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Old 04-19-2006   #1
Avon, of mind?
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 46
Best place to learn to surf?

You've all been through it; swam and got laughed at, had to hike to get a boat back, swallowed most of the river... so if you could do it again, where do you think the best spot to learn to surf and play would be?

And then as secondary questions... What water levels should us newbies be looking for at your spot? What is the propper etiquette when accepting your boat back after a swim? (How many beers should be offered is the real question right?) If you're learning and not doing much but surfing back and forth are you just in the way (that's how it is with that other kind of surfing in my experience)? Thanks -

Isn't it neat that we can play on the snow all winter long and then play on it again when it melts?

Keep it simple. :)
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Old 04-19-2006   #2
student wasted state, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Feb 2006
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salida is one of the best places to play......... sticky sticky sticky 500 and up would be the best

you know sometimes i wish i would have chosen something like baseball but, i didn't and i'm a kayaker so this is what i do." -Nick Turner (Wehyakin)
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Old 04-19-2006   #3
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I think a kayak park is the best place to learn because it has ready-made waves but the crowds might get to you if you start thinking about what other people think. The truth is nobody (that I know) minds someone flailing around the park as long as they are polite and they apologize when they run you over.

When I was a beginner paddler I was in Boulder and I found a little wave of my own about 100 ft. west of the Folsom St. bridge. There are lots of waves like that in Boulder creek in town. You can surf them all by yourself until you get bored and want a bigger or better wave.
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Old 04-19-2006   #4
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Snowmass, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 429
If you are comfortable running easy III and have a solid roll any of the playparks are a good bet. Don't worry about being a beginner, we were all there. If people have issues with you using a wave/hole and not doing any tricks...too bad for them. It's likely that you won't be in the feature long anyway. Also, if you did know what you are doing, you would still be using the feature (and probably for longer periods of time). As for boat recovery ettiquite, help as much as you can, and remember to say "thanks." Typically in a park your boat isn't going to go too far unless you're swimming at high water. So, it's really not that much of an inconvienence to your fellow boaters.

If you're in the Metro area I'd be happy to show you the ropes and spot you at Golden. I'm free most of Thursday, so let me know what works for you. During working hours (except the lunch hour) is great since there are few people in the park. Current levels are nice and gentle too, but the features aren't great for extended front surfing (more water will remedy that).
"A witty saying proves nothing."
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Old 04-19-2006   #5
Join Date: Oct 2003
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When you get your turn on that wave and surf it back and forth, stay there for a while... you are not in the way. Don't stay too long because then you are in the way and the people in line will get tired of you quick. Surf for a minute and a half tops (about a minute is better) and then move off the wave to let the next person in line have a shot. Work on your roll. You gotta learn to surf before you start throwin' ends.
Like it or not, all of us are the result of a sexual act.
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Old 04-19-2006   #6
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Snowmass, Colorado
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BTW, 60-90 seconds feels like an eternity when you're surfing (and waiting). Those are good numbers though.
"A witty saying proves nothing."
- Voltaire (1694-1778)
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Old 04-19-2006   #7
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The Ranch, Colorado
Paddling Since: 04
Join Date: May 2005
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Let me recommend the place where I'm currently learning, which is the Pueblo playpark. It has some advantages in that it's easy to get to (I-25 all the way), Pueblo is considerably warmer than most places (and in the summer the water temp approaches 70 and the airtemp approaches 100).

Pueblo has 7 features, and the distance between each feature is long. I haven't seen the new resculpt, but 7 is allegedly perfectly safe for play now (it used to be a hole) and 2-3 were always good. Pueblo is deep and wide, with easy eddies that are large and easy to catch if you're swimming - self-rescue is a breeze.

Furthermore, at least last year, Pueblo was totally uncrowded. The most boaters I ever saw there was 8 or 9, and that's through the entire run, so you get pairs or trios in each play wave, and rotation is easy and friendly.

Pueblo above 500 is the starting point so your boat doesn't smack cement in the features when you're a little out of position.
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Old 04-19-2006   #8
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097

I think that playparks are the best place to learn as you can hit the same wave over and over, generally you have good eddy access, and its pretty mellow. Golden is good, there are some features on the south platte that are pretty good just to learn on. I think that the bottom salida hole is really good too, it is very uniform and a pretty smooth ride. I would say don't wait for the best levels, just start going. It takes a while. The more levels, different waves, holes, etc you surf, the better you will get.
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Old 04-19-2006   #9
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 45
i guess i would say where are you located? You have 4 spots on your location so I will go with the place I am closest to. If you are in vail then there is "all day wave" on the shoshone, but you can get washed out pretty easy when you flip.

In Vail village there is a small park that seems like it would be your closest most convenient spot to learn. Though I am not sure what they have for terrain.

I have also heard of a hole called um.. I think "Rodeo Hole" south of statebridge a ways on the colorado. From what I understand you can almost drive up to it. I would ask about it at alpine kayak in edwards if you want more info.

If your not in vail then these places are probably not the best for you and good luck in your search.

If you are in vail and ever feel like running upper C, I am game as soon as I get my equipment. probably like 2 weeks from now. I need to run the C like 5-10 times to get my skills back.

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