December Lochsa surf at Union Chutes

by Ryan Mullen January 02, 2014

Although most of the snow is melted the banks of the river were still lined with ice when we got there. The flow was miniscule but the most that has been offered this winter so far. I just felt lucky to be able to be on the water one step closer to claiming a world record in surfing. The sun was out and warm on my face but the breeze was cold and smelled like the depth of winter. It was after all mid December. Paddling is scarce this time of year in Colorado because most lakes freeze up and river flows come to a halt until the snow melts and starts runoff season!

 

This is why I started stand up paddling. So I would be able to surf smaller waves and extend my season into the winter months. I have been working so much lately I had forgotten the freedom even the smallest river wave can bring. I guess my mind was there before we pulled up. To make it all better one of my friends met up with us and he brought Glide SIPs 2014 river model called the Lachsa . I was so stoked to test put the new board!

 

We geared up in the parkinglot. I grabbed my board tickets and raced to the river bed to start paddling. I dropped the top rapid twice before the others joined me. We paddled up river for a quick warm up before we began our decent. Shortly after we turned around to paddle downriver we reached the first drop I was playing on. I stoped our party because the drop was to shallow to run with fins. After the drop we played around eddying out and fairying across the river. I couldn't wait to get to the fourth drop because I knew it would be arguable at this flow!

 

On the way down my drysuit started to fill with freezing river water because of a puncture I needed to patch up. There was no way I would let this stop me from surfing. With numb toes and a cold core I continued on down the chutes finally reaching the fourth hole! We surfed for as long as we could before we began the hike back to the car to warm up before I had to race off to work.

 

Paddle fast and take chances

ALEX MAUER




Ryan Mullen
Ryan Mullen

Author




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