake is also a top paddle boarding lake this fall. Surrounded by the Chippewa National Forest more than 140 miles of shoreline remains undeveloped boasting a variety of hardwood tree species and pine forests that make a gorgeous fall show in early October.
Savannah River, Augusta, Georgia: The Savannah River defines most of the border between Georgia and South Carolina. Around Augusta, this river offers easy downstream paddling along many features of the city and historical landmarks . Hop off your board to stop by a local brewery or one of the many shops. Peak colors in Georgia are in late October.
St. Croix River: As it's name means gentle river, it attracts paddlers of all kinds. The St. Croix creates the Minnesota / Wisconsin border and is lined with cliffs and rolling hills covered in color starting in early October.
Table Rock, Lake Branson, Missouri: Known for it's crystal clear water and treelined shores, this lake is close to the vast entertainment of Branson, MO. The lake offers all kinds of entertainment making it easy to rent a paddle board and camp for the night. Plenty of hardwood tree forests around this lake are in full fall foliage in late October.
White River, Arkansas: This 722-mile river flows through both Arkansas and Missouri and then flows into the Mississippi. One of the top trout fisheries in the country, we think a fall foliage SUP adventure along with some fly fishing sounds like a great way to spend an October day.
Step 1: Completely deflate and lay out the Aqua Jump and locate the panel with the valve
Step 2: Locate the logo to the right of the valve panel and fold as shown below
Step 3: Fold this initial fold as shown below
Step 4: Take the opposite side and fold it over the original fold as below
Step 5: Another fold back to the middle
From here fold into a square to best fit your storage unit!
How to Choose a Wakeboard That’s Right for You
Wakeboards come in all shapes and sizes, so picking one that’s right for you can be confusing. Plus, the bright and exciting graphics on all wakeboards may attract your attention, but there really should be a lot more factored into your decision than whether or not you think the graphics are cool. For an optimal wake boarding experience, you should factor your skill level, weight, and type of riding you expect to be doing and find a board that fits those aspects.
To get beyond the graphics, take a few minutes to learn about the importance of the features built into wakeboards that are designed to influence the board’s performance. If you will be wakeboarding primarily behind a boat, choose a heavy-duty wakeboard to withstand the wear and tear of landing and casing the wake while being towed at 20 mph. Boat boards also have edge features to cut into the wake, base channels to smooth out landings, and fins to give more direction. The primary difference between boards built for boat wakeboarding and riding at wake parks is that wakeboards for wake parks have no fins to you won’t get hung up while sliding on rails and boxes. Fins can be either molded directly into the base or bolted so they can be removed or adjusted to different positions.
Other basic wakeboard features to consider are the rocker, base shape, and edges. Rocker is the term used to describe the curve or arc of the board. Your choices will be primarily between three-stage and continuous. Three-stage rockers have sharper angles to provide an increased pop and explosiveness while continuous rockers have a long, continuous curve from tip to tail. Continuous rocker styles were the original wakeboard rocker and are best for beginner or intermediate skill levels, while three-stage rockers are more common in boards for intermediate to advanced wakeboarders.
Base shapes, or the bottom of the wakeboard, feature various concaves, channels and fins to determine how the board rides in the water. Channels and concaves in essence act as fins along the base to direct the flow of water, break water tension on landings, and soften the impact on your knees from high-energy landings. V-shape “spines” are deeper concaves to break up the water tension on impact and smooth the transition more quickly from edge to edge and are more common on three-stage rocker styles.
To offer personal choices on how to cut through the water, wakeboard edges are designed to be sharper or rounder. Sharp edges are preferred by riders with an aggressive, quick-charging style to grip the wake and to react quickly, while rounder edges are liked by riders who want a more relaxed, laid-back ride. Some boards are designed to offer the best of both worlds with sharper edges on the tip and tail and rounded edges in the middle of the board.
The other feature to consider is whether you expect to need a durable board constructed of quality materials that are able to withstand heavy-duty riding. Be prepared to enjoy the sport once you begin, so buy a wakeboard that will last a long time!
