I flipped on the news this morning only to hear about utter chaos! Every station was reporting on rivers flooding all over the place in Colorado. I quickly pulled up the river charts to see what the flow was and where the best wave would be hitting. I called up my usual crew consisting of fellow SUP surfer and river runner JB who owns Altitude Paddleboards here in Colorado, my dad, and My good friend and SUP enthusiast David Weihnacht.
The south Platte in Denver which usually flows a couple hundred cubic feet per second was pumping over four grand! I thought it a good opportunity to scope out a few waves around there that I knew of. After we scoped out the waves we decided to warm up on a wave called pedestrian bridge wave(a smaller wave to warm up on), then move downriver to a wave called Trestles(known to be epic with these flows). We were all stoked because the flow only comes up like this once or twice a year if you are lucky!
JB and I paddled down to the first stop on our Denver flood tour. He got a few good rides and I got one before a cop rolled up and started yelling at us to get out of the water. He said that all his manpower was up in Boulder and that they couldn't help us if we got into a bad situation. He also told us if we got back into the water that we would be spending the night in jail. We took the rides that we got and loaded up the car and decided to come back in a day or so when things mellow out with rescue services.
The next morning I got up to scope out the 14 ft drop I had been waiting to hit when the flow came up. Usually the flow at this spot is around 40 cfs and on that morning it was over 700! As I drove up the canyon toward the drop it was there was caution tape blocking almost every path, and street workers blocking off roads and bridges. Unable to scoop out the next location I decided to try and get some flat water work in on my local training spot only to find they closed that as well. I was confused because when I talked with the worker who had the entry blocked off he said the water level came up ten feet? Its a lake, why would that matter?!? Well this afternoon I am going to head back and hit Denver up for a few more rides. Stay safe and stay posted for my next post!
Paddle fast and take chances!