Stand up paddling boarding below Steven's Arch on the Escalante River.


I have paddled over 300 miles standing on a board. My first expedition was a SUP first descent down Utah’s Escalante River. And since that first trip back in 2016, I’ve trusted only one paddle board to get the job done: Hala SUP Gear. Based in Steamboat Springs, CO, we’re practically neighbors. But that’s besides the point. I’ve put their boards through the ringer — I’ve dragged them through Russian Olives with their inch-long spikes, over sharp rocks, wrapped them around strainers, paddled them across miles-long stretches of flat water and held on, as I shot through mud chutes. Many of these trips take me deep into the wilderness, with only the river as a lifeline, so yeah, I need to have trust in my equipment.
Paddleboarders make their way down the Escalante River, on a SUP first descent.
Pete paddles a Hala board into the gates of the Lower Canyons
People portage their boards on the Escalante River
Hala is an easy company for me to photograph because I’m their target audience. But one thing I really want to show are their boards in their intended environments, being used in a way that gets us adventurers outdoors and away from the tethered world. I approach these expeditions – and shoots – with the intention to show the adventure, the fun, the drama and the beauty of going paddleboarding. Sometimes, it’s not even about being on the water. Sometimes it’s about being above on the rim. And other times it’s about getting down and dirty and trying to nail the line.

For each of our three multi-day expeditions, Hala equipped us with expedition boards, cut-to-size carbon paddles, collapsible paddles, and in-the-field patches. With any extended trip, we needed gear that was solid, and was up to the task. Hala was just that!