At a Glance: Choose the Right RAVE Sports Wakeboard for You
Youth / < 125 lbs.
Adult / > 125 lbs.
- Continuous rocker
- Stable base with smooth channels
- Rounded edges
- Continuous rocker
- Stable base with smooth channels
- Rounded edges
- Three-stage rocker
- V-shaped channels
- Sharper edges
- Carbon fiber construction
NOTE: Wakeboards designed by RAVE Sports have removable fins so they can also be used in wake parks.
Happy 20th Birthday to RAVE Sports!
We’re celebrating 20 years of water sports innovation this year, which is an achievement that’s worth celebrating! This milestone is causing us to reflect back to 1997 and remember that it was the year that Bill Clinton was inaugurated for his second term, Mike Tyson bit off part of Evander Holyfield’s ear in a Las Vegas boxing match, the first color photo was printed on the front page of the New York Times, and Microsoft bought a small portion of financially troubled Apple, Inc. after Steve Jobs returned to Apple to turn things around.
However, in Minnesota, water sports history was being made. Our company was founded in 1997 by a team of entrepreneurs with the mission to create a marketing and distribution platform to take innovative alternative sports products to market. Our various acquisitions included the Aqua Jump water trampoline, which launched us into the inflatable water sports market. Over the last 20 years, our innovation has continued with the addition of a full line of water trampolines and bouncers, accessories, stand-alone inflatable water park structures, and obstacle courses. We’ve continued to make water fun with a pool and social float product line and towables, a full line of stand up paddle boards, and innovative winter sports products. Last year, our product offerings were expanded again to include dock, boat, and boat trailer accessories.
Although this history of innovation would be enough to make any company proud, we are especially proud when we hear from customers who have become RAVE-ing fans of our well-known blue-and-yellow water trampolines. The quality of our products engineered in the U.S. stands up year after year, and we intend to continue this tradition of quality and innovation for years to come. Thank you for allowing us to serve our customers for 20 years!
The Big Test: Water Whoosh vs. Foam Water Mat
Don’t take our word for it --- see what our “expert” testers (i.e., a group of kids we took to the lake) found out when we had them test a foam water mat versus the Water Whoosh. We challenged them to put a foam water mat and a Water Whoosh in the water and play on it, without our assistance or direction. Here are our observations:
- Storage and transportation: When we loaded up the vehicle for the trip, the foam mat took up the entire hauling area in the SUV, but the Water Whoosh, which rolls up like a sleeping bag, left room for coolers, duffel bags, and the other stuff that the kids took with them.
- Set-up: When we got to the lake, the Water Whoosh was inflated in a few minutes and the kids carried it down to the lake shore easily, while the others with foam mat duty struggled with the weight and bulkiness of the foam mat.
- Installation: The kids assigned to the foam mat had difficulties with the ends of the foam mat curling up, while the Water Whoosh kids plopped the anchors in the water and were playing, sliding, jumping, and swimming. Once installed, the Water Whoosh held up to their weight and rough-and-tumble use. They even convinced the family dog to join in the fun.
This confirms what a recent customer told us too: “The kids love it. It can hold several kids at once and it basically turns into a slip and slide with a little water on it.”
See comparison video here: Foam Mat Vs. Whoosh
SUP for Women: Answers to Your Questions
Ask any women who has been stand up paddle boarding (SUP) for a while, and she will likely tell you that the sport has many benefits. She will say that SUP is a simple and versatile form of exercise that strengthens core muscles and improves balance, that it is a relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors, and that it is a fun new sport to explore and master.
However, before the first time they took to the water, many women who paddle board today also had questions that may have prevented them from trying the sport. If you find yourself in that situation, here are some answers to the most common questions we hear:
I don’t want to fall into the water. Is it difficult to balance? If I fall, how will I get back on the board?
