Sometimes the best things don’t start with a plan.
From the jungles of Honduras to the Sierra Nevada to the backyard classics on the Arkansas River in Colorado, Zack Hughes and Mike Harvey had kayaked all over the world together by the time they both settled down in Salida, Colorado, in the mid-2000s to raise their families. Mike was designing whitewater parks throughout North America and saw the possibilities for surfing rivers in a new way. Meanwhile, Zack had been tinkering with ideas for a river surfing board in Salida, shaping short river boards in his garage out of blue board home insulation. In the summer of 2009, Mike tried a paddleboard on the Arkansas for the first time and immediately saw the potential for a SUP to surf a river wave. He walked over to Zack’s garage shaping bay a few blocks away, asked Zack to make him an SUP board specifically for river surfing — and Badfish was born. The creativity and innovation central to Mike and Zack’s partnership has remained the backbone of the Badfish Brand.