River Navigation: Surfing Waves

Why Surf?

  • It's fun!
  • It's a great way to practice!
  • Surfing can be used in difficult rapids to effortlessly move laterally.
  • It gives you a sense of how your boat reacts to different waves.
  • Wave surfing lays the foundation for pourover hole surfing - a Class IV skill.

Example: Surfing Waves to Manuever in Rapids

Example: Pulling Upstream to Catch a Surf

This is the easiest way to catch the wave, but it's harder to control once you're surfing because you're looking downstream.

Example: Pushing Upstream to Surf a Wave

This is really hard to do "on the fly." Generally you'll need to begin in a nice eddy next to the surf wave. Beginning in the eddy will allow you to try and catch the surf with little or no downstream momentum. The advantage with this method is that when you catch the surf wave you are looking upstream at the wave.

Complete and Continue