Boardworks SUP Tail Pad update on the 9.11 Joyride

Sometimes you just need a fresh new look to your board or need a little more grip and crank when stepping on the tail.  One of my favorite boards to surf when the waves are small – medium if the Boardworks Joyride.  Made for all around shredding, the Joyride has a ton of stability, a full deck pad, and a big nose thats great to nose ride and work on your cross stepping all over the board!  I decided to grab a fresh new Tail Pad from the crew at Boardworks and give the joyride a quick and easy upgrade for a little bit more grip in the tail when dropping into bigger waves, goofing around with tail spins, and a little more flair in the back!  IMG_5420

Here are some pics and a few quick and easy steps to updating any board out there with a new Boardworks Tail Pad…..

Step 1 – Visit and pick a new SUP tail pad.  They come in 3 colors and are a cheap and great upgrade at $34 bucks!

Step 2 –  Open that puppy up and lay it out on the board.  You want to visually line up the angles and pick the exact spot for shredding.

Fresh Tail Pad - Alignment

Fresh Tail Pad – Alignment

Step 3 – Grab a marker and trace the pad on the existing pad or bare board.   I chose to cut out the pad for an exact fit on the Joyride in order to keep the existing pad around the edges for more traction and to keep the look of the original design.

Step 4 – Remove the Pad and start cutting out the old pad.  You will need a sharp blade of some sort to scrape down to the epoxy layer.  Try and remove as much of the glue layer while pulling up the pad to make for less gunk removal later

Cut out

Cut out

Step 5 – Remove the entire old pad area. You will notice that there is some glue residue left over.  This is where the fun begins…..grab a few beers and prepare for some scraping

old pad gone

old pad gone

Step 6 – Using a razor blade and some Goo Gone, try and remove as much of the glue residue as possible.  The more you remove, the better the new pad will adhere to the deck.  You will notice that I left a little bit here and there, this is mostly due to my ADD and lack of more beer available…..I could also hear the waves breaking about a block away!

Goo Gone

Goo Gone

Step 7 – Once its nice and mostly residue free, give it a quick cleaning with some alcohol to prep the area for the new pad.

Alcohol clean

Alcohol clean

Step 8 – Apply the new pad one piece at a time, making sure to line it up correctly and even.  Make sure to keep air bubbles out of the pad as applying. Start at one end and slowly work it onto the board.

Applying new pad

Applying new pad

Step 9 –  Admire your new pad and go Shred!

Finished product

Finished product

Tail Pads are a Cheap, Easy, and Fun way to update your board and open the possibilities on the water.  Hope you enjoyed the pics and see you on the water!

Mike T

Boardworks Surf Eradicator – Race Board Review

Eradicator Surfing at SanO

Eradicator Surfing at SanO

Lets face it, there are a lot of SUP Race Boards out there at this point, and picking the right one can be a challenge.  There are boards designed for almost every specific race category out there and the choice can be a bit mind boggling sometimes.  So the question remains, which board is right for me?   While I might not have the definitive answer to that question, or be the most knowledgeable in the world of race boards, here are a few things that I look for and why I really enjoy paddling the Boardworks Eradicator.

I base most of my board judgement off of feeling on the water and how the board interacts with my body and paddle strokes.  I am not the fastest racer out there, so most of what I like in a race board is something that will paddle every type of condition very well and a board that I can use in every race throughout the year without questioning its ability.  Here are a few points that I like about the Eradicator

  • Smooth and simple outline – Low Rocker and Clean lines – the glide and feeling on the water of the Eradicator is super smooth and very fast! Because of its shape, it has very little nose wake and comes clean and smooth off the tail
  • Ample Volume and width for all conditions – 246/286 liters of volume is about enough to float most racers without compromising speed and stability.
  • Surfing Capability – Races are rarely flat and a lot have a surf component. The Eradicator holds its own in the surf and carves with ease!  One of the joys of owning a race board is surfing all the waves no one else can catch anyway.  I surf mine for fun regularly, which greatly improves your SUP skills.
  • Construction – Boardworks now offers 2 constructions in the Eradicator model which suits every type of racer.   Full Carbon construction, as well as Crypto-lite Carbon Innegra, which is a proprietary weave the takes a beating!
  • Graphics – Google the old Kids in the Hall skit and look up the Eradicator segement…..enough said.  Thanks Phil Rainey for putting that one in there!
  • Ease of Paddling – Lets face it, race boards are not only for racing, but for touring, fitness, or getting somewhere fastest and smoother than other flat hulled boards. The Eradicator is a great choice for anyone looking to take their paddling to the next level.

