The Future of SUP | Miles Harvey

Photo courtesy of Miles Harvey.

Grom Spotlight | Miles Harvey

This originally appeared in our 2017 Spring Youth Issue as part of The Future of SUP feature which highlighted seven of the top groms in standup paddling. 
Age: 15
Hometown: Salida, CO

Miles Harvey is the face of youth river surfing. His father, Mike, a whitewater park designer and one of the founders of Badfish SUP, had Miles on the front of his kayak when he was two. Miles got his own kayak when he was four. So when Mike got into SUP, it was only a matter of time before Miles caught on. In 2016, he took out the four-stop Colorado River Surfing Championship against the men. “The problem is he got better than me when he was 12,” Mike says. “I just want to get invited [to paddle] when he gets his driver’s license in a year.” —Will Taylor

What do you think the future of river surfing is? I think it’s progressing to be a lot more like shortboard-style surfing. There are a lot of skateboard tricks coming in and we’re trying to do those more in a surf style, sideways across the wave instead of straight down it. It looks a lot cooler.

You’re already one of the best river surfers out there. Where do you go next? I definitely want to find some bigger waves and do those tricks on them, like air reverses. There are a couple big waves on the Gauley and in Canada that I want to get on.

Are there more people river surfing? There are definitely more young people and overall there’s noticeable growth. Last year at Glenwood there were usually five standup guys or so and this year there were a bunch of SUP surfers and only a couple kayakers.

You surf in the ocean too. How’s the transition from the river to the sea? I love surfing in the ocean. I try and do it as much as I can. I don’t have as much racing experience there but it’s good to do both.

How does kayaking help your SUP game and vice versa? When the high water dies off (later in the whitewater season), I jump in my kayak quite a bit. You learn all the lines through whitewater. It makes going from kayak to standup a lot easier.

What keeps you stoked off the water? Skiing and snowboarding during the winter and skating in the summer. I’ve been filming myself with a GoPro and now I want to get into making adventure vids.

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