What is River Surfing?

What is river surfing
River surfing is still a very unknown recreational activity but miraculous nonetheless. Surfing inland is a privilege that many landlocked surfers don’t know they have.

Think of those mechanical surf waves you’ll often see at water theme parks and place it in a natural environment. It’s a standing wave that occurs from the water rushing over boulders and gradient through a constriction that creates a rapid and in this case a river surfing wave.

Let’s dive into this a little deeper and paint a picture for you. Water is rushing beneath your board you can feel the power of the river under foot. The water is constantly changing but the landscape does not because when river surfing you stay in one place. You’re not moving upstream, nor are you moving downstream. It’s a magical feeling and sometimes dizzying that despite the rivers strongest efforts to flush anything in it’s path you’re there, standing above it all. If it wasn’t for your board you’d be washed downstream just like the branches, logs, and rafts rushing past you.

Now, let’s talk about river waves. There are some waves that occur naturally and others that were built by man (some of which are in fact mechanical).

Waves, also known as whitewater parks, are being built all around the world. Just a few years ago these parks were designed with the kayaker in mind (an ideal wave for a kayaker is very different from that of a river surfer) and now with the sudden growth in river surfing the tables have turned.

It’s a beautiful thing to see the emergence of surf shops in landlocked towns and surfers able to quench their surfy thirst besides taking the once a year trip to the sea. Surf board are no longer collecting dust in the garages of mountain town homes but instead suffering from constant repair due to over-use in rock covered landscape.

River surfing is another way to connect with the water around you. It will transfix you and you’ll never look back. You’ll want more waves and more boards. It’s an addiction. Kelly Slater said it perfectly,

“Once you’re a surfer your done, you’re in. It’s like the mob, you’re not getting out.”

-Brittany Parker

Visit our River Surfing 411 pages to learn more about river surfing and our river surfing movie!