Enough reading….check out the latest product video on the Eradicator from the crew at Boardworks

Race Boards are meant to be smooth, fast, and fun.  The Boardworks Eradicator takes all that and puts it into a great looking package.   Plan, Prepare, and Eradicate!

For More info on the Boardworks Surf Eradicator click here Boardworks Homepage

Also make sure to follow Boardworks and myself on Facebook and Instagram – @Rivershred

Keep Eradicating and see you on the water!

Mike T

Team Boardworks Eradicating

Team Boardworks Eradicating

Sternwheeler Surfing the Columbia River Gorge!

Every year I am lucky enough to spend a few weeks in Hood River, Oregon around the time of the Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge.  Besides hosting one of the most fun and exciting sup races of the year, the gorge is home to an insane different options for paddling.  In one day you can paddle downwind, flatwater, whitewater, sternwheeler, and head to the coast if you are fast enough!   One of my favorite things to do is surf the sternwheeler!  Two years ago Dan Gavere introduced me to the sternwheeler and I have been hooked ever since.  This year after the gorge challenge, I posted up in Cascade Locks for a few days and got in as much sternwheeler surfing as I could.  I will let the video do the talking, but its never a dull moment surfing behind one of the greatest sternwheel boats in the country!


Lake Powell – A Self Support Adventure with Mike Tavares and Zack Hughes!

Dirty Devil Creek, Near Hite Marina Put in

Dirty Devil Creek, Near Hite Marina Put in

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear of Lake Powell? For most of us, and myself included up until this point, we think of power boats, house boats, bass fishing, spring break parties, and stunning southwest landscapes. While this is entirely most of what happens on lake Powell, Zack Hughes, Co owner and shaper of Badfish SUP, and myself set out to go against the grain and see Lake Powell in an entirely different light.  The trip that ensued was nothing short of epic and was an unforgettable journey through a place that still has plenty of magic amidst the chaos!

Zack Gearing up the Busito!

Zack Gearing up the Busito!

The trip was all the brainchild of Zack Hughes, who has had this vision ever since his first trip to Lake Powell. Zack has been to Powell on many occasions in boats and has always had the urge to self support the entire lake. I first heard of this trip last winter when Zack showed me some plans for a self support expedition board he was building in the shop. Zack has an incredible talent for board building and the unique and new designs he showed me immediately caught my attention.   A few months passed until I saw his custom lake powell board, “The Busito”, and my mind started racing to figure out how I could pull the trip off.

I cant remember exactly when I pulled the trigger, but I do remember calling Zack to tell him that I could join his trip and from then on, the thoughts of endless flat water and house boat parties was a constant background in my mind. In Theory, our trip was pretty simple. Paddle SUP’s across the entire lake from its source on the Colorado River to the Glen Canyon Dam. We would not use help from anyone on the trip unless we were in an emergency situation and we would carry all of our supplies for the trip in its entirety on our boards.   We weren’t the first paddlers to self support the lake, we weren’t trying to set any records, and we weren’t out there trying to prove anything. We simply wanted to set out on an adventure to challenge ourselves both physically and mentally, and thats exactly what we accomplished!


Gearing up for a long day on the lake!

Gearing up for a long day on the lake!

Having done a self support trip down the Grand Canyon in a 12 ft Whitewater Kayak a few years before this one, I had a rough idea of what to pack for a trip like this. I wanted to go light, but also pack enough to be comfortable and really enjoy myself. There is a fine line when packing for a self support trip, because you never know what you are going to encounter in a week away from society, but in the end, you get used to whatever you have on hand and really learn to adapt to your surroundings.  We settled on mostly pre packaged meals for ease of just boiling water in camp, which would allow for more time on the water. The hard part was figuring what else we could fit on our boards and how much weight we wanted to push for 150 miles of flat water. Sure you can do it ultra-light, but we settled on somewhere in between and brought lots of gear to make sure we always had what we needed. After all, it was lake Powell.

