Once I got down to the lower reaches of the river, I experienced a pretty strong headwind coming off the ocean and found that the board seemed to paddle pretty well and efficiently on the flatwater. The river was not flowing too strong so I even paddled back up river and was impressed with the ease of moving forward. The rockered nose allowed moving water to flow under the board instead of piling up against it. I took a friend of mine who has been on a standup before but had not paddled a river on an SUP and he absolutely loved the board. Once I gave the board up to him I never got it back. He was very stable and did not have to swim at any point. I could see his mind racing with the potential of more trips.