Trouble starts with "T" and that rhymes with "P" which stands for "pool."
So last I heard, and forgive me because I can’t recall the exact numbers, the World Surf League was claiming that Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch had sold out all its available days for… $10,000? $100,000? I can’t remember exactly but sold out, right? Then the World Surf League was offering steep discounts but very quietly. Slashing the price by more than half for those same days but very very quietly as not to alert anyone.
Not exactly confidence inspiring.
The business model is still not clear for Surf Ranch or any of the new artificial waves for that matter. Is this current boom (new Surf Lakes just announced in England etc.) going to lead to a massive bust when good inland folk aren’t willing to part with real money in order to surf? Or will there be a boom of epic proportions as good inland folk peel off bill after bill in order to “taste the tube?”
Impossible to know but a new, unforeseen competitor might create havoc in the marketplace and let’s learn all about them right now. Let’s not delay.
With new river parks, big flows and a swelling roster of whitewater surfers itching to carve after last summer’s meager trickles, the river surfing wave is about to flood Colorado.
“The biggest river surfing season ever is on tap,” says Mike Harvey, the river park engineer and co-founder of Salida’s Badfish SUP. His son, Miles, is one of Colorado’s top-ranked river surfers. “Interest in river surfing right now is ridiculous. Last year people struggled to find a place to surf and this year the state is going to go Richter. There are going to be people all over the place trying to surf.”
And they will have plenty of choices. There are at least 10 whitewater parks and roadside river waves in Colorado with features that accommodate stand-up paddling and surfing. The rare Big Sur — a river-wide wave atop an old dam in DeBeque Canyon that emerges when Colorado River flows edge past 20,000 cubic-feet-per-second — is likely to break for the second or third time in the last decade, drawing hordes of wave riders from across the West. There’s even a Colorado River Surfing Association, fostering a community of wave riders across the state.
“It kind of feels like this is all happening overnight,” says Brittany Parker, one of the country’s top SUP paddlers who lives in her van and, yes, it’s often parked down by the river.
Now, do you think the wave tank barons will band together and dump toxic chemicals into Colorado’s rivers in order to neutralize the threat or will they be of a “rising tide floats all surfboards” mind?
Also, while I have you, are you a Keynesian economist or an Austrian economist?