Boardworks Great Bear 14 with gear

Boardworks Great Bear 14 with gear

Give or take a few things, here is a quick run down of our gear list

  • Group Gear
    • Food – besides snacks and power bars
    • Tent and Tarp
    • Stove
    • Water filters
    • Break Down paddle
  • My Personal List
    • Boardshorts, a few tees, hoodie , rain jacket, beanie
    • Sleeping pad & Bag
    • Small folding camp chair
    • Small first aid and med kit
    • Lots of electrolyte drink mixes, shot blox, Energy Goo, and protein bars
    • Sunscreen & extra sunglasses
    • Trucker hat
    • 3 Go Pro’s
    • IPhone – for photos and emergency calls and music
    • 2- Goal Zero solar panels for charging our camera
    • Watershed Drybags for everything
    • Vest Pack – Hydration and front pouch for camera
    • Extra Fin – FCS Slater Trout
    • PFD – Type 5, not the waist pack inflatable
    • Rail tape & gorilla tape
    • Small kitchens supplies & Lighter
    • Boardworks Great Bear 14, FCS Weed Fin, 2 extra sets of deck bungies
  • Extras
    • Zack had full fishing set up – for slaying striper’s
    • Small grill top
Badfish Busito loaded down

Badfish Busito loaded down

When we met the night before the launch date at the takeout,   I quickly realized that I probably should have been doing some test packing and paddling with the board at weight, but at that point it didn’t matter. Zack had been doing a pretty good amount of training with about 70 pounds of weight on the Busito, but I had been traveling and racing the previous few weeks, so couldn’t squeeze in much specific distance training. The next morning I threw everything but the kitchen sink in the truck destine for the put in, parked the RV at the Boat ramp in hopes that it would be there when we arrived, and away we went.   On the 5 hour shuttle ride to the put in, our excitement grew and all we knew was that we were going to arrive back at the Wahweap Campground and Marina in 7-10 days. We made some last minute emergency plans with Zack’s wife Susan, then her and Shred dog dropped us off just upstream of the old Hite Marina on the Colorado River. As they drove away I saw a strange look in Shred Dogs eyes, as if he was wondering what in the world are those two guys doing with all the stuff on Paddleboards. This look wasn’t far off the looks we got over the next week as we passed hundreds, if not thousands of boaters on the lake.

Shred dog wishing me good luck at the put in!

Shred dog wishing me good luck at the put in!

Day 1

As the Car drove away, an amazing feeling came over me. My brain switched into some sort of strange survival mode and all that mattered anymore was making it to the take out sometime in the next 10 days. All we needed to do was paddle, eat, drink, and sleep to survive on the lake!

We wanted to put in as far upstream as possible on the lake in order to technically paddle the whole thing, and we achieved much more than that. The Hite Marina site at the far northeast corner of the lake is a sad relic of when the lake was at full capacity and it now rests several hundred feet up the sandy banks of the Colorado. Its sort of a creepy ghost marina with a few old house boats, motorboats, and a ranger station overlooking the muddy Colorado river. Instead of carrying our gear across the sand bar to the river, we found the new take out/put in across the river that services boaters coming down Cataract Canyon in rafts and kayaks and the adventurous Bass boater that wants to be as far away from everything on the lake.

When we put in, the lake was so low that the river was still flowing at a pretty decent rate down towards its slow death in the lake and we were stoked to get some serious help on the first 5-7 miles. As the first few miles melted away, we slipped into an amazing desert landscape that got bigger at every stroke. The boards were heavy, the temperature was hot as hell, and the water was at a perfect 73 degrees.

We figured that we would set a goal of around 20 miles a days, which would put us reaching the take out in about 7 days.   Even with launching around 4pm the first day, the downstream flow on the Colorado and our abundant energy gave us a killer half-day putting us a good ways down the canyon at mile marker 128 for the night.

It was both intriguing and sad to paddle a once free flowing river as it began to back up into a man made lake. Before our eyes, the Colorado River slowed, the sediment began to drop out, and the clear water and canyon walls of Lake Powell began to form.   From that point on, we knew we weren’t going to get any more help from Mother Nature. There were more than a few memorable things about the first day on Powell.!

