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The Oxford Fin

After surfing our fins on a variety of waves last season, we found there was a certain type of wave we didn’t have a fin for. Fast, steep waves. Waves like Lunch Counter in Wyoming, and Ponderosa in Durango. On waves like these, our current fin lineup didn’t provide the hold needed to stick to the face of the wave. We would find ourselves sliding sideways down the face instead of ripping across it.

River Surf Fin - Oxford (Purple)

We also starting doing some shortboard river surfing. On trips out to Boise and Bend, we found we needed a much bigger fin than on a SUP. With the new adjustable shortboard wave here in Denver, we knew we needed a solution.

River Surf Fin - Oxford (Purple)

Enter the Oxford fin. This fin provides the hold needed for shortboarding at River Run Park in Denver. We’re hoping it will also excel at the big steep waves this spring as well! If you’re interested in trying this fin out, you can purchase a set here.

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It’s Good To Have Choices

This post is brought to you from our team rider Claire Chappell!

Vanessa Wood-Taylor and I had a good laugh as we both switched out our fins for the millionth time before the surf comp at Fibark in Salida, CO. In my head, it went something like this: “I’ll go with the nubs (Staircase Step), yeah, that way I can grind, I have to grind and maybe I’ll even try a spin! No, no, no, what am I thinking, I need stability. I’m nervous and people keep flushing trying to catch this wave so I need speed and stability, I should definitely go with a full thruster set up. Wait, no, I’ll use a nub in back and the Library Cards on the side. Ah! I got it, the Pumphouses…they are a happy medium, right? Nah, I got this, the nubs it is. Ok, decided.” And then 5 min before it’s my turn, “Final answer, the middle of the road, the Pumphouse are in and staying in, I’m sick of thinking about this.”

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As I learned in my first surf comp, fin selection was a big component of the strategy that goes into competing at SUP surf. Based on your skill level you have to juggle difficulty of getting onto the wave, establishing a surf, carving, utilizing the whole wave and then adding tricks or dynamic moves to increase points. Fin selection plays into every one of those things. The shape, size, material and number of fins can help you nail certain parts of your ride but could hinder others. Too loose and you might fall getting on the wave or fall trying to make strong sexy carves. Too tight and you’ll carve hard but maybe struggle with rotation and tricks.

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In your mind and in your practice runs, you try and put together a plan to maximize your time on the wave to earn points. Some people even plan to try and switch fins mid competition, varying their style between each of their 4 to 5 rides. But there is no guarantee there’ll be time for that. In the jam-style comp, if people in your heat happen to fall quickly, you may be hussling up the river bank just to get back in time for your surf! It was a complex and amazingly fun experience and for me it highlighted how cool it is that we have several fin shapes to play with and a local company experimenting, innovating and producing new fins. It also made me want to improve and learn to use my fins better. Cheers to the progress of this new sport that we all love, and to a growing group of surfers and homegrown companies pushing the limits.

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The winners of the Salida SUP Surf Comp! From left to right: Tracy Sage, Vanessa Taylor, and Claire Chappell.

Click here to learn more about the fins that Colorado River Surf Co offers

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Discontinuing the Rodeo Ripper

The Rodeo Ripper started off as a sweet little fin. Designed to track well when surfing straight upstream, but get loose when pushed into a grind or spin. It was a great fin; everyone liked it. Unfortunately it had several weak points which caused the fin to break more easily than other designs.

River Surf Fin - Rodeo Ripper V1 (Orange)

Both the front and rear tabs weren’t completely covered by the base of the fin, making it easy to sheer the fin off at the tabs. The other weak point was in the body of the fin. It was long and thin which made it easier to break in the middle.

Version 2 of this fin was the same design, just bigger all around. This fixed the durability problems, but it completely changed the performance. Instead of being a fast and loose fin, it became the fin with the most hold in our lineup. The fin became a decent choice when shortboarding or SUP surfing steeper waves, but it lost its ability to slip, slide and spin.

River Surf Fin - Rodeo Ripper V2 (Pink)

Instead of keeping this fin as a decent shape for an unintended purpose, we’re discontinuing the Rodeo. We already have a great shape for shortboarding that’ll be released in the next couple weeks. For spins it’s hard to beat the Staircase fin, just checkout team rider Hannah Ray J’s instagram. We will continue to search for the perfect fin design that will allow us to carve and spin in a shape that is also durable and long lasting.

If you want to give the Rodeo Ripper a try. We still have a few of Version 2 left in stock that we’re selling at half price. Under $10 for a twin set is a hard price to beat. Get ’em while they last!

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Staircase Center Fin

One of the biggest gaps in our fin lineup has been a lack of center fins. Today, I’m happy to announce we are making our first (of many) center fins! We’re making the Staircase shape as a center.

River Surf Fin - Staircase Step Center (Pink)

This center is great when used in combination with a twin set of Library Card or Rodeo fins. If a twin setup is a bit too loose for you, try adding a center Staircase Step to your setup.

River Surf Fin - Staircase Step Center (Pink)

You can purchase a single center fin, as well as thruster and quad setups of the Staircase Step. Check them out in our store!

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Colors!

If you’ve ever seen our fins, you know how much we love to make fins in sweet colors. While we might have gone overboard at first, we’ve decided to start offering the different fin colors in set colors.

colorful surf fins

So if you want to rock pink fins, you best be surfing a set of Staircase Fins!

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The 2016 Animas River Days

Look out world! We’re the latest (and arguably greatest) sponsor of the Animas River Days!

Animas River Days 2016

Located in Durango, Colorado, the Animas River Days pulls in spectators from not only Colorado, but Arizona, New Mexico and Utah as well! It’s going to be a great opportunity for us to get our fins in front of a large audience from the South West. The competitors found at this event are top notch from all over the US.

Animas River Days 2015 Surf Comp

In 2015 the SUP River Surf Competition at Animas River Days was epic. Its competitors were the best in the country and were pulling off tricks that had never been done before. This season, I’m certain there will be an even bigger turnout!

For all the non-river surfers, the rest of the event is also amazing. From live music, to food, to local brews, the Animas River Days has something for everyone. Be sure to catch the River Parade Viewing Party at 6pm on Saturday; it draws HUGE crowds to watch every manner of floating craft to run the rapids. It’s a hoot to watch!

Animas River Days 2015 Parade

We are extremely honored to be a part of the Animas River Days, and look forward to having a blast in Durango! If you’re interested in joining us as a sponsor of this great event, they are still looking for additional support. Click here to find out more info!

Hope to see you there!