DRONE VIDEO: Surfers catch waves in Pueblo

river surfing
Water enthusiasts surfing in Pueblo / SKY FOX21 Photo By: SKY FOX21

PUEBLO, Colo. — Surfing in Colorado: those are words you typically wouldn’t put in the same sentence.

However, it’s a growing sport and a few local surfers were willing to show FOX21’s Alison Mastrangelo what it takes to enjoy this extreme sport.

“We call it the Reaper wave, if you look over on the wall, there is Grim Reaper,” Logan Gogarty, a river surfer said. “You get a similar feeling as you would in the ocean as gliding across the wave and enjoying the surfing and the momentum of the water moving under your feet,” Logan said.

“I love surfing and I’d go to the ocean every day if I were there,” Shaun Gogarty, another river surfer said.

That passion for surfing led this father-son duo on a journey.

“So we were driving around Colorado following roads that go by rivers,” Logan said.

For Shaun and Logan Gogarty, the quest for the perfect wave ended up leading them right out their back door to Pueblo.

“We thought kayakers were surfing small standing waves so we thought we should be able to do something similar on surf boards,” Logan said.

So what makes a perfect river surfing wave?

“It typically has to be pretty steep in terms of the wall of the wave, less white water… you need the white water to hold you to get in then you want to get into the green or the face of it to have fun or surf it,” Shaun said.

Logan says the best time to go river surfing is typically during spring months when the snow melt run-off is at its peak. This creates high water levels and a nice wave to surf on.

Although this sport has many similarities to surfing, there are few big differences too.

“Mainly the parts of not catching the wave, you still catch this wave but it’s always there and it stays put,” Logan said. “In the ocean you get short few second rides usually or a 30-second ride, but in the river, you can ride for 20 minutes or more depending on your ability to stay in the wave,” he said.

That moment when these river surfers pop up on the board and ride the wave creates a euphoric feeling for them.

“You realize you are in Colorado and you are standing on a surf board and you get a similar feeling to what you would in the ocean as gliding across the wave, and enjoying the surfing and the momentum of the water moving under your feet,” Logan said.

“It’s just a cool experience being in the water, and just floating in the wave in the same place and just being able to move around, I’ve been out there before and watched fish go under me up the river it’s pretty neat,” Shaun said.

Typically Logan and his dad go surfing about three days a week for a few hours at time – that’s how Logan learned how to do some surfing tricks.

“Really just playing out here, we spend out a lot time just messing around. So once you’ve gotten down the turns, and go back and forth, then you start trying to mess around with other things. So sometimes we take off the fins and have heads and have a good time,” Logan said.

While river surfing has been around for decades, it’s growing in Pueblo – creating a friendly community for anyone that wants to try it.

“People that are surfing on the rivers are always pleasant, always good people. You can come down here and not even have a board and someone will let you use their board, their wetsuit, their life jacket – everybody helps each other,” Shaun said.

If you want to try river surfing, you can go to the Edge Ski and Paddle in Pueblo; they have gear you can rent there.

You can also like the Colorado River Surfing Facebook page, where people post river surfing conditions and waves.

There are also some river surfing companies that are making river surfing boards, like Tuf River Boards and Colorado Surf Supply.

Before you jump in, however, make sure you take safety precautions such as wearing a life vest, helmet, and going out with someone who knows the currents.

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