  • Zack slaying stripers as they boiled to the surface, litteraly catching a good size fish on the very first cast of the trip and many there after
  • Not seeing a single boat until about 10 minutes before we started looking for a campsite
  • Realizing that the upper stretches of Lake Powell are pretty remote and seem to only be traveled by committed fisherman or house boaters looking to literally hide away from everything.
  • Almost breaking my fin coming into camp after dark then almost stepping on a snake in the first few minutes!

We found a rad little rocky ledge to sleep on for the night and fell asleep to a good size fire and dreams of flat water to come!

Zack day one

Zack enjoying the evening glass


Striper Slayer Zack Hughes


First Cast of the trip, no lie


Zack a few hundred yards downstream of the put-in

Day 2

We knew we were going to start off the day with a challenge, having to paddle across some big bays that were the most open sections on the upper half of the lake. So in true Mike T fashion, we started paddling at the crack of 10. We were actually up much earlier, but soaked up the sun in camp for a while, enjoying a fire and a leisurely breakfast. We also greatly underestimated the speed at which my water filter would pump fresh water for the day and it took me most of an hour to get enough water for the all day paddle. At any rate, we set off into an immediate head wind across an endless expanse for the next few hours. As we neared the end of the good hope bay, we saw the walls start to gorge up again and we new we would have less windy and open conditions ahead.

For the next 10 miles or so, the canyon walls were huge and the conditions were somewhat favorable. We set our sights on Knowles Canyon for camp at mile marker 107 and put down some miles before taking a short 4-mile detour into Warm Springs Canyon to see some amazing overhanging walls. We paddled past Tapestry Wall, a massive sheer cliff wall before seeing the entry to Knowles canyon.

As we neared camp or the night, the clouds grew dark, the wind picked up, and things started to look grim for a relaxing night at camp.   As we rounded the cliffs coming into the canyon, one of the strangest weather vortex’ I have ever paddled in took place. We were litteraly sucked from the main channel into the canyon with crazy tailwinds and 2-3 waves that we surfed for about a half mile into the canyon. It was a nice push to another amazing rock ledge camp tucked in a corner surrounded by 100ft walls. We hunkered down a tarp on the ledge and enjoyed another amazing night in the desert.

Mike Tavares camp lake powell

First nights Camp was slightly epic! Sleeping beside the Boardworks Surf Great Bear

Mike Tavares lake powell

Morning Selfie at Camp 1

Mike Tavares Good Hope Bay Lake Powell

Good Hope Bay

Mike Tavares Lake Powell

Cooling off after Good Hope Bay

Mike Tavares Lake Powell lunch spot

Lunch Time on Lake Powell

Mike Tavares Zack Hughes Warm Springs canyon

Warm Springs Canyon

Mike Tavares Warm Springs Canyon Lake Powell

Soaking in the view in Warm Springs Canyon


Zack Hughes Tapestry Wall

Zack in search of Stripers against Tapestry Wall

Mike Tavares Zack Hughes Lake powell

Epic Campsite # 2


Day 3

 Our third day on the lake was a great day with favorable conditions paddling through rock canyons most of the day, which led us to Halls Crossing Marina, a remote Marina at mile marker 94 across the bay from Bullfrog Marina. Both are fairly out there in the middle of nowhere, but are still complete with Houseboats as far as you can see and a full service marina with a general store and junk food stand. We took a short break at the marina to grab a snack, mingle with the locals, lay out the solar panels, and plan the rest of the day down into another remote stretch of the lake. One of the first things we heard when we set foot on the docks was the buzz about an impending storm that was supposed to bring up to 4 inches of rain, flash floods, and possible destruction to the canyon.

After hearing the good news we chocked down a quick chilly cheese dog from the carney stand that fed the hungry power boaters and headed down canyon in search of a campsite where we could minimize our risk of being carried away by a flash flood.

After a few miles, the clouds were looking dark and we quickly found the first beach with minimal flash flood danger, built a serious tarp shelter for the night and enjoyed the last bit of calm before the storm.

Quickly after dark, we hunkered down under the tarp as the strom encroached on our beach and tried to sleep as we were prayed our tarp would hold under the storm.

Mike Tavares Lake Powell

Selfie Break


Mike Tavares rock Lake Powell

Trying to find some shade on lake powell isn’t easy !

