TALLASSEE, Ala. (WSFA) - The warmer weather means people are spending more time outside, and many folks are taking a dip in the river. But, you don’t need a boat to have a good time, thanks to a new sport that could be coming to River Region.
It’s called riverboarding, and it’s a sport that outdoor enthusiast Kevin Yount has been perfecting for decades.
“I was a snow athlete and read about it in a ski and snowboarding magazine, and it sounded right up my alley,” said Yount. “It took a few years to piece together what kind of gear you need and all that. I made my first run in 2003 and I’ve just never looked back since then.”
The sport blends white water rafting with body boarding, and it doesn’t take much to create a big splash. In fact, the North Carolina native hopes to start a branch of his company, Appalachian Riverboard Company, to Montgomery.
“I’m trying to develop the sport in Central Alabama and in Georgia,” said Yount. “You may know they’re trying to build a white-water facility in Montgomery, and I would love to have a presence there once they get it finished, so I’m just trying to get a little bit of attention, so people know what riverboarding is.”
Well, it definitely caught my attention – being the amateur outdoor enthusiast that I am, I had to give riverboarding a go.
With the help of Kevin, I got suited up and ready to catch some waves.
I was pretty nervous approaching the small rapids on the Tallapoosa River, but Kevin says that’s what makes riverboarding so exciting.
“When you’re sitting above rapids in raft or a kayak, it takes a bigger rapid for it to feel exciting,” said Yount. “With riverboarding, you’re in the current, you get to feel everything, and even a tiny foot and half or two-foot drop or a wave is gonna be right in front of you.”
Kevin hopes his riverboarding company will attract interested boarders from across the state to the Capital City.
“I think it’s just a really good geographic center in the Deep South where people would hopefully come not only locally from Montgomery, but Birmingham as well as the panhandle of Florida and central Georgia as well,” said Yount.
Kevin also said it’s important to have the proper gear before and pay attention to the rapids before heading out on the river.