River surfing brings ocean sport to Colorado

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DENVER -- Colorado offers adventure seekers so many different outdoor opportunities.

"Mountain biking, white water rafting, just lots of great outdoor things," said Andrea Altman.

"Definitely the mountains hiking in the mountains," added Tori Wright.

But those rippling rivers also create tranquility for some. Wright said she loves to "Just feel the earth and listen to the water just kind of be in touch with nature and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city."

Dan Setzke first felt that moment of quiet on the ocean, etching waves with a surfboard. "It kinda gave me that peace and serenity and solitude."

After moving back to Colorado from New Jersey, he wanted to recreate those moments of peace. "I am what you call a land-locked surfer." So with a little imagination and a board, he hit the river. "It’s definitely a lot different feeling,” he said.

He’s surfing the river as the water rolls over the rocks. "Since your plaining against the water it's a different feeling whereas when you`re surfing the ocean you`re being pushed by the line."

Setzke is pushed by his own motivation.

"The first time I tried it was about 5 years ago in Glenwood Springs,” he said. “Essentially just got my butt kicked."

Now at age 40, he’s slicing river waves in spots across the state, including locations on the Platte. “Really if you have a board that`s big enough and you have a little wave,  you can just jump right in and surf it."

While Coloradans might not see many trucks hauling surfboards around right now, Setzke said he’s hoping to shape the market with his unique take on thrill-seeking peace.

"I think surfing exists in Colorado. I don`t think there is any question of it, I just think this is kind of a new form or a different way."

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