Mike Tavares Zack Hughes Lake Powell

First small side Canyon

Mike Tavares Slot Canyon Lake Powell

Exploring slot canyons!

Mike Tavares Zack Hughes Slot Canyon

Slot Canyon Selfie #slotcanyonselfie

Mike Tavares Houseboat Lake Powell

My favorite House Boat on the lake Tropical Heat!

Mike Tavares, Zack Hughes Lake Powell

Hunkering down before the storm! Epic Camp #3


Day 4

 As we awoke on day 4, the rain and wind continued to pound. We both lay under the tarp, exhausted from 3 days of paddling our heavy boards against conditions. Zack and I looked at each other and agreed that this could be a rough day of paddling if these conditions exist. So we waited out the rain for a bit and decided to break camp when the storm let up a bit. After some serious moments of doubt, the rain subsided and we had our chance to break down camp and load up for the day.

The first things that we noticed when we started packing were some small flash floods across the canyon streaming hundreds of feet down the sheer walls. We heard another medium sized flash flood come barreling down canyon about a mile downstream and we could barely see it in the distance, but we had no idea we were about to see, an amazing spectacle directly across from our beach.

About 45 minutes after the rain stopped, we were having some coffee on the beach getting our plans in order for the day. I started to hear what sounded like a train barreling towards us and directly in my field of vision across the lake, a massive flash flood shot out of a V crack canyon about 20-30 feet up the canyon wall.   We stood in awe as the water exploded into the lake and decided we had to paddle over and check it out for some photos.   We got up close and personal with the flash flood and stood on the lake as close as we could while being safe and admired the sheer force of nature.   As we paddled back over the camp, we both decided that we might never see anything like that happen again. It was perfect timing and chance.

The rest of the day was filled with ups and downs as we paddled through massive rain storms, witnessed 30 waterfalls coming off the cliffs at once, finally ending in a nice sunny mild downwind paddle to one of the best and remote camps we found on the entire trip. We found camp at mile 72 on an amazing rock ledge with no one in sight or sound on the inside of a massive gooseneck bend in the lake.

Mike Tavares, Zack Hughes Flash Flood Lake Powell

Flash Flood Warning!!

Mike Tavares, Zack Hughes Lake Powell

Getting up close and personal after the rain!

Mike Tavares SUP Flash flood Lake powell

One Last flash flood selfie!

Mike Tavares SUP

Feeling small on Lake Powell

Zack Hughes SUP

Zack under one of the hundred waterfalls that day!

Mike Tavares SUP

Enjoying the Rain on Lake Powell

Mike Tavares, Zack Hughes SUP

Another Rad flash drainage!

Mike Tavares SUP Lake Powell

I wonder how this hole got here?

Mike Tavares, Zack Hughes Waterfall

More Waterfalls!!


Mike Tavares, Zack Hughes SUP

After the storm broke, we were slightly excited!

Mike Tavares SUP

One more gratuitous Lake Powell Waterfall shot!

 Day 5

 Our campsite was so rad that I think we literally sat around drinking coffee and packing until about 1030. We were greeted about 9 am by some park rangers wondering if we were the missing kayakers that they were looking for. We chatted for a minute or two, and then they blazed away in search of 2 overdue kayakers that we later found out were safe.

The paddling on day 5 was pretty favorable with light head winds most of the day as we padded past Escalante river, as well as the san Juan arm. Both were begging to be explored, but we kept on cruising down the main channel.

Somewhere around mile marker 59 we were flagged down by 2 speed boats which turned out to be some of the most friendly lake boaters we ran into. They wanted to know what in the world we were doing and just say hello.   We ended up having a non-negotiable Michelob Ultra, which was instigated by the women on the boat, talked for a bit more, then set back off grinding away on the flats.

On a side note, it was amazing to see the expressions on peoples faces on the lake when we told them that we were paddling across the entire lake. At first they were shocked, then intrigued about how and why we were doing it. One of the most fun things about the trip for me was the encounters we had with other people on the lake.

After some more grinding, we found a nice little rock outcrop at mile marker 48 that was plenty suitable for our exhaustive state. The moon was so bright that night, I had to sleep with something covering my eyes.

