We are so excited to launch the Colorado River Surfing Association as a non-profit to grow river surfing in Colorado on many fronts - from building new river waves, to protecting our waves and rivers, to growing the sport of river surfing as a whole. But the truth is, it’s the river surfers who keep the river surfing scene alive.
Back in the day (now I sound old) I was lucky enough to part of the underground skateboard and punk movements in the Washington DC area. Skateboarding and punk rock both were full-on DIY movements. Skateboarding had recently collapsed in the early 1980s as a popular activity and the music industry wanted nothing to do with punk rock. So both punk rock and skateboarding decided to grow their own scenes, not globally or nationally, but locally. It was an exciting time.
“River surfing is the same type of DIY movement.”
River surfing is the same type of DIY movement. The number of river surfers in Colorado will likely never rival the number of skiers and snowboarders in Colorado. Heck, it will likely never become as popular as kayaking, SUPing, or ocean surfing. But that does not mean we should abandon our efforts to grow river surfing. Instead we need to grow the sport locally.
Still embrace your other loves, be it snowboarding, skiing, kayaking, SUPing, skateboarding, ocean surfing, golfing, or whatever. Those are sports that have their own momentum that can be ridden along without making any efforts to help push it along. But river surfing will always be different in that we have to make a more concerted effort just to surf our rivers and to keep the sport moving forward.
Not all of our fellow river surfers have the extra time and energy to spend on non-profits, or advocating for new waves, or searching for new waves, etc. But most, if not all of our surf community can be a driving force in keeping the stoke alive for river surfing. Be it by showing up at their local river waves and giving it a good surf, or hooting for a fellow river surfer stepping it up, or setting up a surf session, or even just spreading knowledge about our sport.
We at the CRSA are open for any suggestions anybody has regarding the way forward, but we also want people to join us. So in the near future, become a dues-paying member (we will keep it cheap for sure) and if you have a lead, find that person with deep pockets and have them cut us big fat check. I promise it will be for a good cause.
This is our scene, and have the opportunity to build something we can all be proud of.