- Located on the banks of the French Broad River in Asheville, Southern Raft Supply is the East Coast’s first raft shop. It was opened fall of 2012 by a group of experienced boaters frustrated by being forced to order rafting supplies from outlets on the West Coast. The longstanding local whitewater crew decided to make it easier for rafters and paddlers in Western North Carolina.
- “We’re using 20 years of whitewater experience to bring in the best products we can,” says co-owner Justyn Thompson, an industry veteran and former raft guide. “This is the stuff that my friends and I use on our trips.”
- In addition to rafts from NRS, Aire, and Maravia and essential rafting accessories, the shop carries stand-up paddleboards, Bellyak body boards, locally designed Astral PFDs, dry bags from store neighbor Watershed, helmets, and additional gear. Anglers can also find fishing rafts and frames from Outcast Sporting Gear, NRS, and Aire. With the shop’s convenient location on the French Broad, all rafts and boards can be demoed before purchase.
- The shop owners are ACA certified to teach stand-up paddleboarding, and they are also working with pro paddler Eli Helbert to offer private open boat instruction.