Back to top

Catching a Wave, No Coast Required


Colorado pulled me out of my shell and into my true self. Had I not grown up in a state that is so alive with outdoor recreation, my life would have taken a very different route.

It was 2011 and I was passing through Glenwood Springs, 30 minutes east of my birth town of Rifle, Colorado. I was driving past the Glenwood Wave and I saw the Badfish Stand Up Paddle rig and I had to stop. Badfish is a stand-up paddleboard company based out of Salida and is the leader in the SUP river-surfing revolution. Essentially, they were the cool guys and I wanted to hang out with them. 

I had been stand-up paddling on the river for about a year at that point and had made a couple attempts at river surfing, but didn’t really have the board for it. When I pulled up, the wave the crew was just getting geared up and I did the unthinkable: I asked them if I could join them. Why would that be unthinkable? Well, since I was a kid, I was so shy it was paralyzing. This is a girl who would gladly accept an incomplete on her book report if it meant not having to get up in front of the class to read it. I was never one to put myself out there for fear of rejection and judgment. So, this was a big step for me. 

The Badfish guys leant me a board and welcomed me to be part of their surf session. I didn’t have one successful surf that day, but I didn’t care — the entire crew gave me tips, cheered me on and made me feel like I was part of a family.

That was better than any surf could have been and is why I’ve become invested heavily into the Colorado river-surfing community. Since then, I’ve been able to extend the same hand of kindness they did to anyone wanting to surf a river wave. I travel everywhere from Glenwood Springs, Pueblo, Salida, Durango and Grand Junction during the early summer months to chase the water and feed my soul by surfing the veins of this state.

Learn more about river surfing and find clinics at RVR2RVR.

Check out Brittany's blog.

Find your Colorado water passion in whitewater rafting, fishing, adventure tours and other summer cool downs.