See Ya 2018!

 In Adventures
Some of the Badfish team at the Westwater put-in on the Colorado River. Photo: Heather Jackson

2018 may not have been a big runoff year for our home state of Colorado but it was a BIG year for us as a company. This year was the beginning of a new chapter for Badfish. In January of 2018 we went off on our own and became an entirely independent entity. We’ve been growing slowly with the three owners running day to day operations of the company and a few key team riders and friends growing into bigger roles. We’re small and each one of us wears many different hats. However we’ve now got all the freedom we need to ensure Badfish is the embodiment of what it was always meant to be since the day Zack shaped his first surfboard in his garage in Salida, CO.

Mike T, Miles, BP, and Christian cruising down the Shoshone section of the Colorado. Photo: Heather Jackson

As we reflect on this year, we first have to acknowledge our appreciation for those that represent Badfish and the Badfish lifestyle. Excuse us for a minute while we brag about our team riders like beaming proud parents. As we endure the growing pains of a small business we have received nothing but support from the team.

It’s not only our brand the team cares about, it’s the overall health and future of the sport of stand up paddling and river surfing. They break through barriers doing the unthinkable on a stand up paddle board. They spend much of their time teaching others, shaping the future of the sport of SUP and river surfing. They take time out of their own sessions to help others and they aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in.

Trey Knight teaching river surfing on the Arkansas River at CKS Paddlefest. Photo: Heather Jackson
BP teaching river surfing at the Campout for the Cause event. Photo: Heather Jackson

Although the evolution will never stop, we’re extremely proud of where we’ve landed with our current board designs. With R&D beginning in the early 2000’s in Zack’s garage, Zack has had a lot of time to tweak our shapes to reach a high level of performance. We introduced a new line of boards this year, as well as improvements on some of the classics like the River Surfer and IRS. We’ve tapped back into our roots by bringing shortboards for river surfing into our line-up like the SK8 and iSK8. We’re constantly out there testing and thinking of ways we can make our designs even better. We are grateful for all the feedback we have received over the years from our team and our customers, pushing us to be the best we can be.

Bradley Hilton leading his first Camp Japan experience. Photo: Zach Mahone
Shannon Thomas at the start line of our first ever Skills for Bills competition at the Fibark Colorado SUP Championships in Salida. Photo: Anna Sees Photography

We’ve spent a lot of time thinking and talking this year about what it truly means to be Badfish. We may have gone through many changes, but there are some things that remain the same. And that’s our dedication to maintaining our authenticity and preserving the culture of the sport while remaining open minded to innovation and new ideas. Being Badfish is never fearing change or evolution. It is thinking outside the box and creating or doing something that raises eyebrows and inspires criticism from those stuck in their ways. But most importantly it’s about community and inclusiveness, sharing our passion with others.

Which brings us to our biggest thank you…thank you! Thank you to all of our customers, our retailer partners and people we have met out on the water over the past year. Without your support none of this would be possible. We’ve worked hard through this transition to keep a laser focus on our customers and providing not just world class boards…but world class customer service. So as we roll into 2019 please let us wish you a Happy New Year and we can’t wait to see you on the water!

Mike T, Bradley Hilton, and Zack Hughes taking advantage of the tailwind on their 150 self-support trip on the Colorado from Hoover to Parker Dam
Spencer Lacy's raft and SUP self support trip on the Alsek River in Alaska.
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