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At the beginning of Spring I thought this kayaking season was going to be super short. We hung out for most of the Colorado Freestyle Kayaking Tour and then booked it to Sort, Spain for World’s where my sister Kady and two brothers, Kenny and Dally were competing. We spent about 2 weeks here.

While they “trained” we spent our days hiking and exploring. After World’s we started our 6 week European Tour. It was so rad. We already are planning to return with all our boats to paddle and spend an extended amount of time in both Spain and France.

So, we didn’t even get home until early August. But, thanks to a record winter in terms of snowfall, Colorado rivers were still running at awesome flows! We took our annual family Raft Trip. We drove to Salida, where my little sister, Elly, nailed her combat rolls. We went to MWave in Montrose and battled this fast and furious wave. We drove to Gunnison for the Gunnison River Fest which is always a ton of fun!

And we’ve been spending some time at our local Glenwood Wave. It’s hot as Haiti here right now, temperatures hitting 90+ every day. It’s a great place, if not slightly intimidating at first, to learn and have fun. You can surf in a kayak, on a surfboard, with a boogie board, a tube, literally everything, even body surf!

And, there are 3 different features in this river wide water park. On river right is where surfer’s and SUP’ers spend most of their time, and where we all first learned to surf in our kayaks. In the center is a hole that can be crazy sticky or not, depending on the flow. Basically, if you can get a trick in this hole you can get it anywhere. And then there is a smaller hole/wave on river left.

Kayaking in the summer in Colorado is so much fun. The air is hot and the water is cool and refreshing. Sometimes, the river is the only place we want to be, it gets too hot for dirtbiking or hiking, even for climbing. The water temp is perfect for Coby and Elly, too. Elly actually, just got her combat roll and it is pretty solid. But, Coby doesn’t have a roll at all, even though he’s super good at surfing and can spin on our river right feature! So, when Coby flips, he sometimes swims. I say sometimes, because most often Kenny or Dally Hand of God him. That’s when they flip him back upright. He still loves to bail, so every now and then he won’t wait. And after every surf session, he flips over and bails on purpose.

We always keep kayaking as fun as possible for the little kids, and for us. We don’t take it very seriously. In fact, one of my favorite things to do is play King of the Wave. I think it ought to be an event in every competition. And the Glenwood Wave is awesome for King of the Wave. It’s crazy, like 8-Ball, another of my favorite events.

The other cool thing about the Glenwood Wave is that every time we go down there we meet someone new. I guess seeing kids actually kayaking is not something most people see every day, I dunno. Yesterday, I was talking to a kid in high school who was there boogie boarding. He said I was a “monster out there.” He asked if kayaking was scary. Then asked if it was hard. We talked for a bit and then he ended up hopping in Dally’s boat, a Medium Rockstar 4.0 and the guy was like YEAH! He just paddled around in the eddy and absolutely had so much fun! And now, Kenny is going to coach him next weekend! I love introducing people to kayaking.

What I really love about the Glenwood wave is that it is never too packed with people. Of course there’s a lot of people who sit on the rocks and watch everyone playing in the river. In the Summer there tends to be a much longer line because surfers come out as well as all the other kayakers who live in the area. But, when you’re doing what you love with the people you love, it doesn’t matter how many people are in line. And, since the eddy’s in Glenwood are huge, we can do flatwater tricks while we wait!

River Right Wave

Both sides of the river are fun. On river right, it’s just a small, flat green wave. Very fun to just glide back and forth. Perfect spot to learn how to control your boat. Getting on is typically easier in the surfer’s left eddy, as there is more of a foam pile at every level. It’s a perfect place to learn beginner wave tricks like spins and roundhouses. Bigger tricks like blunt McNasty’s go, but are really hard to stick, like almost impossible.

River Left Hole

Super fun little hole at almost every level. At all levels, right spins come pretty easily. It almost does it for you. I personally, love to back surf in the middle of it. My younger siblings love this hole. And if you’re worried about getting stuck on it, which is a very common fear, it’s your lucky day. Because this small hole is the easiest feature to get off of. You literally just have to stop paddling, turn sideways, and glide off. Nothing to it. Getting on the wave is easy as well. Most tricks go here. Rowdy throws the best clean loops left of center. But, it is a very flushy feature, so paddle hard. This is the best hole for a beginner. Take my word for it. It’s so smooth, you can sit and front surf for days until you decide to flush.

G Wave

The main Glenwood feature is my personal favorite. In the center of the river there is a eddy (at high flows, there is no eddy and you have to drop in). It’s a really big eddy, perfect spot for practicing rolls, flatwater tricks and just catching your breath. This eddy has a slight pull right into the middle feature … perfect for setting up for Loops and Space Godzillas!

This feature is intimidating. It is typically pretty steep, sticky and windowshades are both likely and terrifying. Terrifying because you can see the concrete blocks used to make the hole and I always worry I’m going to slam into them, but none of us ever do.
As you paddle into the hole, you’ll be intimidated but do it, you’ll be happy afterward because you’ll either throw a huge trick or get an epic beatdown.

Most all tricks go in this whole, but you have to throw it perfect. I always say, if I can nail a trick in this hole I can nail it anywhere! And, it’s a crazy fun hole to have a King of the Wave competition. I love carving quickly, and slamming my siblings boats, and trying so hard to get them off. My mom is scared to play with me and my dad, we are a little savage … Dally is the worst, in all honesty, but he takes it easy on my mom.

The greatest thing about the Glenwood Wave, is that behind the features, there is nothing afterwards for miles and miles on end. Flatwater forever. Which used to be one of my biggest fears, not rolling up in time, and hitting more rapids upside down. Now this is actually fun for me, but I know how my younger siblings feel, so I always point out that there is nothing to worry about behind Glenwood Wave! It’s the perfect learning spot.

If you happen to be in town or close by, I suggest you try out the Glenwood wave. Find us on facebook or via our website, and we will most definitely run down and paddle with ya if we are around.

I hope this blog helped you out and maybe eased whatever fears you had of the Glenwood wave, (if you had any!) If you want to know more about the wave, or want to watch videos of people surfing it, check out KelloggShow and KelloggShowKids on YouTube.

Have fun. And don’t let fear get in your way, especially not in Glenwood!

— Maddy