Q: What's with the name?
A: "Wai Mauna" is a phrase in the Hawaiian language that literally translates as "mountain water." The sport of standup paddling was born in Hawaii, and in a nod to the sport's original heritage, we've opted to bring a little aloha here to the river in Asheville.
Q: How are you different than other Asheville paddleboard companies?
Standup paddling is all that we do, and we pride ourselves on exceptional customer service and personalized sessions on the river. We're the only company offering guided SUP tours, and the only company with a sunrise tour or options before 10am. For our rentals, we don't just drop you off at a parking lot and basically tell you "good luck." We park the car, help you to the river, and include a personalized paddling lesson to help make sure you feel comfortable and confident for paddling the French Broad River. We're the only company that offers footwear, dry bags, and emergency cell phones, and the only company with ACA certified SUP guides who lead you down the river. Our tours and rentals are small and personalized, and our staff is here to make sure you have the best time possible on the river.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Our Asheville SUP rentals are $39/person for a 4-mile rental and $44/person for a 7-mile rental. The cost of a rental includes your shuttle, board, all necessary gear, as well as a short lesson where our professional guides will offer personalized instruction. Guided tours are $80 for 4-mile tours and $95 for 7-mile tours through the famous Biltmore Estate. Tours include a personalized lesson, a guide down the river, and a floating, Asheville historical tour that's not offered any place else!
Q: What equipment is provided with a tour?
A: Our Asheville standup paddling tours are designed to combine an outdoor experience with impeccable customer service. All guests receive complimentary transport from where you meet your guide, as well as a guided historical tour down the French Broad River. Guests are provided with a board, paddle, PFD, leash, and a pair of rubber river booties for protecting their feet while paddling.
Q: What equipment isn't provided that we might want to bring?
A: In addition to swimming gear for the river, optional items include sunscreen, sunglasses, a waterproof camera, and an extra change of clothes. It's best if clothes are left in your car so you can change at the end of the tour, although the guide also carries a few extra pieces of clothing in case you get wet or cold.
Q: Can you accommodate large groups?
A: Yes. We have a fleet of 22 paddleboards and are happy to arrange a custom trip and an awesome activity for your group.
Q: Is there a weight limit?
A: Yes—240 lbs.
Q: Do you also do rentals?
A: Yes. As long as our tours aren't totally booked, we have a full fleet of stable boards for SUP rentals in Asheville.
Q: What about an age limit?
A: The minimum age for tours is 10. The minimum age for rentals is 12.
Q: Where do we park?
A: For our 4-mile tours, paddlers can park in the River Arts District at 159 Riverside Drive. There's no building here—just a plot of grass—and you'll see our Wai Mauna Asheville SUP Tours van parked and ready to shuttle. If, for some reason, you arrive before we're there, the best place to park is on the gravel area and we're likely just minutes away. Our tours finish just across the street so you can easily walk back to your car, and for more detailed directions and info check out the map below. Also, please note that Wai Mauna Asheville SUP Tours accepts no responsibility and cannot be held liable for items that are stolen from vehicles. If you would prefer to park elsewhere, there are public parking spaces in the River Arts District just a short walk from our check-in.
For our 7-mile rentals and tours, all guests meet at Asheville Outdoor Center (521 Amboy Road) which has restrooms, changing rooms, a tap room, food truck, and grassy area for parking.
Q: Where is the take out?
For our 4-mile trips, the take out is directly across the street from where you originally parked. Our 7-mile trip finishes back at Asheville Outdoor Center in West Asheville.
Q: Are there dry bags available?
A: Yes—The guide has a dry bag strapped to his board you can use for storing items you're concerned about getting wet. While we do our absolute best to keep belongings safe, be aware we accept no responsibility for items that are lost or damaged.
Q: What kind of boards do you use, and are they stable?
A: Our boards are from Imagine Surf and designed by Dave Kalama—a professional waterman and standup paddler who largely invented the sport. Since the boards we use are 34" wide it's remarkably easy to balance, and not only is the plastic constructions super durable on rivers, but it's also made from 25% recycled, post-consumer plastic.
Q: What about the fins?
A: Because we're paddling on an Asheville river that at some parts can be shallow, we use SoftFlex 4" Badfish fins specifically designed for rivers. Because the fins are short and flexible, the chances of scraping a rock and falling are greatly reduced when paddling.
Q: Do you cancel for rain?
A: The weather in Asheville is unpredictable—especially during the summer. Our Asheville SUP tours run rain or shine, although we'll cancel a tour and provide a full refund if conditions are simply unsafe.
Q: Who can I contact for more questions?
A: For any questions about our Asheville standup paddling tours, feel free to contact us anytime at (808) 264-3005, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.