Mark and I Tackle the Seine on our 13'2 Explorer and 12'6 Sport


After enduring what always feels like a long winter (in SUP terms), we finally are feeling the effects of spring!

So what better way to celebrate than to tackle another Manitoba River. 
We had a few requirements:

  • something new both Mark and I have not ridden on yet
  • quick. We only had a few hours carved out
  • deep(ish) water only because we had our Black Project PURE Carbon paddles with us
  • local within Winnipeg or close to

After going back and forth a bit we decided to try out the Seine River. Its a twisty river (just look at our Strava map below), going through 2 golf courses and ends up connecting to the Red.

While not a traditional SUP river (given the looks and questions from the passer byers), it did give us a chance to try the new 12'6 Sport and 13'2 Explorer Red Paddle Co Boards. Having used (and loved) the 11' Sport and 12'6 Explorer almost exclusively last year, I was eager to see how they boards performed out on the water. Combined with our just arrived Black Project carbon paddles, this was going to be a great afternoon. Spoiler alert, it was ;)

My first impression has to start with the weight. Right off the bat, you can tell it is lighter. Because of Red Paddle new manufacturing process (MSL), it was easier to take out of the bag and into the water (and out again once we were done). 
Having to portage a few times last year, I know this will pay off.

If you have not been or seen the Seine river. It is no more than 3 13'2 Explorers across. With a few low spots. The water is murky due to the rich loose soil and we paddled it too early in the year to see the green landscape. But for our first time out, we were not there for the green landscape.

The advantage that the 13'2 Explorer will have over its sibling, the 12'6 Explorer is the extra length will make tracking just that much easier. I can say that was true. I found myself changing sides less often and did not have to concentrate on adjusting my stroke as often. This allowed me to just enjoy the ride.

Another advantage is it is 2" narrower. Being 6'3" with so-so balance and knowing what 30" width feels like from the 11' Sport, I was not sure if this would change the stability of this board. It was hard to tell on this trip, for the river was very slow moving. In terms of maneuverability, this was a good river to test that out.  

Little more than half way through Mark and I traded off and I took the 12'6 Sport for a spin. If the Explorer is an SUV, the Sport would be a sports car. The added length, as with the Explorer, helped with tracking. Also being thicker, you sat higher on the water.

Our Black Project PURE paddles were great. Every aspect of the stroke from the reach to the recovery had a good feel to it. It was too bad that we were not sure about this river, because at times I wanted to just build up some speed and momentum. 

This portion of the Seine river was not my favorite. But the fact that we were out on the water, with improved versions of boards we already loved and a new carbon paddle to try out. It could not go wrong.

Happy Paddling! 

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