Cobra’s Corner-Stories From a River Surfing Lawyer

 In Surf

Wayne “Cobra” Cohen is a good friend of Badfish SUP and our chieft legal counsel/business mentor. Cobra is a hard core river SUP paddler and a member of the Potomac Badfish Crew (PBC).  Cobra is going to be doing some guest blogging from time to time our site and here’s his first instalment. -Mike Harvey, Salida, CO

Paddle Boarding On The Potomac River

Thanks to Zack and Mike for setting up Cobra’s Corner.   For my first blog, let’s jump right into spreading the word about some legit river surfing in place you might not expect — just outside Washington, D.C.  The Potomac River runs through D.C., and separates Maryland and Virginia.  There’s a two mile stretch of the river that has about 7 features that come in and out of play depending on the levels.  Surprisingly, this is just about a half hour from the White House.  I must confess that I’ve never seen President Obama cranking carves on a wave.

The features on the Potomac River range from small to big, and they make paddle boarding on the Potomac River a great place.  The paddling scene is pretty new, but kayakers have been running the river for decades.  For smaller waves, the Potomac Badfish Crew has been stoked to paddle board on the Potomac River  with pretty much all of the boards – the River Surfer 6’11, the River Surfer 8’0, the MVP-S, and the MVP. Here’s a link to a Potomac River paddle boarding on a Badfish River Surfer 8’0 video.  This was shot at Virginia Chute, which is one of the smaller waves.  It’s a great place to learn how to carve.  It’s also a good spot to throw some tricks, like a shove-it.

There are also some bigger waves that are more technical.  One of these is Rocky Island wave, which comes in and out of play pretty much all year round, except for the summer. Rocky Island wave is one of the harder waves to paddle board on the Potomac River if you’re a goofy foot because the entry is blind.  But once you’re in, it’s pretty fun to carve.

The other nice thing about the Potomac River is that there’s a tow path and canal that parallels the river.  The canal is always flat and calm, and has no moving water whatsoever. It’s a great place to take a paddleboard lesson, and there are lots of outfitters who offer paddleboard lessons on the Potomac River.  Once a paddle board student gets the basics, then it becomes pretty east to step up to the moving water.

And what’s the sickest thing about paddle boarding on the Potomac River?  When it comes to boards, Badfish dominates the market.  I personally have a quiver of a River Surfer 6’11, River Surfer 8’0, MVP-S (with shark skin), and an MCIT.  I also have 2 new boards on order, a Badfish custom and the new 10’6.  But the reality is that the Potomac River has so many spots to paddle board that you need a full quiver.  Oh yeah, and we can paddle pretty much 365 days per year!

Kudos again to Mike and Zack for setting up this blog.  Feel free to hit me up at if you have any questions about paddle boarding on the Potomac River.  Be safe out there.

Cobra, Washington, D.C.

Cobra in his natural habitat…the Potomac River.


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