Badfish's Field/Social Marketing Manager

Photographer: Scott Martin

Photographer: Scott Martin

I've been an athlete for Badfish Stand Up Paddle  for upwards of 5 years now. I remember seeing the Badfish team out surfing at the Glenwood wave and nervously asking them if I could surf with them. I was still learning at the time and hadn't figured out how to get into a wave at that point. But they remembered me from the competition circuit. They gave me a board to try out, as well as pointers while I was unsuccessfully trying to get into the wave. It was at that point that became part of the Badfish family and I haven't looked back. Now, five years later I'm happy to announce I am the Field/Social Marketing Director of Badfish Stand up Paddle. 

Badfish is a company I  100% believe in. I love that I can visit the shop in Salida and see what new board designs Zack's got cooking and they value the feedback of their athletes. Badfish has been true to who they are and what they stand for since day one and that's something that I sincerely value. I'm excited for this new opportunity. 

In the next week I'll have a schedule up for the upcoming season. You'll be able to follow my tour and see if I'll be at an event near you. You'll find me at the Badfish tent. :)

General River Surfing Etiquette

In response to my ‘No Locals.’ post I wanted to write one based on what I’ve known to be commonly used river surfing etiquette guidelines. There are always going to be waves where beginners do not belong, but again, I believe it is no excuse to be an asshole. There aren’t many resources out there for people to refer to, such is the purpose of this post. As you can see, there’s not much too it, very basic guidelines to maintain peace and an aloha spirit at the wave.

Surf Time - Know the acceptable amount of time to stay on the wave. Nobody likes to stand in line. Everyone is anxious to get back on the wave. A commonly understood surf time is 2 minutes. Use your time to carve, have fun, and then when it’s the next persons turn try a new trick or just exit the wave. People are there to surf, not watch you surf. And no, being a local does not entitle you to take as much time as you please. If you want five minute surfs get there before everyone else. 

Throwing your paddle - Stand up paddlers after falling off the wave will sometime throw their paddles into the eddy to make sure they can swim quickly into the eddy; to avoid getting washed too far downstream. Sometimes this is ok, if there aren’t a lot of people in the eddy and you don’t risk hitting anyone. You must be confident you can retrieve it yourself. Don’t do it with the expectation of someone chasing after it for you. (Practice swimming with your paddle, my friend Nikki Gregg showed me a trick of using it as an actual aid to get you back in the eddy by reaching the blade across the eddy line or using it like a kayak paddle propelling you back into the eddy.)

The Line-up - If the line-up for the wave is crowded it can get really confusing on whose up next. Shortboarders, stand up paddlers, or body boards all can wait their turn on shore; making a very discernible line. Kayakers have to wait in the eddy. It’s up to all of us to communicate with each other on who goes next. I always try to get a visual confirmation from kayakers that it’s my turn and I’m not snaking someone in line. Everyone deserves  a fair shot and everyone’s time is valuable. 

 Pick up after Yourself. - We all enjoy snacks and  a cold beverage in-between surfs…pick up after yourselves. Respect the river and your natural surroundings. 

 If you see someone in trouble, help them. - We’re a community and we have to look out for each other. Be aware of what’s going on around you.

 Crafts Moving Downriver have the Right of Way - Get off the wave or out of the way of people moving downstream.

The river is a wild and dangerous place. It’s up to you to have the proper equipment and knowledge before getting out on the water. Being unprepared not only puts you in danger but puts your fellow surfers in danger. Take a lesson or have someone who is experienced help you. You should do the same thing when going out surfing in the ocean for the first time. 

Innegra Build and what it means for the 2015 Badfish Boards

I'm a freak about composite boards on the river, I LOVE EM! For surfing and whitewater nothing comes close in responsiveness as a composite.

There really aren't many composite boards out there that can come out of the river unscathed. Some may say the solution to that would be to go with a plastic roto-mold design but there aren't any (that I've paddled) that aren't clunky, heavy, and difficult to control (especially by someone my size). 

Badfish has experimented with many different impact resistant materials and they've found a fiber that's both strong, lightweight, and impact resistant...Innegra. Innegra has been used in motor sports, military enforcement, and now stand up paddle boards. It's going to be just the thing that's been missing from the whitewater board design. So now you can have high-performance without cringing every time you come close to or bump a rock. 

This means the MVP is going to be lighter while maintaining it's durability. This is huge and will make hiking rapids a much more appealing venture! Also, the River Surfers will have a Carbon/Innegra  build so no more chips, even more responsiveness than before, and lighter. 

It's going to be huge for Badfish and a definite step up in the game of whitewater SUP and river surfing board construction. You'll be able to get on some of these boards and see for yourself at Colorado Kayak Supply's 'Paddlefest' in Buena Vista, CO. Or, if you sign up for mine and Natali's clinics we'll be providing Badfish boards to make sure you're on boards that will set you up for success. 

I'm super excited for the 2015 line-up and so happy to be part of such an innovative river stand up paddle board company like Badfish. 

Badfish Cobra 6'6" surfer

Badfish Cobra 6'6" surfer

*Visit my Schedule page to get more details on dates for downriver/riversurfing clinics