On another side note, we had big plans to paddle at night since the moon was full on almost all of our nights in the canyon. After almost crawling into camp every night, and greatly underestimating the amount of energy we would blow during the day, we weren’t able to muster enough to do any paddling at night.

Mike Tavares, Zack Hughes Camping on lake powell

Epic Camp #4

Mike Tavares, Zack Hughes Lake Powell

Me sleeping in and missing the epic sunrise at camp 4

Mike Tavares Lake Powell

New Friends with Beer! Liquid Motivation!

Mike Tavares SUP camp Lake Powell

Epic Camp #5


 Day 6

Day 6 was another glorious morning in camp drining coffee, roasting ham and spam, and avoided paddling for as long as we could. Much to our dismay as soon as we hit the water we were greeted by a fierce headwind.   After grinding away for a few hours, we decided we would wait out the wind at the Dangling rope marina around mile marker 42.

Dangling Rope Marina is by far the most unique marina I have ever seen . It’s only accessible by boat or emergency helicopter. It’s in the middle of nowhere and its rad.   We wasted a few hours of the wind sitting on the docks watching tourist offload boat after boat in search of ice cream, chilly dogs, and beer. It was entertaining to say the least and we even met a few folks from Colorado that were stand up paddlers.

When we exited the marina back onto the main channel we were greeting with amazing conditions that led us down to mile marker 23 at dark, setting us up nicely for a short finish the next day at Wahweap.

Zack Hughes Badfish Breakfast

Zack making breakfast, which we promptly fed to the carp!

Badfish Breakfast

Badfish Breakfast

Mike Tavares Dangling Rope Marina

Dangling Rope Marina, water access only!

Mike Tavares, Zack Hughes evening glass

Finally some glass!


Zack on the Busito!

Mike Tavares, Zack Hughes lake powell

The views were horrible on Lake Powell


More Ugly Views on the lake


In Search of Epic Camp #6


Day 7

 After getting down past mile marker 50 we noticed a huge increase in the boat traffic on lake. There were hundreds of boats coming up from Antelope and Wahweah maraina. So at no surprise the last 23 miles into the Glen Canyon Dam were packed with boats. The last 15 Miles to the dam sports amazing cliffs in a tight canyon that provided a scenic finish to the journey.   The boat wake was 2-3ft most of the way, which occasionally gave us some nice glides toward the finish!

Reaching Antalope Marina 4 miles from the dam was a spectacle to say the least. Some of the largest houseboats known to man and speed boats galore. We took a quick water break on the docks and watched the massive yachts come in and out. After being on the lake for 6 days, it was as if we were entering another universe.

Mike Tavares Chicken wing lake Powell

Chicken Wing delivery on lake Powell!


Small boats on the lake!

The last 4 miles to the dam was pretty peaceful, hot, and flat. It was as if the lake was welcoming us home to the end of our journey! We pulled up to the dam, celebrated with a few selfies, congratulated each other, and headed for the RV.   It was truly a surreal feeling as we pulled into the marina and hoped into the RV. It was as if the trip was dream and we were not sure what to do next.

We completed the Trip in 6 full days.   5 full days of paddling and 2 half days. We paddled roughly 150 with more than likely a few extra tacked on there in side canyons and zig zagging our way back and forth across the canyon.   We started the trip at 4pm and finished at the exact same time 6 days later. Our bodies were beat, broken, tired, but our spirits were high and we were in awe of what we had just accomplished.

Both Zack and I had figured we would make it in 7-8 days given the variable conditions we encountered and the amount of weight we were pushing on our boards. We couldn’t believe that we made it in 6 days.  While having a few celebratory beers at the RV Campground, we started talking about the next self support journey to come.  This one got the ideas flowing and there will no doubt be an even more epic journey soon to come!

Mike Tavares, Zack Hughes Glen Canyon Dam

The End, Glen Canyon Dam!

Mike Tavares Wahweap Marina

Boat Ramp at Wahweap Marina!


Overall, Lake Powell was an amazing journey.  One filled with pain, joy, and much reward.  The landscape was more beautiful than I can possibly describe and amidst a lawless lake filled with houseboats, fisherman, party barges, and american tradition, we were able to find a true wilderness experience.  Wilderness can be found anywhere and is as much about your perspective as it is about your surroundings.  We fought the elements, paddled till our bodies could paddle no more, had more than a few moments of doubt, found amazing remoteness on a man made lake,  inspired people along the way, and had an unforgettable trip between 2 friends.  Thanks Lake Powell!!

