Surfing and Colorado aren’t usually associated with each other, but recently, a phenomenon in the Colorado River has given people the opportunity to surf the “Big Sur.”

Longboarders, stand-up paddlers and kayakers travel from near and far to experience the natural surprise for themselves.

“Everyone travels from all over the state, even the country, come to surf this wave because we rarely have a chance to even surf it,” Brittany Parker, a Big Sur surfer, said.

The Big Sur is a natural phenomenon that appears in the Colorado River every so often. It is a standing wave formed by rising tides and excessive runoff that makes the rapids in the part of the river running through Debeque, Co. form a standing wave that surfers can ride.


A paddle-surfer uses his GoPro to catch a shot of him surfing the “Big Sur” in Colorado.

In the case of normal waves in the ocean, waves move towards the shore. What’s different about surfing in the river is that the wave stands still as the water moves past quickly. The shape of the river bottom and the rocks, along with the higher water levels and fast-running water, is what make the Big Sur appear.

The wave is a temporary and rare occurrence that only happens under the right conditions. So if you’re headed out to Colorado anytime soon, be sure to check it out before it’s too late, or just take a look at this cool video from CNN of people enjoying what the Big Sur has to offer.