I should start with this: the Glide Lochsa is not an outstanding river surfing board. And maybe that shouldn’t be surprising; it’s marketed as a downriver whitewater board, and it does that very well. I haven’t ridden a SUP that I’d rather take down Class II-III whitewater (and there are no SUPs I’d like to take down Class IV whitewater, at least in Colorado). But I couldn’t help but put together a Glide Lochsa review, since it was my introduction to river surfing.
At 9′ and change, the Lochsa can surf river waves, and it’s length and width make it fast on a flat green wave, so you can get something out of a wave you might fall off on other boards. But for the most part, when you’re done with the downriver part of your program and want to turn around and start surfing, the length is a liability on waves, stabbing into the oncoming green water and shoving you downstream.
When you are surfing, the weight makes the board tough to move around, and the single fin doesn’t let you carve up a storm. If you’re looking for a park-and-play board, the Glide Sesh is a much better option, which is – surprise surprise – Glide’s surf-specific board. Both boards have the same tough exterior coating that looks a lot like Rhino Liner or the other truck bedliners. At first I thought it was a gimmick until I smashed the Lochsa into rocks a dozen or so times without a dent. Now I’m a believer.
The one other upside of the Lochsa is that its length allows it to be used as a flatwater paddleboard in a pinch. It’s not going to set any speed records, but if you slap a keel fin onto it it’ll let you have fun on a lake without any complaints.