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It’s hard to know when a river wave is going to be good. Without sites like Surfline and a general lack of quality web cams, often times you have to make an educated guess on whether a wave is worth surfing. With your help, the River Surf Report aims to take the guesswork out of surfing river waves!

River Surf Report Screenshot

Most waves have a known general flow that they work best with. For example, Glenwood Springs is surfable from 2,000 CFS all the way up to 20,000+. While there are plenty of sites and apps that will tell you the current flow of Glenwood Springs, it’s often a bit trickier to know how good the wave is and what types of boards will surf well. The traditional approach is to “just go”… and bring a quiver of boards.

The River Surf Report will solve this problem by providing photos of river waves at (eventually) every level. If Glenwood is flowing at 10,000 CFS, you can pull up the app and it will show you what the wave looks like at 10,000 CFS! No more guesswork.

River Surf Report Screenshot

Beyond telling you what the waves look like currently, you’ll be able to browse what they look like at different levels (or even times of the year). If you see a level that looks good in the photos, you can have the app notify you when the flow reaches the level that you want to surf! If you’re wanting to plan a trip to a distant river wave, the app will show you the times of year that are statistically most likely to have the shape of wave you want to surf!

Sounds good doesn’t it? How it works is pretty simple. The premise is based on the fact that river waves are predictable. Let’s say the wave you want to surf is currently flowing at 1,000 CFS, chances are it will look the same as the last time the flow was at 1,000 CFS. The wave will often change slowly over time, or sometimes before or after peak flows for the season (both things that the River Surf Report will factor in), but generally they stay the same. So if there is a photo of the wave you’re interested in at 1,000 CFS, then there is a pretty good chance that the current flow of 1,000 CFS will look the same as the previous photo.

River Surf Report Screenshot

Where do the photos come from? This is where you come in. I need everyone’s help with creating reports of your local surf spots! By uploading photos of your local wave with accurate flows, we will begin to build a database mapping flows to wave photos. Any work and contributions by individuals will not go unrewarded. Some of the future features of the River Surf Report will either require a paid subscription or require you to have been contributor of reports with photos. Things like notifications, and predictive flow analytics will likely be examples of these types of features.

River Surf Report Screenshot

Sound interesting? Want to get involved? The River Surf Report app currently runs on iPhones and is in beta. If you are interested in getting early access to the app, starting to upload your own reports, helping me hunt down bugs, and suggesting killer features… fill out this form to get access! If you want to wait for the production version, it should be on the app store later this year!

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Written by | Benjamin

Benjamin Smith is a land locked surfer living in Colorado. He gets his surfing fix on the local rivers, where he SUP surfs standing waves.

3 Comments

  1. David Riordon

    September 20, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Shred it broooooo. Let me beta it!!!!

    • Vanessa taylor

      September 20, 2017 at 10:25 pm

      Ben, thank you so much, on behalf of all of us river shredders, to move us in this phenomenal direction of being able to pin point non local waves. Amazing concept, and one that needed to happen. Can’t thank you enough for your web site and all you dofor the river surfing communities! I’ll take some photos of dgo soon, but I can assure u there is nothing surfable happening down here right now. We’re headed to Denver and now I can scope it all out and decide if it’s worth it.

  2. Vanessa taylor

    September 20, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Ben, thank you so much, on behalf of all of us river shredders, to move us in this phenomenal direction of being able to pin point non local waves. Amazing concept, and one that needed to happen. Can’t thank you enough for your web site and all you dofor the river surfing communities! I’ll take some photos of dgo soon, but I can assure u there is nothing surfable happening down here right now. We’re headed to Denver and now I can scope it all out and decide if it’s worth it.

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