While it may be clique to say this, it’s true --- stand up paddle boarding is much easier than it looks. It helps to start out in shallow water and kneel in your knees for a while to get the feel of the board before standing up and paddling into deep water. Go at a pace that is comfortable for your skill level and keep your focus up and ahead of you, instead of down on your feet. Falling off the board happens less often than most expect, but if it happens, so what? That’s part of the fun and adventurous spirit of SUP. And getting back on your SUP after falling in is also easier than imagined.
What equipment do I need and how expensive is it?
Like any sport, there is a wide range of prices, but unless you plan to get into elite SUP racing, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Most boards priced between $700 and $900 will provide the quality in equipment for what most recreational paddlers need. In addition to the board, all you need is a paddle and a life vest if that is required by your state.
What is the fitness benefit? I don’t want to waste my time.
SUP is a real workout! You will be burning calories and strengthening your core, but also engaging your whole body while your toes, feet, legs, back, shoulders, arms, and neck work together. Whether you are paddling hard or simply balancing in place, your body is working on balance, strength, and endurance. One of the best things about SUP is that it can be enjoyed by a versatile range of people of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels.
Tips for Making Your Kids Into Water Sports Rock Stars
Water sports can be intimidating for young children, but with a few basic teaching techniques parents can help them overcome their anxiety and fears. Successfully introducing kids to water sports at a young age will help them become comfortable around the water and enjoy water sports for the rest of their lives.
- Start with family fun time together in a safe environment: Simply splashing around, jumping in and out of the water, and getting acquainted with the water is a great way to start. Utilizing a stable platform such as a dock, floating mat, or water bouncer in shallow water is a good way for parents to introduce young children to the water and help them feel comfortable. Always have children wear a life vest that fits properly for their comfort and safety.
- Introduce paddle sports: Youth who are familiar with swimming and the water are ready to take on a new challenge with paddle sports such as stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. Parents should familiarize their children to paddle sports by inviting them to ride along with them, and then when the child is ready, allow them to try it themselves under supervision. As their confidence and skills grow, it is amazing how quickly most kids want to explore the water on their own.
- Move into boating sports: Similarly, present young children to tubing, water skiing, and wake boarding in a gradual manner. Many adults make the mistake of driving the boat too fast for young children --- for instance, for a child less than 50 pounds, suggested towboat speed for a beginner using a water ski trainer is only 10 mph and then when the skier is standing up on two skis, drivers should go only 13 mph. For tubing, drive in a gently curving pattern at 10-15 mph and keep the tube within the boat wake. As with all water sports for all ages, excessive speed is likely to cause injuries, but with children learning to enjoy water sports extreme speed will cause anxiety.
RAVE Sports Introduces New Stand Up Paddle Boards for 2017 Season
Additional SUPs provide comprehensive SUP options for all abilities and price ranges
St. Paul, Minnesota, 2017 --- RAVE Sports, the premier leader in water recreation products, has introduced additional stand up paddle boards (SUPs) to offer a complete spectrum of SUPs for all abilities and price ranges. New for 2017 are:
Provides options for standing, kneeling, or sitting, this unique SUP has it all for kids and families. Built of sturdy molded plastic in two bright color options, the 3-IN-1 is extremely rugged and versatile.
For beginners and intermediate paddlers, the Bamboo features a lightweight foam core covered with a textured cushioned top with a life-like bamboo graphic. This distinctive board provides ultimate comfort and value pricing.
With a traditional SUP hull combined with fiberglass construction modeled after our best-selling Cruiser SUP series, the Shoreline offers the best of both worlds. Available in Sea Coral, Caribbean Blue, and Plum Wine colors.
Designed to withstand rugged use, the Impact PCX SUP provides ultimate durability and impact resistance, yet is lightweight for young paddlers to handle. Available in matte or gloss finish.
Formerly the Lake Cruiser, RAVE Sports has added new colors to its most popular SUP collection. Now also available in orange/blue in the 11’6” series and in red/blue in the 10’6” series.
