Destinations

First Sup Descent of Chile’s Seven Teacups – Rio Claro, Chile

Above David dives too early off the sixth of the seven Teacups.

Above David dives too early off the sixth of the seven Teacups.

Christmas eve and paddlers at Chile’s Pucon Kayak Hostel are stuffing kayaks and gear bags into a trailer instead of candy canes in stockings. A group of 8 paddlers are setting out on their dream kayak adventure to the Rio Claro’s waterfall wonderland. As a Dodge Durango and trailer pull out of the parking lot PKH owner David Hughes stops the SUV,

“Let’s grab a SUP board. I’ve been wanting to SUP the Teacups.” A kayaker asked, “Can you do that?” David, “Sure. You can swim them if you want. I’m pretty sure on SUP this would be a first descent.”

The group had three days on the Claro’s more than 80 clean cascades over the Christmas holidays. The water was low but runnable. David describes, “It’s the lowest I’d ran the Diablo (Throat of the Devil) section. I got tossed into the right wall and took a pretty good hit on my ribs, head and my neck is sore. The Twenty Two Saltos was the best section at the low levels. And the lower flow was idea for an easy SUP board paddle to lip and jump, dive, or flip style of SUP boarding. It’s rare to find such perfectly clean cascades where you can paddle a SUP board off and not have to worry about your landing.”

Pucon Kayak Hostel kayakers scout the “Throat of the Devil” just a kilometer upstream of the more famous Seven Teacups. Rio Claro, Chile.

Pucon Kayak Hostel kayakers scout the “Throat of the Devil” just a kilometer upstream of the more famous Seven Teacups. Rio Claro, Chile.

That group of eight paddlers would enjoy paddling over 80 clean cascades for their Christmas holiday.

Pucon Chile SUP boarding may be the Standup Paddleboarding’s best kept secret when it comes to spectacular destinations. The Pucon area is known as one of the world’s most scenic regions for rivers and lakes surrounded by the towering Andes and sprinkled with volcanos. Want to organize a SUP Pucon Chile trip? Or how about just renting SUP boards for the day. Email David@PuconKayakHostel.com to learn more. http://puconkayakhostel.com/

David Hughes is the owner of Pucon Kayak Hostel, director of Patagonia Study Abroad and founder of PSA’s predecessor New River Academy.

“First try at the Teacups! Just goes to show how easy standup paddling is. I don’t sup much but have to say that was super fun. I even got a bit nervous before the first drop. But it went smoother than I expected. So, it was just fun after that.” -David Hughes.

“First try at the Teacups! Just goes to show how easy standup paddling is. I don’t sup much but have to say that was super fun. I even got a bit nervous before the first drop. But it went smoother than I expected. So, it was just fun after that.” -David Hughes.

David Hughes goes for a flip when his Standup Paddleboard drags a rock at the lip of the final and tallest of Chile’s Seven Teacups.

David Hughes goes for a flip when his Standup Paddleboard drags a rock at the lip of the final and tallest of Chile’s Seven Teacups.

The standup paddleboard would be stuck for an hour long rescue next to a challenging to reach wall. Luckily, the river gladiator saw the danger with his keen eyes and jumped to safety. – David Hughes

The standup paddleboard would be stuck for an hour long rescue next to a challenging to reach wall. Luckily, the river gladiator saw the danger with his keen eyes and jumped to safety. – David Hughes

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