Stay tuned for more trips, reports, videos, and photos,

See you on the water,

Mike T.

SUP Surfing Big Sur Wave on the Badfish 6.11 River Surfers!

Badfish SUP Big Sur, Mike Tavares

The Rare and elusive Big Sur River wave has been in and the Badfish SUP crew has been out in full force!  The Big Sur wave is one of those waves that only shows its face every high water year in Colorado and has only been in twice in the last 10 years or so, maybe longer than that.  The wave is about as good as it gets for river surfing in Colorado!  Its about 100 yards wide with a big waist high glassy section on river left, then fills in with a nice fluffy foam pile until you get to the most perfect pocket left on river right that you can have.   Literally, all day surfing can be accomplished here and you can hack as many left turns on the shoulder until you can go no more.   Once the crowd left for the day, I was able to surf for about 20 minutes on the left shoulder and snap about 50 frontside turns in a row!   Unreal!  The Badfish River Surfers by Boardworks Surf have been working amazing on the big sur wave and all the rest of the giant & small river waves around the country right now!  The combination of volume, river specific design, and Badfish innovation, has proven itself on the river.   While you can surf just about any board you want on this wave, only the Badfish boards have been nailing tricks one after another with style!

Get out there before its gone and check out the teaser video below from the first day or river surfing on Big Sur.   The Badfish Crew is headed back out next week, so stay tuned for some new tricks and river shredding on one of the best river waves in the country!

See you on the river,

Mike Tavares


Sternwheel Surfing with Mike Tavares

Sternwheel mike tavares

A couple of years ago the stern wheel master himself, Dan Gavere, introduced me to the world of stern wheeling in the columbia river gorge and I have been hooked ever since.  Only a few times a year do i get the pleasure of surfing a stern wheel boat that actually has a ridable wave, but when i do, its amazing.  Riding these waves is actually much harder than it looks, which is probably why it is seldom done on a sup.  I will let the video speak for itself on this one and I can’t wait to get back to the Columbia River Gorge and hit this again in August!

This video is of myself and the Sternwheel Master Dan Gavere from last summer.  My personal record surf was about an hour and 45 minutes of straight shredding, which is just shy of what Dan has done out there.  I think he holds the record for Sternwheel shredding!



SUP Surfing Surf City, NC with Chris Hill (Chill) – Team Boardworks

Mike Tavares & Chris Hill Team Boardworks

A few weeks back,  I had the Chance to catch up with Team Boardworks paddler Chris Hill aka “Chill” in Surf City, NC.  Chris is one of the best paddlers around and is well know from coast to coast for paddling in all forms! It doesn’t take long to see why Chris has the reputation he does.  I watched him catch wave after wave and destroy them all!  Chris has a killer style that is a mix of longboard style and finesse, with the ripping power of short boarding.

Mike Tavares Chris Hill

It was great to surf Chris’ home break “North Carolina Secret Spot” with him and check out the mellow and hometown feel of the area.  Besides being a ripping surfer and an all around great guy, Chris and his wife own a paddling shop within walking distance of both the ocean and the sound called Ohana Paddle Sports.  Its a fully stocked shop with any paddling toys you could possible need on the island.   They have a full quiver of surf, race, prone, all-around, and everything in between boards and gear to get you going.  They are have an insane amount of knowledge about the area and can steer you in the right direction for any type of paddling adventure you are looking for!  If your in the area, stopping in the shop is a must before you hit the water.

Ohana Paddle Sports

I really lucked out with timing on this trip.  I had been down in Charlston, SC for a race the previous weekend and the entire week was filled with rain, wind, and cold weather.   As soon as I hit Topsail, the weather broke and the head high clean surf was pumping all afternoon and into the next morning.   I met up with Chris, caught up for a little bit while we suited up, and hit the water for a glorious 4 hour session.  Here are some shots of Chris and I surfing the secret spot on his home turf.   Chris was crushing the waves on the Slater Trout 10.0 by Boardworks as well as a custom Phoenix model by Infinity and  I was surfing the Boardworks 7.10 Mini Mod.