These new SUPs round out the RAVE Sports SUP line which also includes inflatables (Outback™ & Nomad™), the Core CrossFit™ Yoga SUP (two colors), Chevron™ and Flight™ soft top SUP, Cruisers (10’6” and 11’6” in multiple colors), Touring speed SUP (11’6” in three colors and 12’6” in three colors), and the Expedition racing SUP (performance SUP in two sizes/colors). In total, RAVE now offers 30 total SUP choices, as well as a large variety of value priced paddles for beginners to expert racers and other accessories for a complete paddle boarding adventure. Photos available upon request.
ABOUT RAVE SPORTS®: RAVE Sports makes water fun! Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, we are the premier supplier of inflatable water recreation products and other high-quality water sports products including trampolines and bouncers, commercial camp and resort water parks, boat towables, stand up paddle boards, water skis and wake boards, pool floats, and boating accessories. For more information, visit www.ravesports.com.
With the snow falling, hit the hills with comfort and control this winter on the all new, inflatable SHREDZ Sled! This unique inflatable sled allows riders to steer themselves as they speed downhill thanks to our innovative, first of its kind steering technology.
The underside runners allow for faster descents, exceptional tracking, and extra durability on a variety of snow conditions. The U-Drive design utilizes the main runner to carve a path downhill as the rider pivots the front of the sled with their legs. As an inflatable, the SHREDZ Sled offers a smooth, cushioned ride keeping the rider comfortable while they cruise downhill.
With the SHREDZ Sled’s lightweight design and convenient front tow rope, climbing back uphill is an effortless breeze. Portable, easy to inflate, and made of cold resistant PVC material, the SHREDZ Sled is the perfect pick for fun this winter.
December, 2016 – When the mercury drops and it’s time to get out of the water, RAVE Sports still provides plenty of outdoor excitement through our incredible line-up of Inflatable ice rinks. New this season we are proud to present three exciting additions to our winter catalog; the 10 x 13’ Ice Rink, it's larger brother the 15 x 24' Ice Rink and our best seller the 10 x 20' EZ Set Ice Rink 200! Each rink is tool free and easy to assemble, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the ice. Check them out below to see which size will fit your needs best!
12’ Oval Ice Rink – Our smallest Ice Rink that started us out in the backyard ice rink business. It's perfect as a portable backyard ice rink for bringing beginners to the ice for the first time. Easy to inflate and set up, this Ice Rink is a simple way to turn your backyard into a skating haven. Provides 12 ft of oval space, enough for up to two children to skate for hours of fun. Keep in mind this skating rink is meant for one year use. Shop Now >>
EZ Set Ice Rink – Our most popular Ice Rink! The EZ Set Ice Rink is 10 ft. x 20 ft. in length and features 8” high side walls with unique support brackets (patent pending) that allow for quick, easy set up that can be pivoted down to allow for open, edgeless ice preventing accidents and damage to the support walls. With the high walls and spacious setup, the EZ Set Ice Rink allows for up to 5 inches of slope over 10 feet, perfect if your backyard isn’t quite level. Shop Now >>
10’ x 13’ Ice Rink – Great for hockey practice or other recreational skating, our 10 ft x 13 ft Ice Rink is large enough for two skaters to square off in a game of one on one or practice improving their skating skills with plenty of space. Simply inflate the walls. Flood. freeze. flood. freeze. skate your heart out! Keep in mind, this rink is for one year use. Shop Now >>
15’ X 24’ Ice Rink – Expand your fun with our largest Ice Rink yet! The 15 ft x 24 ft Ice Rink is spacious enough for up to five users to have hours of excitement this winter. With easy steps for setup, your backyard will be filled with fun in no time. This skating rink is the larger version of the 10 x 13' and meant for one year use. It's easy to inflate, flood and wait to freeze! Shop Now >>
All of our Ice Rinks are constructed of extremely temperature tolerant cold crack PVC; our ice rinks are tough and durable, capable of withstanding even the coldest of winters. For extra fun, attach or set up shooting tarps, nets, or side boards. (Additional items not included) Make your backyard the most visited this winter!