2018 Runoff in Colorado will bring not only a new season of surfing, but new Colorado surf waves as well. Two big projects are worth noting.
The first is a continuation of a major South Platte project. The first phase of the project gave us Benihana’s and Chiclets at River Run Park. Four new waves are supposed to be completed this year. Design Engineer Ben Nielsen of the McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group describes them like this:
All the new waves will be similar to Chiclets which uses tuning blocks to tweak the wave.
The first two waves upstream of Oxford bridge are smaller drops (slower, less powerful) than the two already built. They will be breaking waves focused more on kayaking/floating users but we surfed one already during construction with high volume boards. They will offer some fun for beginner surfers, SUPers, and boogie boarders. Third wave upstream of the bridge will have similar power to Chiclets. However, it will be a breaking wave to throw some love to our Kayaking brothers and sisters out there. These first three waves are designed for typical spring/summer flows (100 – 400 cfs) with the same width as Chiclets. Fourth wave is wider than both Beni’s (the WaveShaper) and Chiclets – designed for higher flows 300 cfs+. It will have more power than Chiclets but a little less than Beni’s. Designed for beginner to advanced riders, it will be a solid surf wave for Beni’s regulars but will also fill the current gap for surfers wanting to up their game but don’t want to completely take off the training wheels and surf Beni’s.
It’ll be interesting to see how they surf once they’re up and running and have water.
Eagle Whitewater Park
The second major project is the Eagle Whitewater Park, which looks like it has two waves that should be open this spring. The Wave Guide page has S20‘s descriptions of the four park waves. Here they are again; Drop 3 and Drop 4 are complete, with Drops 1 and 2 scheduled to be completed late summer or early fall 2018.
Florence River Park
Finally, the Florence River Park wave was finished last year, but we don’t have much information on it yet.
These new Colorado river surfing waves should give us a wider range of options for getting out on the water, both along the Front Range and in Eagle County.
If you’ve gotten out to surf any of these new waves, email me and let me know how it went. SYOTR.