Mike Tavares Surf City, NC Mike Tavares Surf City Mike Tavares Topsail, NC Mike Tavares Chris Hill Slater Trout 10.0 Chris Hill Barrel Mike Tavares Mike Tavares Mini Mod Boardworks FCS SUP Chris Hill NoseRide Chris Hill Lining up Chris Hill NoseRide Mike Tavares Chris Hill

If you are ever get a chance to surf Topsail Island, NC, you will be pleasantly surprised and make sure to stop by Ohana Paddle Sports for all your paddling needs and to meet the friendliest locals in the industry!

See you on the water,

Mike T

Sup Surfing southern California with Laurel!

Mike Tavares and Laurel Terramar

After spending what seemed like an eternity apart from one another, Laurel Douglas, my amazing girlfriend, hopped on a plane from Snowy Crested Butte, CO and set sail for sunny San Diego!   For those of you not familiar with Crested Butte, CO, its a tiny little mountain town at around 9,000 ft in the middle of Colorado.  It’s a great location for skiing, mountain biking, climbing, mountaineering, and anything related to the mountains.  Its the kind of place where everyone knows each other, no one locks their cars or houses, dogs run free in the streets, and ski bums are a dime a dozen.   Pretty much the exact opposite of southern california!

Mike Tavares and Laurel

After I picked her up at the airport in San Diego, Laurel got a warm welcome to SoCal with lovely Midnight traffic on the 5 and a trip to In & Out Burger!  The next morning, we loaded up on Demo SUP boards from the Boardworks warehouse and set out to get some much needed ocean time for her.

Laurel surf 1

Laurel is an amazing athlete no matter what sport she is getting into.  She spends most of the winter on the snow in crested butte skiing in all different forms.  She is a very skilled skate/cross country skier, as well as downhill and tellemark skier.   She has been getting into the sport of SUP over the past few years and has done a little bit of everything in the water.  She has a background in whitewater, so immediately go into whitewater sup, as well as racing and surfing.  Her very first long race on a sup was the 10 mile distance race at the 2013 BOP.  So needless to say, she doesn’t mess around!

Our first surf stop was in Carlsbad, where we found a less crowded break on a nice sunny day.   Here are some photos of her on the Boardworks Kraken and myself paddling the Boardworks Joyride!

Mike Tavares and Laurel Party wave

Mike Tavares and laurel Sirena and Kraken

The boardworks Kraken and Joyride are some of our favorite boards this year, and do a little bit of everything great.  Here is a great review from a fellow team paddler Norm Hahn about the Boardworks Kraken!  This is Laurel’s do everything board!

Since Laurel had never been to San Onofre State Beach before, i decided the smart move would be to head down and catch a few days at SanO soaking up the sun and surfing the segregated SUP break!   We rallied over to SanO for a few days and enjoyed every minute of it.   Nothing better than parking the RV on the beach and setting up shop for the day.   Our SanO days were filled with friendly SUP surfers, party waves, lots of after SUPing drinks, wild shred dog on the loose at the Nuclear plant, and a slight paranoia of great white sharks!  Here are some great memory shots from SanO…

Mike Tavares and Laurel Paddling out

Party Wave 2

Mike Tavares Laurel Douglas sky shot

Mike Tavares & Laurel Party wave

Mike Tavares and Laurel Douglas double surf

Laurel Douglas unwinding at SanO

Laurel and Mike Tavares

Laurel and shred dog

Laurel’s board of Choice for SanO was the Boardworks Sirena 9.11, which is a greast all around women’s board! More info on the Boardworks Sirena can be found here.

After leaving SanO, we headed back up to Oceanside and Carlsbad to catch back up with the Boardworks Surf crew for a few more days of surf in North County San Diego, before Laurel headed back into the frozen land of Colorado.   Our last day in the water together was one of the best.  I saw Laurel catch some of her best waves of the trip and it was hard to leave the water that day.

Mike Tavares and Laurel Douglas

Laurel Douglas Mike Tavares

Laurel Douglas surfing Terramar

In all, it was an amazing trip filled with warm sun, great waves, great friends, and best of all, Laurel!  Check back this spring for an update from our next adventure together in the wonderful land of Florida!

For more information about the boards, paddles, and accessories we used on this trip, visit Boardworks Surf!  

See you on the water,

Mike Tavares