River Surfing is exploding. CoOne thing that isn’t as strong as I thought it would be is the “search” instinct. Many river surfers are looking for other waves in their local area, in their local region and possible a few states in either direction. Must of the time when river surfers make a out of state journey it’s for well known location like, (USA) The Lochsa Pipeline, Lunch Counter, - (Canada) Montreal, Skookumchuck, - (France) Hawaii Sur Rhone. La Malatte
For me the instant I came across the second river wave I’d seen in person, it struck me. I realized there were river waves all over the world, from the one inch waves you see in the gutter to 20ft waves on giant rivers. That day I rushd home and planted myself in-front of my computer and search. Within 48hrs I had found a single picture of Skookumchuck, which I get a coy of with me and had it sitting in the passenger set of the for taurus wagon I rented for my first trio to Skook on sept 21st
I read about rapid #11 on the Zambezi but could fine a picture.
And I found picture of Habitat 57 in Montreal
And I jut kept search. I immediately realized the sport of play boating was my best link to finding waves. Playboaters surf river waves in a small boat. They generally look for rapids with less green on the face of thee wave, a hole is what they call it, much more whitewater on the face of the wave, not ideal for surfing but they were the only people even looking for wave even they might not be exactly what I was looking for.
The first wave I searched for was in colorado, I think the south canyon wave, Ill have to check. I found it on-line and it was about 8-12 hours from Phoenix where I was living and where I has stumbled on the second wave I’d ever come across. So I rented a Dodge Durango. Hurricane was about 3 months old so it must of been March 2001. I loaded up Brooklyn, Chance and Hurricane and we drove to the wave. Through the Rockies. Snow. Cold and perfectly sunny on the day I got to the wave. We stay about five miles from the rapid. We woke up the next morning, drove to the wave. I tried to surf it with no luck standing up. But I was hooked.
I felt the power of a solid river and even though I couldn’t catch the wave I could see in my mind what It must fell like to surf Skook or the Zambezi. I took one more trip to the Salt River in AZ May 2001 and then I found myself in Eugene, OR October 2001 and by December I was searching the local rivers in Oregon then June 2003 I went to the Lochs, then Sept 21 2003 I went to Skook and then really in all just blurs together. Searching for and riding waves in OR, WA, WY, Montana, CA, AZ, CO, HAW. British Columbia, Montreal, Ottawa. Germany. Sweden. Taiwan. etc…. From the biggest heaviest waves out there to man made river wave machine, pumps, pools and chlorine and all.
The drive for me was to go everywhere to search for waves. As time goes on the funding for searching takes a backseat to other finances. So my searching pretty much ended in 2010. But the blessing is I found my calling in the world of wave design, which is perfect because I sound learned that river waves are fickle and most of the really big ones are either in remote countries or are shot lived here in the sates during spring run-off, either way it was clear there was really no place that had eic river waves are year. So building these perfect waves become my passion.
I hope to see some of the young generation develop that “search” instinct. So I am going to create the definitive wave list.