This week the planets finally aligned and I had the privilege to surf a beautiful wave on the Gauley river called Diagonal Ledges. The gauges were calling for the perfect cubic feet per second (3500 cfs) and my mentor Pete Iscaro from Aquaholic Apparel was available to lead the charge.
Pete Iscaro checking to see if Lower Mash rapid could be a go. Everything looked clean except one missed move would push the paddler into “Nutcracker” so we decided to focus on the destination and keep our bodies and board fins in-tact.
Reaching the wave requires some serious logistics. One hour of traveling requiring four-wheel drive. A 1.5 mile downriver class 2-4 paddle and a one hour hike back to the truck.
The Badfish MVP 7’6″ with shark skin was the obvious choice for the day. The board proved to be the perfect combination of river running and surfing capabilities, durability, carrying cargo, and the “liftsup” carry handle for portaging and the hike back. The other important accessory was the Badfish releash (shown in the picture in safety orange). The releash allows for staying with your board during a swim or an instant separation from your board if it catches on a rock or obstacle.
It was a day I hope to repeat very soon. The fast dynamic ocean like wave made the logistics well worth it. Endless carves and effortless eddy access made for complete exhaustion, saving only enough energy for the long trek back to the truck. A special thanks to Pete Iscaro and Aquaholic Apparel for showing me the SUP lines and photography, Ian Smith for IT support, and Boardworks and Badfish for producing an amazing river and surfing machine. The Badfish MVP-s. I hope to see everyone on the river soon!! Randy