Colorado boat sales boom as people use rivers to keep adventure flowing during coronavirus |

Colorado boat sales boom as people use rivers to keep adventure flowing during coronavirus

Jason Blevins, Colorado Sun
There are a number of different choices during the boat buying process, from the raft itself to the trailer hauling it to and from the river.
Max Phannenstiel | Special to the Daily

The rivers are rising and paddle shops and boat makers across Colorado are reporting record sales as more families dip a paddle in the state’s waterways. 

“It’s like strumming the perfect chord on your guitar. It just feels right,” said Mike McCormack, an Eagle dad who has two boys, 11 and 14. He just bought his first raft, a 15-foot, self-bailing Star Super Bug. “This summer is about adventuring in place and the boat brings that adventure in reach. It’s the one thing the whole family agrees on. This was an investment in our family.”

Colorado is a hotbed of watercraft design, with innovative entrepreneurs creating all kinds of boats, rafts and boards for navigating the state’s rivers and lakes. And those designers all are reporting the busiest few weeks in the history of their businesses, with families placing boat orders as pandemic-related safer-at-home orders flow on

When the ski resorts closed, ski shops reported a run on backcountry skis. As public transportation ground to a halt, the world’s bike shops were cleaned out. RV and camper dealers are reporting record sales as families explore a new way to vacation. And now formerly quarantined Coloradans are rushing the rivers. 

“It’s on fire right now. Insane,” said Mike Harvey, the co-founder of Badfish, the Salida stand-up paddleboard maker that has seen booming sales through May. “Best four-week period we have ever seen.”

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