Riverbarding just kicked up to a whole new level of intense. Last weekend, pro riveroboarder Josh Galt ran a first descent of the Green Narrows—including the iconic Gorilla rapid—with nothing but a riverboard, standard protective gear and a pair of fins.
“What first caught my attention many years ago was how perfectly picturesque Gorilla was.” Galt said. “That stuck in my head, and it’s always been a rapid I’ve wanted to run.” With a new board in tow and having trained up to the Green with runs around the world—including dropping a 50 footer in Ecuador—Galt became sure that Gorilla and the Green were boardable.
Riverboarding as a sport is not recognized by most of the paddling community. “I have been well-received over the years by some boaters, but I think the majority have seen (and still do) riverboarding as a joke, as something for people to do who can’t kayak, as a tourist activity, or me as a totally effin’ crazy man.” Galt explains that riverboarding requires skill and ability as much as any other paddling sport. “We’re not just hanging on and surviving. We’re running the lines, and we’re styling the drops. We belong on the river as much as any other type of boat.”
Galt was paddling the Fluid Anvil, a new design that most riverboarders are looking to use to push the boundaries of the sport. Pro kayakers Adrian Kiernan and Steve Fisher caught Galt riverboarding the green and shot the footage of his descent down Gorilla for the video.
Creator and editor of FaceLevel.com, Galt has been riverboarding for more than 18 years, running major rivers and gnarly rapids all around the world. After making the first riverboard descent of the Green, he was beaming, “It’s a great run, and I understand now why people love it so much!”