Surf sur le fleuve Saint-Laurent – KSF X BOTA BOTA

Surf sur le fleuve Saint-Laurent – KSF X BOTA BOTA


We’ve been surfing the Saint Lawrence river for many decades. We used to surf the river with kayaks on waves that we already knew of. May it be the vague à Guy, the Lachine rapids or Habitat 67, we knew about them and surfed them with kayaks. Even before, it’s been more than 40 years since we’ve known them. The surf on river, as we know it now, has appeared in the early 2000s. In 2003, a little group of kayakers traded their kayaks for surf boards. That’s how it all started. The surf season on the Saint Lawrence is relatively long. Anyone who wishes to learn, or take surf classes. Can do it from i’d say May to October. On the other hand, the regulars can surf until December. Until the ice takes. It’s important to have good equipment and to be well dressed. Isothermal suits, boots and mitts are essential, it’s important to be careful. It’s not recommended in winter but there are always a few irreducibles that do it anyway. What creates a river wave is first and foremost the water flow, the water current, which we have a lot of in the Saint Lawrence river. It also takes a slope to accelerate the current. The water takes it’s place back as soon as it pushes down and creates a wave. It’s what we call a static wave or a stationary wave or an eternal wave. In short, a river wave. What’s particular or a big difference between surfing a river and surfing in the sea is that the wave doesn’t move. It’s stays in place. Once we’re on it, it’s possible to surf a lot longer. In the sea we’re static and the wave pushes us on it’s passage. In a river it’s kind of the opposite, we go down the current to meet with the static wave. Once we hit the wave, we can take more time to stand up on the board and more time to surf. It’s great to practise your balance, manoeuvres, etc. It’s important to have experience, to have someone there so take a class, come with a friend that’ll help guide you and learn how to navigate the river. It’s important to be safe, but also important to try it out because it’s so much fun. It’s a sport that demands great strength and that keeps you in shape. Swimming itself is a good training. It’s also a sport that is very intoxicating. Once you’re standing on the wave you have this sense of speed. Even if you’re static, even if you don’t move forward, the current rushed quickly below the board and gives you the impression that you’re going fast. It keeps you in shape and comes with a certain philosophy, a “surfer” energy that advocates to eat well, train, stay fit and surf as often as possible.

Antonio Breitenberg

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