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Idaho Whitewater: The Boat Makers


“I wasn’t born in Idaho, but I got here as fast as I could”,  that’s a saying that we have painted on a sign in our home. It has been sort of a mantra for Parker and I these last couple of years. We were drawn to Idaho for a number of reasons, probably the most relevant was Idaho White Water. We’d known for quite some time that we wanted to start a whitewater rafting company. So, here we are living in Idaho, owning and operating an Idaho whitewater company and loving it.

The Idaho white water community is unlike any other. We’re composed of outfitters, guides, boat makers, professionals, the list goes on. This past spring we participated in an outstanding convention called “Idaho River Rendezvous”, I’ll talk more about that next week. But, it was a great coming together of people. It made me realize what an outstanding whitewater community we have here in Idaho- unlike any other state. Which makes sense, our whitewater is unlike any other place in the world, so why wouldn’t we have this stellar community with a common goal- promoting and preserving Idaho White Water. I digress, I really came here to write this post about our boatmakers. When I say boatmakers, I’m referring to rubber rafts, like these:

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There are more boat companies per capita in Idaho than there are anywhere else in the world! Don’t quote me on that- I made it up, but it is true. Check it out:

NRS- Northwest River Supply, probably the biggest of the companies, they have everything you could ever need to outfit a trip, whether it’s a small day trip down the Boise River, or an epic 4 day trip down the Snake River in Hells Canyon with America’s Rafting Company- they’ve got it. They’re located in Moscow, ID and employ a lot of college students from U of I. Parker and I toured their warehouse recently and were amazed at the size! It covers 2 football fields! We are registered as outfitters with them and can get things in a hurry, usually next day. They’ve been great to work with and we look forward to a long working relationship with them.

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Cascade Outfitters– a company in Boise, ID. They supply river gear, dutch ovens, life jackets, etc. and have a great show room/store front. They are also the home of Maravia boats. When you go visit their store, you look in at the boatmakers in action, it’s pretty impresive. Maravia are a quality boat made from a PVC material.

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Aire– they are a boat making company in Meridian, ID. There is a store front that features life jackets, gear, paddles, etc. but they’re big claim to fame is the warehouse where Aire boats are manufactured. We are pretty new to the Aire scene and had to go check it out. Parker and I took a tour of their warehouse as well, learning as much as we could about their boats. They have some really great features that you don’t see in other boats, such as their floor- it has holes in it, which fill up a chamber with water. It allows for better tracking and gives you some more weight in the bottom. The Aire boats are pretty advanced and very clever in design, this fall they gave us a couple boats to demo and I think we’re hooked! We are already dreaming of colors for our new boats to be built this Spring.

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They are many other Idaho White Water retail stores all over the state, but those three are really they main suppliers of all things white water. Here in New Meadows, we are centrally located and lucky enough to be a short drive away from all of them!

See you on the river…

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