No, this photo has not been photo-shopped. This 100% pure, Ben Moore, going huge in Norway this past summer and Werner Paddles could not be more proud to have him join us in show casing the new White Water SUP paddle the Stinger. Welcome to the Team Ben! A little bit about Ben, from Ben.
"I am from the Richmond VA (RVA in local speak). We have arguably some of the best urban whitewater in the country here on the “Falls of the James.” That is class 4 rapid right under skyscrapers. I may be biased, but we honored by Outside Magazine, as the new “Best Outside Town.”
I have been traveling to Skjaak, Norway every summer since 2004 to raft guide and kayak. I found out in early spring 2011 that I was not going to be able to return to Norway that summer because of some added responsibility at my job. I wanted something to make August low water on the James more interesting. So I picked up a stand-up paddle board for the first time that February from Appomattox River Company, our local shop who I have supported since 2003. I was hooked immediately. I grew up surfing and moved to kayaking in my late teens. But there was always something in me that wanted to stand up in white water. I remember my first fall in a class 2 that February. I had never been more stoked to be swimming around in freezing water. From there my addiction got out of control. I got a few first clean descents last year on the James, Lower Yough, Nolichucky and Appomattox. I haven’t cleaned the New yet, but I am pretty sure I was the first and maybe the only person to have cleaned each rapid on the Gorge. (“Cleaning” a rapid means finishing it while remaining standing up.) I also started teaching flat water and class 1 and 2 whitewater clinics that summer adapting the ACA kayaking curriculum to paddle boarding.
This year started off well. I got on the James at 50,000cfs in January on my 11'4" Bic Peter Pan. Lots of swimming that day. This summer I got the chance to go back to Norway. Nobody was paddle boarding downriver there yet. Whitewater SUP was limited to surfing waves, which is really fun. I showed up with a more stout river running SUP and had my choice of first descents as long as I could convince my buddies that I had not lost my mind completely over the last year in the states. I swam a lot this summer in Norway’s deep blue pools. But I also cleaned quite a few runs. I plan to go back next year and knock out a couple more that evaded me this summer. Until then, you can find me in RVA, paddling like every day.”
There has been a lot of excitement surrounding the expansion of the white water SUP team these last few week's and the energy surrounding the Stinger and the sport. Check out here the event report from Stand Up in Wild and Wonderful, a SUP white water race in West Virgina and the announcement of Rob Manzetti and Ian Smith joing the squad. With Ben on board now, along with Rob and Ian, Nikki Gregg, Taylor Robertson, Haley Mills and Mike Tavaris, and our friend Ken Hovie, watch Werner Paddles and our crew take white water and river running SUP to new levels.
Welcome to the Team Ben and thank you so much for the support!